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Looking towards 60.

BY JULIE SEYLER

Birthdays are funny. How we relate to the day we are born changes with age. The year we turn one we are incognizant of the significance, but parents and grandparents are feasting on the fact that a year has passed since you entered the world. By the time you are six, birthdays have been converted into knowledge that this is a special day. Presents are bestowed and there is cake galore. Anticipation builds for the next year, which feels as if it will take FOREVER. Gaining age is a positive.

The milestone birthdays set in: 18 and the right to vote, 21 and the right to drink (albeit in 1973 the legal age in New Jersey was 18), 30 and the idea that this is “old,” and 40 brings the recognition that this is “young.” The big 5-0 feels momentous, but with time passage, it dawns that this is still the minor leagues. After 55 things seem to change slightly, because it is this new era of approaching “old” age, and yet it is always relative. Young and old are only comparison adjectives.

40

Today, I turn 59. Amongst my peers born in 1955, I am on the “younger” side. I have friends that will be turning 60 in four months. It is beyond comprehension that this is happening. I remember my “Sweet 16” (it was a surprise party), and I planned my 40th with assiduous care.

Lois and me at my 40th

Lois and me at my 40th.

Nineteen years ago, and it seems like yesterday. But the reality exists: I shall soon be a woman of 60 years of age.

The cliche that time collapses as we age is proven as each year flies by. Twenty years is forever at six, and the blink of an eye at 60.

But I am going in with gusto, because while I may wither on the outside I am determined to take my Vitamin D and blossom on the inside.

With age comes wisdom, and knowing that the best and only defense to the right side of any age is staying active, curious, connected and laughing as much as possible.