Hitting sixty and begining to freak out.

Warning #1: This will be a long and whiny post - please feel free to skip.
Warning #2: I’m driving this keyboard under the influence of a couple of vodka and tonics so things might get a little weird.

I’m about to complete my 60th trip around the sun (in late January) and am beginning to panic. “It’s only a
number” my 61 year old friend tells me as he limps into the bathroom to take his high blood pressure
medication. Um, I’m really not sure if I can believe that. [Takes slurp of vodka and tonic]
My knees have started to ache, I now have bifocals and my hearing is going to crap. I lost my last
grandparent a few years ago and now I’m seeing other relatives - people I love dearly - in my parent’s
generation slowly get very sick and then pass on. Plus it seems like every other week
some actor or musician who I saw on TV or listened to on the radio back in the day is kicking the bucket.
[Takes another slurp of vodka and tonic]

[Here, hold my drink while I use the shift key]
[Thanks, I’ll take that drink back now]
I see some people much older than myself still enjoying life and I just don’t see how they do it. I
realize that this is something everybody goes through in life (and death) but how do they deal with
it? I just don’t see how they handle it. It’s like all the fun is being sucked out of everything and
everything is slowly going to hell.

Friends of the 'dope - any thoughts or advice from you would be much appreciated.
[Posts message and stumbles off to the kitchen for another vodka and tonic]

I am 75, so have had a bit of practice in getting older.

The way I see it, I have 2 choices. I can either fret and worry about getting older (and be miserable), or I can have fun and do things that I wouldn’t have done at a younger age (and be much happier).

Either way, I will croak, like everyone else. Why not make the best of it?

Losing fear and responsibility for others has an element of freedom that I haven’t enjoyed since I was a kid. Yeah, I wear bright shirts, and shorts and a better social life than before retirement. So have a ball!

Mr.Wrekker is a good bit older than you. He is healthy as a horse. A bit of a beer gut. He wears it well. He’s 6•2 a large man in all ways. He does his hunting, fishing, poker playing at every chance he gets. He travels to go on hunting trips. His only health problem seems to be a rotator cup shoulder and slight high BP. I’m fairly sure he will be slamming around well into his 80s. He drinks his Jack Daniels, has a beer when he wants and eats horribly. Don’t fear it, embrace it. If you have health issues don’t ignore them. Take care of your teeth. You’ll be ok. The alternatives are not good.:wink:

I’m also about to hit 60 a month after you and when I look around at some of my friends who are considerably younger than I who’ve had cancer surgery and hip replacements and strokes and heart problems I figure that taking daily meds for blood clots (been doing that for five years now) and somewhat high BP is a small enough price to pay. Heck, I have a frozen shoulder that came up in June that bothers me more than the stuff I take meds for. I’m still pretty darned spry, do physical work to keep myself in coffee and cakes, sleep in a loft that requires me to go up and down a ladder to sleep and to get dressed in a space that’s barely taller than my seated self (not to mention how bendy you have to be to change the sheets up there!) My mom is 82 and completely independent and healthy as a horse aside from somewhat high blood sugar and my dad is 85 and going into gentle dementia but he still plays a mean game of tennis three times a week. I see no reason I can’t do as well as they have–it’s very much a “use it or lose it” sort of game and I refuse to limit myself based on an arbitrary age distinction. They’ll pry my kayak paddle from my cold dead hands!

The “fun” you speak of always had an expiration date: you just never really realized it till now. It was never within the realm of possibility that all your beloved older relatives (and favorite celebrities) were going to stay alive and healthy forever, that your body would go on functioning indefinitely in exactly the same way it did as you were young, and so forth. You’re upset because that universally known fact is just now starting to dawn on you emotionally.

