Turning sixty is not the end of the world. As a matter of fact, I believe it’s just the beginning, and certainly something to celebrate. And I ought to know, based on personal experience.
Not that I’ve ever turned sixty before. But when I turned fifty, magic happened. Full disclosure–my thirties weren’t so great. My forties were a nightmare. I wasn’t sure I would even make it to fifty. But the closer I got to fifty, the more I began to look forward to it. If nothing else, at least it would signify the end of the decade from hell.
I was so excited about turning fifty that my girlfriends threw me a party, complete with a red tiara. This was an idea borrowed from the Red Hat Society. You know, the group of women who mark their fiftieth birthday by wearing a red hat and becoming a member of the special secret club that wears red hats and purple dresses in public.
But I didn’t want a red hat. I wanted a freaking tiara. I felt like I earned it after all I had been through. My dear friends actually found red tiaras online. They bought one for me and three other girls who were already over fifty. We had a fabulous party, complete with a crowning ceremony, where the over-fifty ladies placed a red tiara on my head.
I decided to further ring in the big Five-O by celebrating “Fifty Days of Cheryl.” I began on the day of my red tiara party, and spent just a few minutes every day honoring myself in some small way. It started out great, until I got the stomach flu on the tenth day of Cheryl. Always the optimist, I figured I would just drop that one day and pick it up again on the following one. Unfortunately, it took me a week to recover and I dropped the remaining forty days. However, it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for turning fifty.
My fifties were the best decade of my life. Of course, some bad things happened. I lost both my parents, almost lost my business, and had to break up with my BFF. But I managed to walk through it all with the kind of strength, grace, and confidence that belies a person of lesser years. On the other had, I accomplished a lot in those ten years, and learned a lot as well.
I think that’s a pretty good track record, and the thought of turning sixty made me deliriously happy. I revisited my tradition from my previous decade, and started celebrating “Sixty Days of Cheryl.” So far it’s going quite well. So well that I think I’ll continue it through the rest of the year, even if I get the stomach flu along the way. Because if my fifties were fabulous, my sixties are going to be sensational!
There are several life lesson’s in this story. First of all, it’s important to choose your friends wisely. Friends that stand beside you during the rough times and celebrate your successes during the good times are worth their weight in gold. Next, remember to do something each day to honor yourself and appreciate everything you have accomplished along the way. Also, don’t let a little thing like the stomach flu make you lose your focus. It too will pass, and life will be good again. And, make sure you put a tiara on your head at least once in your life–it makes you feel like the princess (or prince) that you are. Most of all–live well, look good, be healthy, and happy!