Humor & Entertain

Sixty Isn’t What It Used to Be – Lucky Us!

When Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, turning forty, was complimented on still being a pretty hot babe, she famously replied, “This is what 40 looks like.”pete

Steinem turned 80 this year. Google her. She‘s still a pretty hot babe.

Pete Townshend is known for singing “Hope I die before I get old.” But he didn’t. At 69, he’s still around.

“It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” Neil Young once sang.

Buyoung4t Neil did neither. At 69, he’s still here too.

This is what we’ve learned. Maybe we‘re not that young anymore, to paraphrase The Boss. But there’s something to be said for sticking around.

Just ask Joni Mitchell. She’s 71.

Or Sweet Baby James, at 66.

Paul Simon, who once sang, “how terribly strange to be seventy,” is seventy-three.

Is he feeling groovy? I bet he is.judy

“Who knows where the time goes?” sang Judy Collins, now 75.

Excellent question.

I’m 60. I could pass for younger. But why should I? I’d rather be honest than coy about my age. But while I‘d never claim to be younger than I am, in my little AARP-aged heart I don’t FEEL that old.

young5I’m guessing that Chrissie Hynde, at 63, doesn’t either.

My friend Deb, who turns 70 this year, says that when she recently caught an unexpected glimpse of herself in a mirror, her first thought was, “Who IS that old lady?”

“I’m retired. I’m a grandma. I’m old and, yes, I’m wise. But inside?” she says, “I don’t feel a day over 27.”

Why believe what you see in the mirror? Go with the age you are at heart.

I may have been born in 1954. But in my heart I’m no older than thirty-seven, the age I was the year my son turned four.

Mick Jagger is 71. But at heart? I doubt he’s that much older than twenty. (Time, obviously, is on his side.)

Billy Joel (who once sang “only the good die young“) is 65. But his girlfriend is in her thirties. At heart, it’s unlikely that he’s ready for Medicare.

Some men I know seem frozen in perpetual adolescence. Others will always be in their forties. A 70-year-old woman I work with at the library turns into Scarlet O’Hara whenever an attractive man approaches the circulation desk. Her eyes sparkle, she bats her eyelashes and her wrinkles appear to vanish — and the guys, young and old, eat it up.

At heart, she can’t be a day over 24.

If you’re a senior yourself, be honest. Do you truly FEEL your age? Or is your 63-year-old hungry heart telling you that you’re really twenty-three?bruce

(By the way, The Boss turned 65 this year.)

How do we Boomers manage to feel so young, disregarding the evidence we see whenever we take a selfie?

We’re a generation that’s good at fantasy.

Remember the TV all of us watched growing up? Think Mary Martin as Peter Pan. If you actually believed that a middle-aged woman was a young boy (who could fly!) you can believe that you’re really seventeen, not seventy.

A magical talking horse. A suburban housewife who is really a witch. My Mother The Car. And what about The Wizard of Oz? If you could believe Judy Garland as a Kansas farm girl, you can believe anything.

So what if we’re kidding ourselves about how old we really are? We act responsibly. We take care of our families. We’re good at our jobs, or thriving in retirement. What the harm of being, at heart, decades younger than our faces?

This year, Bob Dylan turned seventy-three. But in his heart? Forever young.

You may also enjoy…
Emmylou Harris, Creative Woman After 60
Carole King – New Appreciation After 70
Diane Keaton, Then Again, Her New Book

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  • Bonnie K. Frogma

    Good to see rockers keep on rockin’ (and not in a rockin’ chair), isn’t it?

    I think getting older without acting old is going to be even easier for us gen-X-ers and beyond – we’ve had such good role models to watch!

  • phoebe

    Interesting article. I always remembered a moment after my grandpa’s funeral. His brother said, “I’m 70 and I move a little slower, but I don’t feel any different than I did when I was 20. At the time I, myself, was a young teenager and he looked like an old man to me so I was surprised. Now that I’m getting closer to 70, I understand what he meant–it doesn’t mean being immature, but it means you are still alive inside.

  • Angela Weight

    I LOVED this piece and how you used your own aging experience and self perception peppered with examples of hip, desirable celebrities who are no less attractive with more years behind them. I’m going to share this with my mom who’ll be 71 this year.

  • Lisa DB Taylor

    I love this, great post! I love Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” and I love the pic of Peter Pan at the post’s top. Honestly I saw it sometime ago and it’s the only image I’ve ever seriously considered getting a tattoo of. (And yeal I’ve always figured *I’m* that suburban housewife/mom/writer who is actually a witch 🙂

  • Joan Price

    It’s the strangest thing — after decades of looking and feeling younger than my chronological years, I now feel (and look? I don’t know) the age I am: 71. But we can redefine what that age looks like and acts like. I know I’m 71 because my joints hurt, I can’t turn my neck to look behind me when I’m driving, my eyesight is bad at night even after cataract surgery and new glasses, and on and on. But I’m zesty and sexy and energetic, thanks to my exercise habit, doing work I’m passionate about (writing books about senior sex!), and being unwilling to slumber into old age. Getting older sure beats the alternative. I truly believe that we can age creatively and actively. It’s a choice now.

  • Karen

    I veer wildly–some days I’m about 12, others I’m 50-something. People claim I look younger than I am, but I attribute that to immaturity more than anything.

  • Ellen Dolgen

    Love this, Roz! I am with Deb, I don’t feel my age at all – except when I look in the mirror! You are right, we are a generation that is good with fantasy! This is what keeps us young, vibrant and excited! Tonight I shall have my cocktail and toast to being forever young!

  • Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    Hi Roz! Cute take on the fact that we are as young as we feel! I too, turn 60 this coming year and rather than hide it, I’m taking on the 60-for-60 challenge and coming up with 60 new ways to express and experience life. I think the only thing that sounds sorta old about being 60 is the number–and I intend to be just like all those rock-n-rollers who are still out there kicking! In my heart I’m also “Forever young!” Thanks for the reminders. ~Kathy

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