Being inconsolably depressed about the natural and inevitable is a normal reaction, but ultimately an immature one. Have you ever seen a child so unwilling to be called in from playing as it gets dark out that he has a total meltdown and can’t enjoy the dinner-bath-bed routine of the end of the day, because he’s so distraught about having to stop playing outdoors? That’s you, X. L. old buddy. For now. :slight_smile:

Yes, there’s a lot of pain to be accepted as we move into, and then out of, middle age and the process of loss continues. But there’s also a lot of pleasure and sweetness to be savored, largely because of what the process of loss has taught us about appreciating what we’ve got while we still have it. But you’re not going to be able to savor it while you’re still having a meltdown about the inexorable setting of the sun putting an end to playtime.

(Nonetheless, props for the “ABSOLUTLY CRAZY” vodka joke. :D)

1.) Being old sure beats the alternative

2.) I don’t have any problem enjoying life. Pepper Mill just gave me a ski helmet for Christmas this morning, figuring that I’d never buy one on my own, and she didn’t like me going downhill on a contraption with no breaks, and I ought at least to wear head protection. I didn’t start wearing a bike helmet until she nagged me into it (despite running into a post and fracturing my skull years earlier.) The upside is that I now have an excuse to go skiing. Enjoy life while you can.

I’ll be 60 in a little over a year and a half. I doubt I’ll freak out over it.

For one thing, I intend to live forever.

So far my plan is working!

I texted my brother-in-law on his 60th and said: **
“Welcome to the decade of Not Giving A Fuck What Anyone Thinks Of You”! **

I’m a half-decade older than you, and my sixties have been great. The kids are out of the house (and we ain’t lettin’ 'em back in), and the herd of dogs is starting to thin. I’m getting ready to half-retire and catch up on a few hundred books. And be one of those guys that sits at the local diner… with the old farts who are figuring out how to fix the world.

Now, the price I’m paying for all this fun is that I’m slowing waaaay down.

So I’ve come to LOVE taking meds. When my doctor said “You can either cut out salt INCLUDING YOUR ONE TRUE LOVE, BACON. Or you can take this little pill…” I yelled “Gimme the pill, doc, or gimme a bullet!”

Yeah, I’m limping, but I’m limping through soccer games with guys who’re better and more aggressive players (and some a third my age). And I’ve got one eye and one thumb that are useless, etc etc… but I can still bike across town, and work out. I just get sore for weeks afterwards.

Small price to pay for increasing freedom. From kids and dogs and a job… and from what those bozos on the street think of me.

I had a double whammy at age 59. Some kind of mysterious heart thing that landed me in the hospital, three days unconscious on a ventilator and then, just as suddenly, seemingly OK. Then I suffered a very serious back injury. Still recovering from that. December of last year, miserable, constant pain. This December, still dealing with some knee pain, I believe to be sciatic nerve injury from last December. Getting better though.
Still have hopes to get in better shape and maybe get back in the kayak.

It all boils down to “Are you ready to give up or do you want to go on?”

I turned 60 this past May. I loved it! I took it as an opportunity to not give a leaping horse-fuck what ANYBODY thinks! Man, the freedom is AWESOME! Sixty is where it’s at! I hope you can learn to embrace it as I have.

And if for some reason my random unknown person on the internet’s opinion isn’t enough to convince you, do search on the kanreki and find all sorts of reasons to embrace your new and improved status.

I entered my 60s in the not-too-distant past and did not freak out. I have never freaked out due to my age, but I remember friends and acquaintances suffering all sorts of angst just hitting their 30s! I think much of dealing with my age stemmed from aging in Thailand. Hard to explain, but being there just seemed conducive to aging. I turned 30, 40 and 50 in Bangkok, and I was probably more concerned with getting over the massive hangover, especially in my earlier decade years. I turned 60 quietly here in Honolulu and by then was just used to growing older.

Of course, I fully expect to live forever. So far, so good!

