I’m 60 on 29 December. Wooohooo! For the beyond five years, I’ve already been thinking of myself as 60, and now I’m ready to virtually include it. Presumably, on 30 December I’ll start considering myself as 70.
It’s no longer that I’m wishing my lifestyles away. Far from it. Nor do I need to start performing like a batty eccentric, wearing red with a crimson hat that doesn’t go, as within the Jenny Joseph poem. I’ve been thankfully clashing all my life. Yet there’s something releasing about this landmark.
A couple of weeks ago I went to Paris and, for the primary time in my life, people stood as much as provide me a seat on public shipping. Twice. I would possibly nicely have taken offence inside the latest past. Not now, although. If you’re a young ’un and you provide me your seat on the tube or bus, I’ll fortunately take it. When human beings commentary that my hair is gray and thinning, I’ll say: so it must be. When humans laugh at me strolling, I’ll suppose: properly, at the least I’m nevertheless cellular.
The issue is, I never predicted to get to 60. As a infant I had an illness that have to have killed me off. And it didn’t. A couple of years in the past, I went via a monster depression that I become satisfied could see me seeing myself off. And that didn’t, either. I’m still here, making a song.Nor did I assume to preserve down a task for 36 years, let alone a activity on the identical area, let alone one at the Guardian. I’ve met senior editors who have been so disillusioned with their life achievements due to the fact they predicted more. I didn’t.I grew up in the age of Thatcherism, ignored three years of school, and by no means had a dream. I didn’t set the bar low. I in no way had a bar. And there’s a splendor to that. Any achievement was a plus. Likewise, I didn’t see myself being an OK dad, or preserving down a courting with anyone I love for such a lot of years. Or still being able to do kick-ups, or getting to know to pass at fifty nine. If lifestyles is a test, having got to 60 I reckon I’ve handed it (admittedly, I am the analyzing board). And when matters cross knockers up, so be it. I’ve lasted longer and long past in addition than I predicted.A few years in the past, an older friend advised me that the 50s is the hardest decade to get through because you’re neither fish nor hen. You think you’re nevertheless a youngster at coronary heart, but others don’t. Nor are you in the oldies membership but. But now I’m getting my 60+ Oyster card, permitting me unfastened(ish) travel on London tubes and buses, there’s no ambiguity about it. Far from denying my age, I’m going to flaunt it and have a good time being a survivor – as all of us need to.
And I’m relishing what’s in advance. I’m going to go to the severa nations I’ve now not been to, examine the large books I’ve not examine (sure, that’s you, Marcel Proust), and watch the movies I’ve not watched (Akira Kurosawa, here I come).
Best of all, being 60 and embracing my age offers me the licence to be young once more. The 30s, 40s and 50s are all about dreary responsibility, warning and now not provoking the apple cart. Being a bloody person. Now I’ve hit the massive six-oh and am officially an antique fart, the pressure’s off. At 60, I have the liberty to be as immature as I need. Game on.