This is like eating that entire bag of chips. You know you did it, you were there for every moment and yet it still comes as a shock when you reach in and the bag is empty. Yup, that is how I feel about turning 60 today. And, when people ask, what are you doing for your 60th, my response is I’m going grey. I have seen things, done stuff and been places. Easier said than done.
“Don’t you dare,” the words came out so fast and defiant, to my manager, I had to back off with “I mean, if I have a choice to opt out, I prefer nothing.” That was my response to a public recognition for my 35th work anniversary. My best life financial plan requires me to work until at least 65. I felt like my peers, seeing a 35 anniversary, would think, she can retire, start rumors, someone would get it twisted (she can retire versus she wants to retire) and I’d be a target for layoffs. I went down a rabbit hole of anxiety and paranoia; brought on by the belief of an age bias skewed toward youth in my work place. Younger is better, let’s get rid of the old people. Why?
I have been doing yoga for 25 years; longer than some of my yoga teachers have been alive. In a class that puts demands on your body, you value people with experience in body types, anatomy, musculature to help you move in a way that is injury free while reaching your peak in a pose. It’s not a matter of young or old, it is expertise to be valued.
I am fearless in yoga. I got years, maybe decades in age on a lot of people in class, but I’ve seen things and I can do some stuff, watch. Bring it. For the last couple of months, I’ve taken that attitude at work, the one about, ultimately, value is in expertise. So bring it! I have seen things, done stuff and been places. I am balancing the perception of age with aging. Give me that senior discount because I am more than you can imagine 60 could be, otherwise, keep that ageism. I am 60, going grey and getting another bag of chips.