Yeah, but my mind is still young…

Today is my birthday.birthday firecake

I can hardly believe it, but I’m just three years shy of 60—an age I’ve always associated with grandmothers, polyester outfits in pastels and flower patterns, scented bath powder, support hose and thick, blocky, sensible shoes.

But I’m not a grandma, have no polyester in my wardrobe, no bath powder in my bathroom cabinet, and I’ve never worn support hose in my life. I guess there’s still time…

I do have thick, blocky, sensible shoes—but not because I’m elderly, but because I have rheumatoid disease and pretty, thin, narrow shoes with elevated heels cause me pain. I’ve been wearing ugly shoes since I was 31 years old. They look OK to me now.

When I turned 50 a friend said, “Hey, don’t worry! Fifty is the new 30.” I laughed. “Yeah, right.” Talk about a boomer cliché! We’re the Peter Pan generation. We’ll never grow up. I rolled my eyes and blew out the candles.

But now that I’m closing in on 60, I’m beginning to change my mind. If “50 is the new 30,” then isn’t 60 the new 40? Because while I didn’t feel a bit like I was 30 years old when I turned 50, I do feel about like I did when I turned 40.

Well, minus the active RA. When I was 40, my ol’ rheuma-dragon was dozing.

And that’s the point of this silly post. I don’t feel like I’m 57, even though my re-awakened rheumatoid arthritis often makes my joints feel stiff and achy, my daughter is now in her 30s and my husband has gone almost completely gray. No, I feel like the 40-ish woman who went backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness and hiked the California foothills back-country, photographing firefighters battling wildfires.

But most of all, I just feel like myself—the same self I was at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years old, that same curious, knowledge-hungry child I’ve always been, still gazing at this wild, wonderful world from the same big blue eyes.

Maybe I’m Peter Pan after all.

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12 responses to “Yeah, but my mind is still young…

  1. Well, happy birthday Peter Pan! May you always be as young as you feel and may you never feel your age. Many happy returns!

  2. Happy Birthday Peter Pan! Drat, I’ve just seen Carla just said that and I thought I was being so clever. Oh well, great minds think alike! :-)

  3. Happy Birthday!! When, my mother was in her 60’s she looked in the mirror and said “Who the heck is that old woman?”. Now I know how she felt. We are still 30….as long as you don’t look in the mirror. Enjoy your day!

  4. A very Happy Birthday to you. May this year bring you many new adventures, much happiness and health. Peter Pan sounds like a wonderful description of life. Enjoy.

  5. Happy Birthday! You don’t look 57! I hope your year is filled with much happiness and fun.

  6. Oh Happy Day to you!!! My next one will be 57 also! Knew we had more in common then just ra :-) Please enjoy it all….truly! And may all your birthday wishes come true :-)

  7. Happy birthday! Ageing should be the least of our worries I think. It’s just numbers, enjoy every day!

  8. Hurrah und herzliche Glückwünsche zum Geburtstag, meine liebe Zaunkönigen! Inject a little curiousity into each day and a youthful self becomes a permanent state of mind and heart. I shall raise a glass of quality ale in your honour tonight!

  9. Happy birthday, Wren! Belated, but still heartfelt. I just turned 60 and I feel no different than when I was 20. Except for RA, of course, but we won’t focus on that.

  10. Happy birthday – belatedly! How did I miss this post over the weekend! (Actually it possibly had a bit to do with too much skiing and tennis on TV but we won’t mention that!)
    I hadn’t realised you were such a baby ;-) (from the dizzy heights of 61) but isn’t it amazing how different we all are from our mothers’ generation? I’ve been a grandma for 14 years – I take the kids skiing. Polyester was last worn in the 60s (when crimplene was big fashion, shudder), otherwise it is required for outdoor waterproofs. What’s a bath? (I daren’t get in one, I’d never get out again). I, too, learnt to love comfortable chunky footwear in my 30s when living in Germany – but when you wear European size 35/36 there isn’t too much scope for high heels (for the rest of you that is 3 in the UK and 5.5 in the US) and PMR certainly put paid to heels of any sort!
    But yes – mentally I’m mostly on a par with my daughters! Whether that is good or bad I’m not sure ;-)

  11. Happy birthday to you, Wren! Hope you had a wonderful celebratory day. I’m going to be 62 on my next birthday, and I absolutely believe that 60 is the new 40. We’re getting younger all the time!

  12. Thank you, EVERYONE, for the happy birthday wishes! It was a good day and I’m looking forward to a very good upcoming year.