Last night I had dinner with a friend who is one day younger than I am. We are both thinking about our upcoming 60th birthdays. We talked about it last night - that was the purpose of our getting together.
I had wanted to have a big party for my birthday, like I did for my 50th. I asked another good friend to help me plan a party. She is great at that. She asked me some questions, and I started to balk. I thought about the fact that I am in such a different place than when I was turning 50. I told her I would start with a list of people to invite and more importantly discuss with my soon-to-be-60 friend.
I was relieved to see that my friend feels the same way about her 60th. When she turned 50, she invited 50 of her girlfriends to a party. She said that has absolutely no appeal to her now. When I sat down and tried to write a list of people to invite, I had absolutely no enthusiasm about it. It felt like an exercise.
What I would like most is to have a beautiful dinner, either out or at home, with my family. I wish my son could be there, but my daughters and daughter-in-law can be. My three granddaughters can be there. That is what I want. I haven't totally shut the door on the party idea, but I am close.
My friend and I talked about the gratitude we have about facing this momentous birthday sober. For having few regrets - because we have both been sober for a while. For our health, we are both very active and healthy. She is married and a lot more financially secure than I am, but we have a lot in common otherwise.
We have friends who are facing life-threatening illnesses, we agreed we would be selfish in the extreme if we were whining about getting older.
Thanks to the Grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have walked through almost half of my life sober and with faith that I would be OK. Some of it has been scary, some of it has been delightful. But all of it has been a life fully lived - sober - in the open, in the sunshine.
What could be better than that?