My iconic birthday

 

chococake

I can stop counting now

 

Later this month I will celebrate my 65th birthday.  Birthdays have never bothered me, but this one does.  Because.  65.  Is.  Iconic.

I can stop counting now.  The numbers after this are irrelevant. According to the U.S. government, I am officially old.  I am officially now:  my parents.

I am:  Petrified. Annoyed. Shocked. Depressed.  Pissed off. Surprised. Confused. Sad. Frustrated. Impressed.  Awed. Frightened.  And tremendously giddy and reverently grateful that I’ve been blessed with a long life.  I think of friends and family who’ve passed and send them love through the ether.

How will I celebrate my iconic birthday?

I will celebrate my birthday every day for the rest of my life. Every meal a celebration.  Every encounter a party. Every day, every breath, a gift. Every day the most splendid ever.

I will buy myself whatever I want, anytime I want it.  YES!  How can I say such a cray cray thing? (Cray cray is millenial speak for crazy) It’s not because I have unlimited resources, but rather, because there’s not a whole lot I want.  How liberating! I’m beyond the acquisitive stage of my life. I don’t crave bigger and better; I crave smaller and less.  I have a fine wardrobe. My house is lovely. I’m not “into” cars.  What I crave are experiences and if I did have unlimited resources I would spend it on first class travel and fine hotels.

My father used to say to my mother when they entered a shop, “Is there anything in here that you can’t live without?” implying that if there were, they would buy it.  She would look and look and finally say, “nothing.”  That’s how I feel today and it feels fabulously free.

Celebrate the fact that “struggle” is over.  I’m talking about the natural struggle in life to find love, to have a good job, a better job, another better job, earn more and more money, to be recognized, appreciated, to have a home, to keep a marriage going, to raise children, to educate children, to care for my parents and accompany them in their passing. Wow! I am a champion!

My wise friend Sally says, “Now is the time for gifts.” The gift of time, the gift of pleasure.  Designing each day exactly how I please.  Reading whenever I want.  Waking whenever I want. I can now enjoy culture, travel, thoughts, nature, human nature. I have nothing to prove anymore. I am a student of life.

Fire the negative voices in my head.  Services no longer required. Everything is fine.

Recommit to yoga, meditation, Pilates and walking, every day.  Pleasurable and essential for feeling fabulous.  And, in the health category: drink less wine but better wine.

Devote time to causes and issues which matter to me. Feminism. Politics.  Child abuse. Ecology.  Human trafficking. Education.

So…that’s my simple post for today as I slide into my birthday-rest-of-my-life.  If you have any thoughts to share, I’m all ears.  Wishes for a happy day!

xo Liza

P.S.  I will buy myself a bicycle for my birthday. That’s fitting for a 65-year-old, right?  Not a fancy machine, just a solid street bike for toddling about town.

Hello my lovelies!  Did any birthdays cause you particular…pause? Which one and why?  How did you get through it?  Any other ideas for me on this iconic birthday? The comments box is waiting below.  Please share this post via the clever buttons you see, and enter your email above so you won’t miss a thing.

 

23 thoughts on “My iconic birthday

  1. My sisters and I started biking in our late 50 and 60’s and love it. Nostalgic memories will pull you towards a old fashioned 1-3 speed bike with a bell but instead look for a 21 speed hybrid. The hybrid are light and the 21 speeds make it easier to go longer distances and uphill. Start out biking around a few blocks but in a few weeks you will be going much farther. Buy a gel seat cover and padded shorts and look around for dedicated bike paths. I dragged my older sister biking in the beginning but now she rides 30 km to a nearby town for lunch and rides back. As you become more comfortable riding you will start to feel a freedom you haven’t felt since you were a child. Good luck and enjoy.

    1. Donna!!! Thank you ever so much for your excellent advice! Will try to purchase what you suggest…but don’t know if the options are more limited here in Tropica. I don’t live in a biking culture…so the cars are aggressive and there are no bike paths. But I will carry on!

      1. There is a Facebook page called biciTianguis that sells used bikes and equipment in Merida….we bought a used bike for my husband off of there. You are right tho I brought my bike down from Canada.

