31 From 60

It’s catch-up time.

Two years ago, I started the “60 to 60” project, in which i pledged to count off the weeks until my 60th birthday.  It wasn’t going to be a depressing count-off, but one of aspiration, of getting to a place at 60 that I’d feel good about.

And about a year out, I stalled.  Got busy.  Struggled with turning 59 (those last years of a decade are always the hardest).  Bit the bullet and had foot surgery that was overdue.  Weathered the shock of an old friend dying.

Now, it’s 31 weeks PAST my 60th birthday.  No, I’m not going to keep counting.

But I’d like to pick up writing again, and sharing whatever pops into this head about life in the South, family, modern life and green vegetables.

Here’s what’s happened in the meantime:

I’ve been taking guitar lessons for seven months, and have stuck with them.  Generally, I learn fast when the learning is mainly cognitive.  Mind-body coordination has never been my forte, as many people know (Dynamo, you’ll remember our ballroom dancing fiasco).  It’s been different to accept a slow learning curve.  But I’m practicing every day; I can switch chords pretty easily, especially if it’s not in mid-measure, and they are beginning to have a lovely ringing sound.  I’ve got some strum patterns down, including a bass strum (but nothing fancy; no walking bass).  And I’m working on fingerpicking.

I cannot imagine, however, being able to play guitar and sing at the same time.  Everything considered, that’s probably just as well.

color-version-TTeditorial-toned-275x412The day before my 60th birthday was the last time I dyed my hair.  I’ve let it grow out and go gray and, amazingly, it’s neither like my father’s nor my mother’s hair.  It’s my own, and so far I’m okay with it.  Here’s what it looked like earlier in the summer, when the remaining red glinted here and there as highlights.

I’ve been traveling more this year — yes, mainly for work — and not staying at the office as late.  And I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to retire, even though I agree with MrNYer that I’d probably hate it.

But I am thinking about it.  MrNYer and I are now on the top rung of the ladder, generationally speaking. Our last parent, his Dad, died in January.  We’re spreading his ashes in Staten Island later this month.  Our son, TheAbandonnedOne, turned 30 in June.  And between them, my sisters have eight grandchildren.  It all leads me to wonder what’s next.

Another project I’ve worked on in a desultory way is digitizing photos.  So one day I calculated what year it was when my Mom turned 60. (It was 1975.) And I looked at photos of how she looked then to see who looked older, her or me.  She did.  In fact, at 60 she looked really tired and worn out.  She would ascribe all of that to the trials that I put her through.

But here’s the great news:  I looked at her pictures from ten years later, and five years after that, and she didn’t look at all tired. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

Next up: We’ll be revisiting Desiderata, because it visited me today.


8 Responses

  1. Thanks for coming back!

  2. Wonderful to hear from you! I just saw Kathleen in Manhattan last Sunday but am now back in Berkeley, turned 60 on Feb 5, just went almost all gray, semi retired free lancing but antsy to go back to work. We should connect this year in person.

  3. I am glad to have you back…even if it’s just in writing!

  4. I love your hair. I did not realize when I saw you last (August 2014) that you were growing it out. I think it’s very becoming. Are you using anything special to digitize your photos? This is also on my to-do list, although it may be a long while (but hopefully not MY 60th birthday) before I am able to get to it!

    • I’m actually not growing it out as in letting it get longer; just letting it go gray. And didn’t start until this year, so how would you have known? I had Costco digitize about 800 slides, and I’ve been scanning photos on my own.

      • Ah yes, I can’t math. I miscalculated 31 weeks (somehow, I rewound to last year, forgetting it is already October). But I did intend “growing it out” to mean “growing out the color”, not “letting it get long” as your photo clearly shows otherwise!

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