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Tuesday, 01 July 2008

The Big Six-Oh

By Kathi W. of My Sister Was a St. Bernard

Six months ahead from yesterday and I'll be treading lightly over the big Six-0, too. (Ha! My fingers just faux-paused the word as "bog" before the Six-0, and that's probably Freudian.) I just read of Maya's Granny passing and clicked back to read her February story of turning sixty, which November 16 will usher in for moi.

Of course, that major milestone flits in and out of my mind this year as well, and the essay quoted calls me afresh to cogitate on what's coming. (And to wonder and hope that Jocelyn (Maya’s Granny) now knows far, far more than we can at any vantage point along the time line we all tread.)

Sixty! Six decades counted forward. During many of them, I know I was oblivious to what might come later, at the next big "O". Like that sweet Granny, perhaps we wake up to a new reality every decade, or even half decade, if our karma accelerates. What do you think?

I've often written little notes on where I was, who I loved and what I did as the decades accumulated, but perhaps a useful exercise now might be to go back over those notes and give a name to the times.

An emeritus educator from California, Dr. Carlos Cortez, once shared with me that he and his wife named each year they'd lived through to keep it special and memorable. A big flood, for example, became "The Year of the Flood"; a new baby, "Carey's Year," and so forth.

I think I'll take the time to go back over the six decades I'll have passed by this November and do the same. But I reserve the right to name half decades when needed, such as 1970-1980: which would have to add '70-'75: the cycle I graduated from Stanford and moved to Mt. Shasta.

So kudos to Maya's Granny, and thanks to Ronni, for taking us all on another productive trip once again! What would your best, or most challenging decade, be called, and why?

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Kathi, I turned 50 last year. The year before my 50th birthday, I spent the year in contemplation of the decade to come. When asked my age, I said "almost 50". It was like a gentle launch.

I'm hoping my 50s are going to be the best so far. My 30s were good; interesting job, started a family, met my husband. I'd call my 30s, "flying by the seat of my pants".

I will be 68 in October, and so far, my most challenging decade started last year, when my husband had a stroke. Before that, I might have said the decade just after college graduation, when so many new and very challenging things happened to me. But this one tops them all, and it remains to be seen what I will call it when the end of the decade rolls around. I doubt it will be the best one in memory.


In December I will be 80 years old.

My most challenging decade was definitely the 1950's. I was a bookkeeper,a bride, a young wife and then a Mom with four children. All in 7 years. Phew!

I think it's a strange thing but, when I remember those early years of marriage when we were mostly struggling, I look back at those days with a sense of longing rather than a sigh of relief that those times are past.

So,that wonderful decade of mine would be called"The Fruitful Fifties"

Thank you, thank you for your thoughts, ladies! Just your three responses together set me to reflecting anew about my decade labels. I've been under my computer desk recently, rooting around in old pixture boxes and dusty files to see if an order or names emerge for my ten year spurts...I was orphaned at thirteen, and went on an extended California adventure with relatives & a private girls' school education which certainly shaped me very definitively. The new bonds I made, the fellows I adored: each and all were influences that stay with me to this day....

Thanks again for sharing your namings! Cheers, ~Kathi

I smile as I read the comments to your turning 60.
That was just another birthday to me.
But then 70.
For some reason this really bothered me.
Oh me, I feel like life is almost over.
You have lived the most interesting life.
Blessings to you this day.


Thank you for your blessings. Miss E....it must be we can feel them, as it's a wonderful full summer day out here, though that presages more extreme fire danger.

Seventy? I hope to god and goddesses I get there...hmmm--I hope the decade is very good to you...wonder whey we construe acheiving another year or decade as a "There"....what do ya'll think?

Cheers, ~Kathi

PS good lord, there's no correct feature for commenters.

I DO know how to spell 'achieve' and 'why' correctly....silly blogger

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