  2. In years I will be 68 this September, in heart and mind, I am whatever age I want to be. After all, it’s really just a number! 67 was hard on me, but only because I didn’t like the uneven number, that’s my OCD showing HAHAHA! And maybe 69 might be, because that’s the age my mother past away. But I am me, and I am kicking and looking forward to every day.
    Seriously, I don’t remember a difficult birthday. When I turned 66 I celebrated because I was able to retire and start a whole new and exciting chapter in my life. I am an artist and I finally have time for the things I love. I have paid my dues, marriage and divorce, raising two boys, working all my life, health issues (two hip replacements), and in general taking care of myself last because other were more important. NOW it is my time! I have great friends, my art, books to read, a home I love, and traveling plans in the works. What’s not to love! 🙂

  3. Love love love this post and am passing it on to others. I turn 65 this Halloween and was trying to figure out an epic way to celebrate, but I like your idea better of celebrating every day. I too have committed to a rebooted life after “the struggle” and am traveling, taking art classes, hiking the trails in my area, volunteering and doing some freelance journalism. All of those activities encourage me to continue learning and to stay connected to multi-age groups of people. I’m reading a book promoted by AARP (it took me the longest time to acknowledge I was old enough to qualify!) called This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. In addition to the other causes I am involved in, I’m committed to working against ageist attitudes. Why do humorous birthday cards for people over 60 say we are over the hill? Why do magazines advertise anti-aging products with 20 year old models?

    1. Ann! Marvelous comments. Thank you for sharing your story. I agree about ageism and am so glad you have chosen to work against ageist attitudes. Love your lifestyle, you sound so active. Regarding AARP, I joined when I was first able to, at 50, and that never bothered me. I loved being allowed into that club. Now, not so much. But with intelligent commentary and support such as yours…of course I’ll make the best of it!

  4. thank you for your thoughts! As for bicycles there are wonderful stores now in Merida and there is choice! what a great gift! that was my Christmas gift three years ago!
    celebrating every day is the thing! love to you

  5. Happy Birthday Liza,

    The goals you have set for yourself and your attitude are the best gift you can give to yourself. I will be celebrating my 70th in a few months and never felt happier or better. I wish the same for you.
    Blessings and Peace

  6. Thanks, Liza, I also turned 65 recently and I am loving it. I feel more free than I ever have before. One of the things you said that struck me was about having enough. That is my thought exactly. In stead of getting, I also want to give.

    I also like what you said about not needing to prove anything. I’m not sure why we feel that way when we are younger, but I feel the relief from that at age 65 also.

    My goal is to be kind to everyone of God’s creatures, as I would want them to be to me. I also want to show others that they are important. They matter to this world, and I can do that by treating each person (and animal) with the respect I wish to have given to me, whether they give it to me or not.

    Enjoy your new bike. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

    1. Cheryl, thank you ever so much for such a lovely note. I totally agree with you about the importance of kindness, and how easy it is to be kind to people, nature, animals, and make a big difference in the world and in someone’s day. Kindness is such a powerful thing! Carry on!

  7. Thank you for this post. I am 67 and need someone to say it is ok to stop worrying about the struggle. I’ve struggled all my adult life and I don’t seem to be able to let go. If I’m not struggling I feel like I will fall behind. Does this crazy anxiety melt away eventually?

    1. Hi Mary. Thanks for your thoughts. I think it is a challenge to let go of the struggle…because we’ve been doing it all our lives. I think once you are conscious of the issue, it is the first step. One day I realized, why am I struggling? I don’t need to prove myself or advance anymore. I realized my life was fully mine now. So it’s a process to work through, and I’m still working through it. Nothing changes overnight, but your awareness is the first step. Carry on!

  8. I am 75..that is iconic also.
    I could not have said it better!
    I am back in school, traveling and being AWARE of each day
    Happy Birthday!

  9. happy fabulous 65 birthday to you Liza..I too count the days..what a milestone

    I so relate and enjoy reading the posts at your Camp… retirement reminds me of going to camp…possibility of fun opportunities every day, off from the work grind, achieving goals, pursuing friendships..

    and I have to say wear a helmet, and something very bright..when you bicycle..be safe

    1. Barbara! So nice to hear from you. Retirement is def like camp — long, fun days filled with elective activities, sports, fine dining. I will now get a very bright helmet and think of you when I wear it! Carry on my friend! xo

  10. Hi Liza,

    Great post! Happy to find your website – through Sixty and Me.

    I’ve never felt better than I do today – at 63. Retired and living my life authentically, at last. It’s a great feeling to be at that place where you can pretty much do alot or alittle – without having to prove a thing.

    Happy birthday! Keep writing – it’s my passion too. 😉

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