What is it like turning 60? Is it all downhill or are there some positives?

As I approach my 61st birthday I have been looking back over my last year and thinking about what it was really like turning 60. I was prepared by many friends that turning 60 was a tough step – a milestone birthday. I could no longer pretend I was anything other than ‘getting old’. But I disagree as I have found this year, if anything, a joy.

Ageing can seem like a scary prospect, but a wealth of scientific studies have found that youth isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There are plenty of cases in which human beings peak well into middle and old age.

Teenagers, for instance, may have vitality on their side, but older people are generally more psychologically stable. And so it goes with several phenomena people experience as they age.

Apparently Life satisfaction peaks at 69. Remember that study in Germany that found 23-year-olds were particularly satisfied with their lives? After a dip in middle age, life satisfaction peaked again at about 69 years old. Even more intriguing, people over 60 had better life satisfaction than people 55 and up predicted they would feel five years down the line.

On a lighter note I have listed some of the joys of turning 60.

  • You know who your real friends are
  •  You have learned how to weed out the users and the emotionally needy from your life.
Annabel & Grace from post: What is it like turning 60? Is it all downhill or are there some positives?
  • You know that relationships trump money.
  • And you know that good health trumps everything.
  • You know that the love of your dogs is unconditional and pretty special (as love goes)!
My two Doodle dogs from post: What is it like turning 60? Is it all downhill or are there some positives?
  • You don’t even think about wearing high heels.
  • You truly understand other people and can appreciate all types of personalities.
  • You have weathered marital storms and come through the better for it
  • You recognise the love of a good husband as something very special
Annabel & Husband from post: What is it like turning 60? Is it all downhill or are there some positives?
  • You know that dieting is part of life now.
  • You can dress how you like, when you like.
  • You like your own company and enjoy being on your own sometimes.
  • You know it is fine to stay at home on Saturday night
  • And to admit to enjoying Strictly Come Dancing!
  • You know when you need a nap and make the time to take one.
  • You take care of yourself because, as you know, if you don’t, who will?
  • You know what really matters and have stopped striving for needless goals.
  • You accept that some things are simply outside your control.
  • You understand that being a good listener may be better than being a good talker.
  • You know the value of anyone who makes things easier for you.
  • You get to see your kids turn into really interesting adults.
Annabel & her family from post: What is it like turning 60? Is it all downhill or are there some positives?
MY FAMILY when I turned 60
  • You are okay following rules but aren’t too old to try and change a few of the them.
  • You know that elders aren’t the only ones you can learn from; younger people have a perspective worth being open to.
  • You have amassed a rich diversity of life experiences to draw on when facing a challenge.
  • You realise beyond a shadow of a doubt that turning 60 is just a number anyway, so why stress?

I certainly don’t want to turn back the clock; I want to give myself the gift of a well-lived life. People who “hate getting old” are idiots. To me every year is a privilege and I intend to keep enjoying each day, week and year that I continue to live on this wonderful planet of ours.

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  1. I am 58 in February so a couple of years to go yet. I found 50 traumatic but this is reassuring thank you. I particularly like the comment about not wearing high heels! Love how the family were colour coordinated for your birthday celebrations.

    • Purple is an in-family joke as I have a purple Aga so friends have, over the years, given me lots of purple gifts. Hence we decided on a ‘hint of purple’ for my birthday! 60 is fun – what I didn’t list is that you can now say what you think!! Annabel

  2. What an uplifting article and so very relevant and true. Thanks for all your news items. It is one of my (many) guilty pleasures reading them with a nice cuppa x

  3. Thank you for the inspirational post. I love your list of joys and couldn’t agree more. I’m a month away from turning 60 and honestly my only negative thought, the one that can bring tears to my eyes, is that time is precious and not plentiful.
    Do you remember being out and about when you had toddlers. Older folks would comment, “Enjoy these years! They’ll fly by!” They were right!
    Grateful to have you and Grace to look to. You gals bring me joy. ❤
    P.S. Beautiful family Annabel!

    • Thank you Jan for your kind words. So agree with your comment “Enjoy these years! They’ll fly by” So right and the years do not slow down as you get older!! Annabel

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