Today I turned 60

My 60th birthday cake

It’s not as significant as turning 18, 21, or even 50, but it has some merit. Most establishments consider 60 and up “senior citizens,” giving us discounts and freebies for having reached this milestone. I would qualify for government assistance programs now if I weren’t still working. (Most of these programs are based on income.) As a 60-year-old Ohioan, I’m now eligible for the coveted Golden Buckeye Card, which kind of feels like an achievement in and of itself.

I’m very blessed to have lived this long and even more blessed to feel like I’m in my twenties. My health is good. I have a few medical conditions that slow me down, but I’m able to work around them. True, I can’t do all of the things I used to do, and I don’t have the stamina or energy of a twenty-something, but my heart and spirit are significantly younger than the chronological age I’ve achieved.

This old(er) body aches. It sags and droops in ways that I never thought possible. I’m much heavier than I ever imagined being, but my love of sweet treats and disdain for exercise make it nearly impossible to lose weight. That’s okay now, because I’m 60.

At least thirty-three of my classmates did not make it to this age, neither did my first husband. It’s a sobering reality that none of us are promised tomorrow. It’s what drives me to try new things, to not let my age, health, or anything else define me or stop me. I problem-solve the negative situations of my life instead of wallowing in self-pity or despair. I see each day as an opportunity to be Christlike to those He sends to me. Hopefully, I’m at least a small light in a darkened world.

My life, pursuits, and personality were most influenced by the hippie, women’s, and Jesus movements of the 60s and 70s (and by my wonderful parents). I thought of myself as one of those artsy-fartsy creative types until a college professor tore me down. It took a God-moment, a doctor who cared, and a therapist to get me back on track, to feel like I had a purpose for being here, as if I mattered.

I’ve spent most of my adult life analyzing myself, which can be exhausting and even futile, but I discovered some things that helped…
A few mantras
“Never give up. Never surrender.” (Galaxy Quest)
Have the “courage to hit SEND.” (I forget the author’s name, but this is an extremely important one to me since I write online posts).
And “Just do it.” (Nike)

A life verse, Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

A creative outlet

A purpose/my passion
The overarching purpose of my life is to do God’s will. To love Him above all others and then to love others and treat them as I would like to be treated. This purpose is the same for everyone.
My more specific purpose is to pray for the lost and for the missionaries who’re trying to reach them.

My advice: live life
I’ve done things I never imagined doing:
Got my bachelor’s degree (33 years after graduating from High School)
Rode on a Harley Davidson motorcycle and visited various biker bars; went to Sturgis for bike week(s)
Traveled to Europe 3x
Gone zip-lining 2x
Been published (articles & essays)
Vacationed in Hawaii (trip number 3 in 2024)
Been Kayaking
Seen multiple Las Vegas shows
Completed several 5k’s (I walked and was usually last, but I still consider it an accomplishment)
Started a novel (several, actually. I would really like to finish one)
Dyed my hair purple
Took a helicopter ride
Took a cruise
Made and sold organic dog treats
Started a blog that was read by people all over the world (not a big readership, but far-reaching)
Made videos and shared them on social media
Built several different brands over the years
Volunteered and served food to the poor and homeless
Went mushroom hunting
Beat cancer

Counting my blessings
Having the opportunity to do all of the things above is definitely a blessing. I’m thankful to have been born in this time and place to such great parents and to have given birth to my two wonderful daughters. My step-children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild are all true blessings. I’m able to care for myself. I have a house, car, and job. There’s food in the frig, a little money in the bank. I’m blessed with a loving family, wonderful, dear friends, a supportive church family, and a peace and hope that only comes from a relationship with Jesus.

As I continue in this life/through this life, I pray to never lose sight of the prize. As Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Whatever God has in store for me, I’m ready. If I have several decades left here, I hope it is pleasing to Him. When I blew out the candles on my birthday cake, I made a wish. For the first time ever, there wasn’t one worldly thing that came to mind, only this…I wish to do God’s will, to trust in Him with all my heart, soul, and spirit, and to be a blessing to those He sends my way.

What’s in store for the next 60 years? Follow me to find out. For my birthday party this year, I wanted to fly.