An anniversary ~ 22nd April

Today is the first anniversary of  thisissixty.blog.  Inspired by blogs I had enjoyed reading I decided to start my own. My first post ‘What’s in a name’ attracted just fourteen views. These days I’m getting between two and three hundred – not a massive number but an impressive increase.

Now that I have many more readers it occurs to me that some of you may be interested in hearing how I came up with the blog name, so for my anniversary post I have decided to re-post that very first post:

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Well, here it is … the first post on my new blog, This is Sixty.

I pondered for some while over the name. Ensure that your blog name tells people what you are about I was advised, but did I really need that? My aim wasn’t to attract scores of followers or related advertisements (indeed, I paid for an upgrade in order to avoid exactly that).   The fundamental reason for setting it up was as a hobby, a vehicle for my writing, which might cover all manner of subjects….what I like, what I think, what I feel, what I do. I might even post the odd bit of flash fiction, a poem, a recipe. It’s MY blog after all. Self indulgent perhaps, but I wanted a name that captured the essence of ME.  So I pondered for longer…..and then longer still.  I considered, rejected, decided, changed my mind and despaired.  How could it be so difficult?  Then one evening I received a mail from an old school friend inviting me to her 60th birthday party and the train of thought that this set off provided the solution.

I am very fortunate in having a large circle of friends and acquaintances, some older, a few younger, and several whom, during 2016/7 would, like me, celebrate their sixtieth birthdays. I was the first.  Sixty! I could barely believe it then and it still sometimes brings me up short several months on. How on earth did that happen? Where have all those years gone?
“So what’s it like being sixty, then?” a younger friend had asked me shortly after my birthday celebrations.

Well, sixty is certainly different from what it used to be. My earliest memories of my grandmother, Kitty, date from when she would have been only fifty seven or eight. Even then she was an old lady. Her mode of dress at home was, almost without exception, a wrap-around pinafore or pink nylon overall, designed to protect (let’s not mince words here) her decidedly old-lady clothes. She wore flat brown lace-ups, sometimes with ankle socks and I never once saw her in the heels. I’m sure she’d have thought them totally inappropriate for someone her age. I don’t recall ever seeing her wear makeup, not even a smear of lipstick.  Her social life certainly didn’t involve meeting up with girlfriends for a pub lunch (perish the thought) or a spa day.

Sixty in the 1960s was considered pretty old – not ‘the new 40’ or ‘the new 50’ as it is variously described today, not middle-aged (it still isn’t technically speaking, but if we take middle-aged to mean the middle of adulthood, we might just stretch it). Sixty was just OLD. And it was only a decade away from the three score years and ten that was then generally considered to be one’s lot.

But that was then and this is my friends and me now – highlighted hair, always made up, nails painted and clothes that could be just as well worn by someone thirty years younger (provided they had good taste, of course)!  I don’t consider myself at the forefront of musical modernism but take a look at the CDs in my car and you’re just as likely to come across Guns ‘n’ Roses or Springsteen as Mendelssohn or Strauss. Friends of mine now in their seventies are no different.  We might be grandmothers (and in a couple of cases even great-grandmothers) but we go to the gym, lunch with girlfriends, drive our own cars and generally do whatever is reasonable to avoid giving in to our advancing years, (I say ‘reasonable’ because I draw the line at surgery or injecting my forehead with toxins)!

“So what’s it like being sixty then?” my friend had asked.
I pointed to myself and said. “Like this. THIS is sixty.”

I hope you’ll drop by again.

30 comments

  1. I am always delighted to meet another blogger who flaunts her or his age in the titile. It’s so courageous, a big gesture—and it’s a trend! I hope you’ll do my older bloggers survey. It’s quite fun, they say.

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  2. Happy one year anniversary! You write well and I always enjoy reading (even if I don’t always comment very promptly!) Looking forward to the next year of blog posts.

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    • Thank you Bless.There are several blogs that I read but it’s not always possible to leave comments…just not enough time.

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  3. Congratulations on your anniversary. I love the name of your blog! My eldest son came up with my blog title and is now claiming copyright! I’m considering paying for an upgrade. Would you say it is worthwhile?

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  4. Congratulations on your anniversary of your blog. Keep it up,it’s always a pleasure to read. Age is just a number so my doctor tells me!

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  5. Congratulations on your first blog anniversary, Eloise! I enjoyed this post very much, and it is so true! I’m sixty-five, but feel much younger (although physically I could be better, but I keep trying to work on that). Enjoy your week!

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  6. My Mum’s generation were old before their time… but… that was those times! However, she travelled extensively and worked until she was made to retire, and most women didn’t work then. She was an incredible dynamo, but did not handle the boredom of retirement. When people retire nowadays, there is still so much more that is available, and I for one, am glad.

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    • You’re right. Retirement today is a new beginning whereas years ago it was almost the end. My mother, born in the 1920s, had a career as an army nurse before marrying in her early 30s. She worked until she was 65 and then was bored in retirement.

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    • Thank you Alison. It’s been really good fun. I wasn’t sure how long I would stick with it and I often ‘garble’ because I can’t really think of what to write about but I shall carry on.

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      • I read half a dozen or so different blogs and they are all just people writing about their everyday lives. That’s what I like to read 🙂

        Sometimes I get ideas but mostly I just like peeping into other lives.

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  7. What a lovely name for your blog! I’m 64 in years but I don’t feel old at all. I think time has stopped and although I don’t dye my hair or hide my wrinkles, I do feel young. Times have certainty changed from our grandmother’s era. My best wishes to you dear Eloise. Pat 💐

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    • Thank you, Pat. I know what you mean about not feeling one’s age – I definitely don’t mentally but I do confess to physically feeling my age when I’ve spent several hours in the company of two very lively little grandsons!!

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    • Thank you Jules. I often wonder why anyone would be interested in my posts of ordinary doings and thoughts, but I just like writing them.

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  8. You are so right with all you thoughts. However consider my mother-in-law. She is 92 this year. Still lives on her own. Goes out everyday: make-up (not a lot but enough). Fashionable clothes. No wraparound pinne for her or brown lace up shoes. Has 10 great grandchildren and how does she keep in touch with us all everyday? She uses facebook.
    So being 60 is nothing! She is an insperation. Wait till we are 90 !

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  9. You are so right with all you thoughts. However consider my mother-in-law. She is 92 this year. Still lives on her own. Goes out everyday: make-up (not a lot but enough). Fashionable clothes. No wraparound pinne for her or brown lace up shoes. Has 10 great grandchildren and how does she keep in touch with us all everyday? She uses facebook.
    So being 60 is nothing! She is an insperation. Wait till we are 90 !

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    • I love stories like this, Wendy. retaining an interest in life is the key, I think. My mum died at 76 and she was an old lady long before then. She dressed well but had few interests and little tolerance for anyone who did not share her view of the world. I remain convinced that this, and her doggedness in refusing to embrace change, contributed to her dementia. Using Facebook at 92 is amazing and brilliant. I hope we get the chance to do that too.

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  10. I think it is a splendid name for what will be a splendid blog. I’m looking forward to reading more as time goes by.
    J x

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