A List, at Sixty.
Happy birthday! I would add: Gratitude is good, especially for ordinary things; hug the dog, even if they don’t understand (and they probably don’t);; it’s ok to eat the ice cream; negative people are probably not worth your time, even if you have known them for years; you can’t change anyone but yourself, so do that if you need to.
This is a wonderful list. Happy Birthday.
At 71, as I reflect on my 60s - while a few little age-related issues have popped up - it was a pretty fun decade. The 70s seem to be exponentially more *eventful* with the more challenging events. Not everything will happen to you, but there will be a lot going on with your peers. Be careful about dancing - especially after a couple glasses of wine - and if you have not been dancing regularly. Rethink shoes (even the flat ones) that just *slip on* - especially Birkenstocks. Yeah-yeah-yeah - we've all heard about the dangers of falling. Trust me - many people ignore the suggestions - and then regret that choice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093636/
Thank you, and welcome to a magical decade, Elissa! I particularly love 25, 73, baking bread and roasting chicken, and all your references to mending fences. Sixty is definitely the-life-is-too-short-use-the-good-silver-and-who-cares-what-other-people-think decade.
I am appreciative and tearful, at this moment - having read your birthday list. Deep thanks.
Say 'thank you,' early and often, to the garden, to the bees, to the birds, to the basil. To your body for having lived another year, to your being for making the world a better place.
Happy birthday, happy new decade! P.S. I will read your chart if you're interested!
Happy Birthday, Elissa, from Scotland. I love your list and will make my own when it's my turn later in the year. There's a pithiness in your writing that keeps me amused while also touching my sad bone - a kind of ennui, I guess. Thank you for your PMF - I look forward to reading it every week. Enjoy your special day. And hug the dog!
Happy Birthday! Happy new decade! The only thing I would add is: pay less attention to what people say and more attention to what they do, and how it feels in your body when they talk to the people who serve them. Also: understand that people’s lives are a summation of their choices and are not your fault. Here’s to a healthy and peaceful next decade! 💕
A gift of a list. I have some new habits on my aspiration list. I’d add: Eat what’s in season from a local farmer, when you can. Supermarket tomatoes and strawberries are not “just as good.” Happy birthday!
The only thing I might add is, "If you crave a specific food, even if it's full of fat, etc. - eat it - otherwise, you'll just end up eating a bunch of 'healthier' stuff and still feel distracted craving that one thing"
This is by far my favorite list anyone has ever made, and I'm a list lover (and maker). Great wisdom, humility, humor, and inspiration. Happy birthday to you and a huge bundle of thanks for being you and for writing so beautifully and thoughtfully.
Wonderful list as I ponder turning 60 in the fall! I am not well, so it will hit particularly hard as I have so much more road behind me- but! Onward! I would add -don’t use canned Parmesan cheese - ever
-sit around a fire with friends or family as much as you can find opportunity
-don’t give young people unsolicited advice, instead tell good stories
-try and use as a good an eye cream as you can afford
-smile and be kind as much as possible, it’s free!
-and last, make your bedroom a haven of peace, no stacks of bills, or unfinished business, bags of “stuff” if you must have those, put them somewhere else!
And if you are an unrequited night owl, don't harass yourself for rarely seeing mornings. There is great peace and solace in the gap between yesterday and tomorrow.
Just turned 70 last month- still can’t believe it.
Don’t quit learning. Do the things you love. Reading is breathing. Sing every day :)
Ah yes. I just turned 60. It’s alarming how young people are that are only 50. We must fight atrophy with weight training now.
I will be 59 this year, which isn’t possible but is somehow true. Will keep this list handy as I enter my 3rd act. Thank you, and happy birthday, Elissa. ❤️
This entire post made my heart swell. Thank you. I hope 60 treats you well.