As it approached, I was torn between hiding in the closet and turning off all the lights, or looking it straight in the face and accepting another year had passed. I chose the latter.
I even decided to push the envelope and try to see all the positive things about being 65. So, here’s what I’ve come up with:
First of all, I don’t have to try to know everything. With age comes wisdom, and part of that is knowing that you don’t know everything. I like that. What I don’t know I can Google!
Second, I’ve given up worrying about having gray hair. After going through the growing out stage and the bristly stage, I now have reached the softer, whiter stage — and I’m OK with that. I save time at Meijer by not having to go down the hair color aisle.
Third, I’ve found that people of all ages seem kinder. People open doors for me or say, “Excuse me” or, “Would you like to go ahead of me?” etc. Maybe the gray hair is the beacon bringing in the kindness and generosity. Whatever it is, these kind gestures warm my heart.
Fourth, I can give up being a fashion diva. Well, I never was a fashion diva, but over the years I have sported the mini-skirts, high heels and tight jeans. As time has gone by, my wardrobe has become more casual, relaxed and comfortable. Now, I’m not so worried about whether my pants are fashionable — because, more importantly, I can still pull them on by myself!
Fifth, I don’t feel compelled to become a tech-savvy person. I love my legal notepads, hardcover books, pencils and paper planner. I can enjoy all these things and don’t have to remember passwords, battery charging and where I put them, or if TSA will let me take them on the plane.
Sixth, I love senior discounts. They’re everywhere. Fast-food places, restaurants, department stores, snow plowing, steam cleaning and window washing all offer senior discounts in their ads. Those extra savings go a long way at the dollar stores with grandchildren. (I’m wondering if gas stations will ever offer discounts to seniors citizens?) There are a lot of us senior boomers out there, so I think this trend will keep going.
Seventh is the fact that I can go to bed whenever I want to. I can stay up late watching some of the programs I’ve recorded, drag myself out of bed in the morning for work and not have to face anyone at breakfast but myself. My husband, who’s already retired, can continue to sleep through my grumbling as I try to get ready for work and never know the difference.
Eighth is not being compelled to have my house look like it's right out of House and Garden magazine. I’m not keeping the Windex people in business any longer and I don’t have one of those high-tech vacuum cleaners either. I’m satisfied with neat and clean rather than glamorous and glittery.
Ninth, I’m perfectly OK with not having any tattoos. Although I’ve already put forth the disclaimer that I’m not a fashion diva, I just don’t think the whole tattoo thing goes well with elastic waist pants and orthopedic shoes. Now, that may not hold some people back, but for me it is where I draw the line.
Tenth is not needing to have perfectly manicured fingernails. Over the years, I have done my fair share of home manicures, but all this nail art is beyond me and my senior budget.
I did give in one time when my granddaughter wanted to try out her nail art kit and let her paint my nails green with a white "S" (go State!). That is the extent of my doing anything other than clipping my nails to a decent length, keeping them clean and maybe putting a light color nail polish on them for special occasions.
Choosing my attitude about turning 65 has been fun. I’m really not sure what the next significant birthday is, so maybe it will just creep up on me and catch me totally unaware.
When it comes, I hope I can remember what kind of birthday cake I like.
— By Janice Beuschel, Tribune community columnist