The New 60
BY Robert Levithan
August 30 2010 3:25 PM ET
Online writing opens one to instant feedback. I know that not everyone will appreciate my
point of view. I am interested in those who disagree. And it is
fascinating that some readers have trouble with statements about liking
myself and my life. I consider my contentment a hard-earned prize, the
payoff for years of study and reflection. This is why getting older
is so cool: If we continue to learn and grow, living does get better.
Some people are born with the grace of inner peace, Most of us have to
peel away the layers of indoctrination and internalized prejudice and
embrace the peace that is our birthright.
There is always work
to do. I like learning. I like being challenged. I struggle when my
history gets in the way of my present by skewing perception. The
alternatives to embracing the aging process are really daunting: resignation, despair, enervation.
The heart and mind and
psyche are like the body — they thrive on exercise and healthy fuel.
The regimen must be reevaluated periodically and adjusted for stress
factors and changes in the circumstances of one’s life. To maintain
health, we continue to eat, drink, and move. Writing about approaching
60 allows me to examine the journey thus far, evaluate my practices and
beliefs, and adjust for drift. This column could just as easily have
been "The New 40" or "The New 70." It’s about redefining our point of view
on aging and living in the 21st century.
I am so fortunate: I love this life that I have worked for ... yes!