Here is the post, written a couple of years ago, by my sister (@TerryTyler4 on Twitter). http://terrytyler59.blogspot.com/2019/10/on-being-sixty.html
She’s absolutely right about all of it, and no matter how much I used to tell her how being 60 would feel, we all have to find out for ourselves, like everything else.
I remember a few years ago, my then boss got his Senior Railcard and was most disappointed when, the first time he used it, the ticket collector on the train didn’t stagger back in amazement and demand to know where he stole it from. I live in a little town where the guards on the train know the regulars, and there’s one who always indulges me by asking in a loud voice where I got this card from, whereupon I say equally loudly that I mugged an old lady for it.
I was with my sister on the trip to Hever that she mentions, and naturally I too got the Senior Discount, but I’ve got used to asking for it and nobody saying diddly squat, or even looking at me closely to check!
Occasionally I forget that I’m the age I am, and still get caught out. I remember talking to a 30-something about a subject that escapes me, and I gradually realised that they were expecting to hear my views on the subject from the perspective of someone of great age and experience. I wanted to say, ‘oh, I get it, you think I’m old! No, no, you’ve got it all wrong! If you could see how I feel in my head, I think I’m just the same age as you’.
There are some huge compensations to getting older:
- We’ve found out, to a large extent, what clothing/hair/make-up suits us and what doesn’t
- We’re not afraid to say, ‘no, I don’t want to do that, thank you’
- We are very happy to go to a friend’s house, get into our comfortable trousers, and sit around watching TV all night rather than feeling somehow obliged to go out and socialise
There is a French saying that I remember hearing from our mother:
Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait
In other words – if youth only knew, if old age only could.
My heroine (one of my heroines) the great, ineffably delightful Fran Lebowitz, says that nobody ever thinks they’re going to lose their looks until they do. When we meet old friends after a long time, we think, what happened to you? Then we realise they’re probably thinking the same about us. She remembers finding some very old photos of herself, taken for a Vogue interview, which she’d rejected because she thought she didn’t look good in them – if she were to wake up looking like that every morning now, she says, she’d be ecstatic!
So we keep on trucking – and hoping for a good tomorrow.
Cheers, all you over-60s!