Friendship makes turning 60 a sweet milestone

Rectangular green graphic quoting Proverbs 27:9. Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

I’ve never had a ton of close friends or wanted to be the life of any party.

I’m an introvert.

I’d rather curl up with a good book and a glass of iced tea, shutting out the real world and traveling to imaginary destinations that seem real to me.

Having this temperament makes my handful of real friendships all the sweeter.

As the writer of Proverbs 27:9 says, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”

Such is the case with my friend Betsy.

She texted me last week:

“Enjoy your last week of the 50’s! The 60’s are even better!!”

That was a mic-drop moment for me.

If you’ve reached a milestone such as turning 60 (or 50, or 40, or 70), you may have experienced some anxiety. After all, once you reach a certain age, you can tell yourself it’s “just a number,” but you don’t always believe yo’self. Sometimes your body overrules your attitude.

I’d been trying to talk myself into not fretting about turning 60. But with some autoimmune-related health problems, arthritic aches and pains, and some old injuries that continue to nag, my inner child wasn’t buying it.

Maybe I’m still touchy all these years after being mistaken for my friends’ mother three times WHEN WE WERE TEENAGERS.

I was 19, and Lynn and Becky were 18. Really, people?

I’ve since become less “serious,” stopped dressing older than my age, and stopped caring so much what others thought of me. Age is just a number.

But that whole “mother of my friends” thing has always stuck with me. For 40 years I’ve assumed I look older than I am.

But three times lately, others have refuted that.

A few days before my birthday (which was Nov. 28), an acquaintance was shocked to hear I was about to turn 60.

“No way,” she said. “I don’t believe you’re turning 60.” (Join the club.)

And the waitress at the Mexican restaurant where we celebrated Monday night, when I told her I was sesenta (Spanish for sixty), also acted incredulous.

“No, Soo-see. I don’t believe it.”

Muchas gracias!

And just yesterday a writing mentor said she thought I was in my early 40s.

Well, all right. Three times is enough to convince me that I need to shake off that “older than I look” mindset. Who cares what I look like? (Only my mom.)

I’ll take all those compliments, but my sweet Betsy’s text had the biggest impact.

“Enjoy your last week of the 50’s! The 60’s are even better!!”

It shook me out of thinking about myself and made me realize that, YES, sixty is just a number.

It’s just a freaking NUMBER.

It doesn’t tell me how to act; the Bible tells me that. It doesn’t tell me how to look. (Um, see Bible — which, by the way, tells me only to dress modestly.) It doesn’t tell me how I should think about myself. In fact, the Bible tells me not to give much thought to myself. Think about God first, love Him, then love others as I love myself.

Sixty is an outward thing.

The Lord looks at the heart. Who am I to fret over a silly number?

“For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NASB).

What we dwell on ends up shaping whom we become. I desire to be a joy-filled, God-honoring, Kingdom-minded vessel for God to fill with his Holy Spirit, and to whom He will say on judgment day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The next year is going to be incredible, and I hope you’ll join me as I pursue this 60s journey with joy, faith, and boldness.

In Him,

P.S. Here’s a link to a little letter I wrote to myself Monday morning: “I’m 60 today!” (It’s a PDF that will download when you click the link.) Below is a little screenshot (don’t laugh at my crooked lines of handwriting; it gets worse!).

Screenshot of Suzy's letter headlined "I'm 60 today!"






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