I have been starting a lot of posts and not getting anywhere as the idea for this one keeps running through my head.
Que Queen’s “We Will Rock You”!
I think that I mentioned over the last couple of years I have dreaded turning 60 for a lot of reasons (which, if I listed them here would only bring the post down and that is not my goal). Now that it is happening this year, I am embracing it. I am becoming the person I was meant to be and it doesn’t matter what age I am, I still have more life to live.
In fact, I am attending a meeting this week to help organize a 60th birthday party. Who is it for? All my friends and people I went to school with that are turning 60 this year! I am really excited about it. I thought at first that they might not want me but I was wrong. The more the old feelings want to come up of self-doubt and wondering who likes/dislikes me, the more I am reminded that I really did have people who cared about me and I did/do have worth.
Through the people I reconnected with at the 40th reunion in 2017, I have found other people who didn’t make it or weren’t at that high school (I went to Jr. High or Elementary school with them). One such guy, who I worked on the Jr. High newsletter with as well as having an overlapping circle of friends and being in classes together, surprised me. I mean we did know each other well, but I wasn’t expecting the long Messenger chat we had and him saying that he wondered what happened to me. We shared some great memories and I had wished I could have talked longer but I had to go to an appointment. I know we will have more conversations.
At the reunion, many people asked why I went away for grade 12, I said that my Dad wanted me to graduate from his school. This was true; however, some friends got out of me the bigger reasons were my depression, needing to get away from the bullying (which followed me). The big surprise was that most of them said “why didn’t you say something? We would have supported you and helped you through it!” This totally shocked me because I honestly didn’t think I had a lot of friends anywhere I went to school.
A guy I went to grade 12 with (and I know he sometimes reads this) in Regina and I keep up with each other on FB. I remember saying that I was surprised he remembered me and he said something like “you were a member of our group of friends”. That was so good to hear. And while we may not chat much, we react to or comment on each other’s FaceBook and keep track of what’s happening in our lives.
And that is partly why turning 60 actually excites me now. I was in a store that was having a seniors’ day recently. I looked at the sign stating that people 60 and over get 20% off and smiled. I told the cashier that in a few months I will qualify! I already qualify for Michael’s Craft Stores but I can’t go in there alone and a specific list of what I need…the boxes, bags, and totes of craft supplies that don’t really have a place to go at the moment tell the story.
Besides the discounts, turning 60 also opens the doors for a lot of things. One thing is everyone my age suffers from arthritis, diabetes, heart problems or other such ailments so I can kind of “hide” my chronic issues in small talk about how we feel. I feel like I fit in better LOL! If you have a career you are only 5 years away from the “normal” retirement age of 65. These days people retire before 65 and others work long past it – either because they need to for financial reasons or they want to as they find retirement boring.
With me, it was for health reasons, both physical and mental. But I consider this blog, my work with the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, helping women of all ages get through tough times in their lives and my cake design to be a job (or jobs) and I love every minute of all of it. Most of it is volunteering but there can be a greater peace in that than working for money.
However, I digress. My point of this post was to point out that all my life I felt alone and bullied and now that I am almost 60 I am blessed with finding out I wasn’t invisible to everyone but the bullies. I was worth remembering.
I was filling out a survey the other day and there was a question that made me think. It is a question that you often hear but dismiss it. The question was, “If you could talk to your younger self what would you say.”
I had to think about it for awhile, but then I wrote “I would tell myself to listen to others when they say good things about you, build your self-worth and self-image, and most of all, don’t wait until you are 60 to become the person you were always meant to be.
By the way, Queen recorded “We Will Rock You” in 1977 – the year after all my schoolmates and I graduated and turned 19!