Changing Decades Again?

A few years ago, I suffered the trauma of changing decades … again.

My husband and I first experienced this phenomenon on my twentieth birthday. I told my then-boyfriend, “Someday, I might even turn 30.”

He looked deep into my eyes. “Let’s grow old together.”

I reveled in our romantic moment—until he, who would not change decades for another six months, said, “Of course, you’ll always be older than me.”

He almost didn’t make it past his teens.

Facing this recent age shift, however, proved harder than facing 20, even if “60 is the new 40.” Yet, who am I to buck mathematical progress? Not only would I like those “60 is the new 40” folks to track my age, I wish they would check my weight. And work for the IRS.

I went further, embracing “60 is the new 30.” Changing decades this last time reminded me of pregnancy. The same gradual belly expansion, losing sight of feet. Wearing the same two waistless outfits, despite a full closet.

Visiting a new restauraSRPhillipsPreBeth0001nt, I didn’t wonder, “Is the food good?” or “Are prices reasonable?” Instead, I asked, “Where are the restrooms?” and “What’s your antacid du jour?”

Still, changing decades again proved more positive than I anticipated.

Years ago, I read in a women’s magazine about an hour make-up regimen for joggers. Seriously.

Today, no one expects me to wear three kinds of lip gloss when I exercise. And run? Spectators applaud if I walk, displaying only mild cardiac symptoms.

Turning 60 also provided peace and quiet. Phone surveyors demanding input from the 35-to-59-year-old crowd suddenly lost interest in my views on Daylight Savings Time, potholes, sock replacement and the Theory of Relativity. I miss sharing my opinions. But what are relatives for?

Travel presents positives, too. When I was younger, flight attendants glared while I heaved my fat carry-on into a compartment. Now — especially if I clutch my back — they heave it for me and later extract it like a wisdom tooth.

That courtesy can’t compare, though, with my first-ever school lunch with my granddaughter. We ate in a claustrophobic room vibrating with jet-engine-decibel noise. Yet that dining experience rated five stars.

PhillipsSRColts15Not that I turned down a grown-up dinner out to celebrate my 60th with my spouse. Not only has he increased in wisdom, but I’ve mellowed, too. Maturity is our byword now. …

Na-na-na-boo-boo! I received the senior discount, and he didn’t.


How do you celebrate changing decades? Cruises? Trips to Paris? Extra prune juice?












12 thoughts on “Changing Decades Again?

  1. T.R. Knight

    Happy birthday and congratulations on a new decade. I so appreciate the wit and wisdom you share through words. Even more, Angie and I are blessed with your friendship.

    As I read the final words on this post, I could not help be remember this great moment in TV history.

    1. rachael Post author

      LOL, T.R., I think I’ll take the cruises and trip to Paris instead! Thanks for your comments and your friendship!

  2. Sara Hunt

    Rachael, you never fail to make me laugh! And I identify with this. When I think about our college days I see that first picture. We were young and optimistic. The guys had long hair, and we had even longer hair. And our waistlines were oh so tiny and our glasses were oh so big. But the second picture reflects love and happiness that comes from maturation physically, mentally, and spiritually. It reflects love and happiness that comes from a lifetime of devotion to God, devotion to spouse, devotion to family. It reflects love and happiness that comes from knowing that we have been blessed beyond measure and that we will grow old together. Blessings to you today, and to your “much younger” hubby.

    1. rachael Post author

      Sara, Thanks so much for your comments and our lo-o-ong friendship. What a perfect description of our college days together! How glad I am that despite life’s hard knocks and the absence of tiny waistlines (though the big glasses are coming back :-), we have our faith in Christ, our guys and families, and the promise of a bright forever. Whoa, are we blessed, or what? Hugs.

    1. rachael Post author

      Karla, You give me plenty of grins, too! Thanks for your comments and your faith and friendship. You inspire me!

  3. Cathy Shouse

    This entire piece is a hoot! You had me at the airline worker getting the luggage out when they “extract it like a wisdom tooth.” Happy birthday, a day late!

  4. rachael Post author

    Thanks for the birthday greetings, Cathy! And so glad I could give you a few smiles.

    Whoa, you are SO young! What’s it like not to be looking Social Security in the eye? I’ve forgotten.

  5. Becky Melby

    You made me laugh and warmed my heart, as usual, Rachael. I’m trying to look at the 60s with extreme gratitude. I look around at friends who are suffering health problems or the loss of a spouse, and I just want to face every day with being grateful for what I have. Not that I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror most mornings . . . 😉

    1. rachael Post author

      Becky, I know exactly what you mean! Shouldn’t mirrors be outlawed around women of a certain age? Just sayin’.

      Although you definitely have no reason to feel that way, lovely lady! I’m sure new acquaintances are astounded to find out you’re a grandmother–not to mention, that a wonderful horde of precious kids call you “Grandma.”

      Yes, I am learning to be thankful for this life season as well–as I learned to give thanks for our early studio apartment with its ugly fold-out sofa, for a claustrophobic houseful of toddlers that refused to be potty-trained, and years when my minivan became my permanent address. How glad we are that we don’t travel alone!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *