Jane: The Pros and Cons of Turning 60


1) I feel old.  My hair is gray, and there are wrinkles around my eyes and mouth.

2) I will never be a child prodigy on the guitar.

3) The white hairs on my chin might scare young children.

4) I will never win an Olympic gold medal in Volleyball, unless it’s a special competition or old farts.

5) My husband is looking a little older, too.

6) I need more sleep than I used to.

7) I can’t remember anything, especially not anything that happened recently.

8) People in the South say “Yes, Ma’am to me” and sometimes give me that “what a cute  little lady” look.

9) My parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents—all the people who inhabited my childhood world, and even ruled over it—are gone.  I will never see them again, and my children don’t even remember most of them.

10) My hands are starting to look like my mother’s hands.


1) I am a much better judge of character than I was in my twenties and thirties.

2) My husband still looks younger than most people his age.  In fact, strangers think he’s my younger brother.

3) So what if I can’t remember anything?!  Unlike members of the younger generations, my life is preserved in diaries, postcards, letters, love letters, even telegrams—not an e-mail or text message in the bunch—and photo albums with actual pictures on paper (although there is a definite shortage of these starting with the year we purchased our first digital camera).

4) My children are no longer teenagers, at least 3 out of 4.  They are also full-grown (or close enough) and capable of surviving without their parents.

5) I know what I like/don’t like, who I am/am not, who I don’t ever want to be.  I’m past agonizing over my identity or beliefs.  My needs are simple: good people, good food, good laughs–and good sleep.

6) I have the courage to speak my mind out loud (that one took longer than some of the others), and I have great friends  (and 3 great sisters) who seem to value that.

7) I do not ever have to Tweet on Twitter, if I don’t want to—and I don’t want to.

8) I’m past being embarrassed about much.  (Old Fart volleyball tryouts, here I come!)

9) I know that life is too short to waste on any of the following:  t.v. ads, committee meetings, red lights after 12 midnight, liver, and cleaning my house more than absolutely necessary to prevent the spread of disease.

10) I always wanted to have hands like my mother’s, where you can see the veins.  To me, they looked like the picture of love and nurturing and hard work.

12)  I actually like my gray hair and laugh lines—it took hard work to earn them both.

13) I never wanted to be a child prodigy anyway.  It was too much fun playing “Kick the Can” or “Sardines” all summer.

Turns out the Pro’s outnumber the Con’s!  Who knew?!!!

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