I turned 60 on the 29th of March. I had planned to make it a big celebration with my husband, daughter and son-in-law and a few hundred others all attending this big Great Gatsby party at a gorgeous mansion in Asheville. I had my flapper dress and fake pearls and bright red lipstick. I had also planned a bit of self-reflection. After all, it’s a big decade-changer.
Well, then the Coronavirus happened and that big, fancy celebration is postponed until fall when everyone hopes life is somewhat back to normal. My daughter is an Emergency Room nurse, so she is not going to even visit me that weekend, in fears that she’ll infect me now that I am at the advanced age of 60.
When she first mentioned this, I protested that I wasn’t in the high-risk population (this was still when they thought only old people were getting the virus).
“You will be in two weeks,” she told me flatly.
Apparently, by the way, I am not alone in all of this. An article in the New Yorker says, “ A lot of us have spent the past week pleading with our baby-boomer parents to cook at home, rip up the cruise tickets, and step away from the grandchildren.”
I think it’s because we have spent a lifetime trumpeting loudly to society that THIS age, whatever age our generation is at the moment, is relevant and cool. Too cool to be one of those feeble old folks getting the virus, for sure.
So, I’m back to the reflection I planned on upon turning 60. It’s what’s left, and I have way too much time to do it in.
It wasn’t really the birthday gift I wanted. Because the reflection isn’t the most comfortable thing. So I do a bunch of fairly useless things.
But, once all my frantic activity stops, I do what is important. What has been important no matter my decade. I love.
Because that is all that matters. I’m not shy anymore about saying I love you. To everyone I can.
I thought 2020 would be magical. The two 20s together seemed like a good omen, the reference to perfect vision undeniable.
But maybe, the vision part of the year is seeing who we really are. Not just me, but all of us.
And, what do you know? The reflection part wound up being a pretty good gift after all.