Moving into an old folks’ house at age 99, my Grandma discovered that the knee which occasionally bothered her and her equilibrium problems were nothing. “That guy, he’s in a wheelchair and he’s not even 70! That poor woman over there, the one who dresses so pretty, she can’t remember her own name! I’m so healthy it’s ridiculous! Give me your arm, I need to go to the bathroom…”

I did that when I was 40, but I’m a woman. We do tend to get hypersocialized, but we also tend to know we’re hypersocialized, specially those of us who are very different from whatever ideal our society has been selling.

My oldest kid will be 30 in 2019. That bugs me way more than my own aging. I have t1diabetes, I’m sure complications from that will get me. Unless an effing deer in the highway doesn’t. Or some freak homebased accident. I’m as clumsy as a 2 year old some days. Shit just keeps happening to me. But I’m happy to be alive and have few pains. My feet are pretty jacked up, but they don’t hurt. I have very long limbs that get in the way some times. A little bit of joint pain occasionally. But mostly I’m good. OP, count your blessings.

Gentle dementia? Sadly, not for long. Dementia is one price we pay for messing with Mother Nature. Modern medicine has allowed our bodies to live long passed the expiration date on our brains.

I am 60. I consider each birthday as a noteworthy and significant event because it brings me one year closer to retirement. I have a retirement countdown app on my phone.

I look at co-workers in their 30s or 40s and I think, ‘you poor bastards’.

I’m 73, and have to take a handful of prescription meds every day. But I feel better than I’ve felt in years, in spite of chronic depression. So it can get worse, or it can get better.

Try gratitude for what you have instead of whining about what you don’t. Make a list.

Try helping people less fortunate. They are legion.

It helps to have a spiritual practice. You do not have to believe in God to have one.

I’m older than you, I have various health issues (lying in bed at dawn I realized that I will never keep goats again because I cannot completely close my left hand anymore, hence cannot milk), but I have never and I mean never ever been happier. I have friends, family, beauty all around me, useful work, creativity, and leisure. And, I live 3000 miles from my mother. I am grateful.

Apart from a couple of her cousins, my mom is the last of her generation - my dad and all my aunts and uncles have died. My oldest cousin is 75. I’ll be 65 next month. My youngest cousin is in her 50s. That was a sobering realization.

But I’m in decent health overall, despite assorted aches and pains. My brain mostly still works, and I’m still working part time, because retirement sucked for me. The way I look at it - there’s nothing I can do to change the inevitable. Eventually, I’ll die. But till then, I’ll enjoy doing what I can, and lately, that’s going on cruises and playing with my granddaughter.

I should probably get a will… I’ve been saying that since I was 40.

I’ll turn 61 soon. You folks just turning 60 have no idea. Turn back before it’s too late!

I’ve got another 20 years before I hit 60. But I’ve learned that one of the best things you can do to feel better about aging is to expose yourself to good role models.

A few years ago, I decided to take a Road Scholar (aka Elder Hostel) course. It was a six-day hiking trip in Sedona, AZ. I was 37 at the time, and I was the youngest in the group (of about ten hikers). The mean age was 68. Our guide was in his 60s. The oldest hiker in the group was in her late 70s and she was consistently at the front of the pack (while I was frequently huffing and puffing in the back). These were not the kind of old people I was familiar with. My mind was blown.

What tickled me was the way they all talked shit about the people in the other Sedona Road Scholar group–the one for less active seniors. Those folks had their walkers and oxygen tanks and were doing the touristy thing from the comfort of a tour bus. Every time we saw them, the people in my group would shake their heads and smugly talk about how much their “fat asses” were missing. I could easily imagine my parents being on that bus, so I felt some kind of way about all this trash-talking. But I understood the psychology behind it. “Tour bus” seniors remind active seniors that their days of being active are numbered. Just as I was inspired by seeing them kick ass on every trail we hiked, they felt the opposite emotion seeing the “inactive” senior struggle to climb the stairs of their tour bus.

My parents are in their 70s. Their physical bodies are breaking down, so they aren’t going to be climbing any mountains any time soon. But they are still doing stuff and having fun. They are doing what they can. I hope I can do the same when I’m their age.