Pearls of Wisdom...on turning 60

Wheels of Life

I thought that turning sixty would be big deal but maybe not as big a deal as turning forty. For three years prior to my big 4-0...I told anyone I could...that I would be turning FORTY soon. It usually started with I WILL BE 40 IN THREE YEARS!...and so on and so on until it actually happened and then there was peace. I had ten years until I hit FIFTY...and then at 42 I had a baby and I had something new to fret over...being an 'older mom'...and turning 50 in eight years.  There was no end to it.

When I turned 50 I was feeling pretty good and to be honest, with a house full of teenagers I did not have much time to think about myself. Whoever said it would so much easier when toddlers grow up was WRONG. Teenagers are much more work! But then, they grow out of that surly, 'know it all' stage and you have peace again.


I do not know how I feel about turning 60... which is why I am writing about it. I really haven't given it much thought these past years, extraordinary for me, but true. I do not feel anxious, I do not feel sad, I do not lament the physical curvaceous changes that are occurring, I do not feel a desperate need to turn back the clock although there are times I would like to give my teenage self a swift kick in the butt for spending countless hours under the sun without sunscreen. That little fact is catching up with me and fortunately I am onto it.

Curvaceous 'Sixty' Succulents

Lately, I notice I take more interest in what 'wiser' women and men have to say about life, how they live it and the pearls of wisdom they pass on. I want to tap into my "inner wisdom". Sometimes we can get so caught up in the 'now' with family and friends of our own age that we do not pause to think of the 'later'.  Our wiser friends can guide us into the future.'s in the detail

At nearly sixty (four days shy of it)...I am a little more philosophical about life.

I like to think I have become more resilient with the passing years. Hysteria and the tendency to over think situations will always be in my DNA but coping and bouncing back is a bit easier.

I think about retirement and then I don't. I have been officially 'retired' for a while but Mr. H is still rolling along.  We do not have a set date, but we have planned for it. When it happens it happens and another adventure will begin..because with Mr. H there is always another adventure.

I think about all the skills I would still love to learn and find myself coming up with fewer excuses to not do them. It is time to just get on with it.

Procrastination feel dull...and I am a good procrastinator, the act of 'doing' feels so much better.

I enjoy surrounding myself with friends of all ages and have moved on from the 'age thing'. When you find people with like minds who share the same interests and joys of life, it's golden.

I no longer take my health for granted, I do not think any of us can afford to. It is at the top of the 'pearls of widom' list that wiser friends pass on to me.

I listen less to the critical 'me' who tells me all the things I should be doing and doing better. There is a stronger 'me'  that tells the critical side to "shut up". Feels good when that happens. ;)

I have more appreciation for the little things in life than I once did and I imagine it will intensify with passing years.

I think about life and finding meaning and purpose every day.

I think about our tumbleweed expat life and all the people and places we have embraced these past years and still excited for what it yet to be.

I think about my family and how much I love them, they are the spirit that drives me.

I have lost track of whether sixty is the new fifty or forty, all that matters is that turning sixty feels pretty fabulous to me. Miss Claire (below) tends to agree.

I feel a creative 'project' in that look! ;)

In the words of  

"And the world cannot be discovered 
by a journey of miles, 
no matter how long, 
but only by a spiritual journey, 
a journey of one inch, 
very arduous and humbling and joyful, 
by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, 
and learn to be at home." 

A spiritual journey...a journey of one inch

I am guessing that some of you may have thoughts on
these years of your life. 
Where are you in the scheme of things?
Wiser? Searching for wisdom?
Can we help?
Would love to know!

You can leave a comment or write to me
If you would like me to share your comment,
just let me know. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Jeanne xx

One last thing...
If you have 3:47 minutes, 
It's lovely...

exploring Latitude 15 
 Lusaka, Zambia


  1. So well put, Jeanne. Though we have only met once, and briefly at that, I feel a connection to your thoughts and words. I recently packed up (again) my treasures and journals from my own years of expat life. It occurred to me that home has always been where I make it; where I surround myself with those thoughts and reminders of who the past-life 'me' was and how far I have come.

    1. Hi Martha, thank so much! I remember our Super Bowl Sunday chat in PB. It was lovely to meet you. You are so right...home is where you make it and if you can have those thoughts and reminders with you each day, all the better. I am sure you have wonderful memories from your travels. It is a special time in our lives. I hope we can catch up again when I am back in PB. All the best... :)

  2. Love that little piece of glass that looks like Vermont!
    I'm 62 and I really love my older brain...the older body not so much. Total knee replacement is giving me my life back. I am looking forward to pain-free days.
    I am also looking forward to retiring at 65, thinking of all the things I can pursue with time that is my own.
    You are right that teens need more than toddlers! I always tell new parents to "be present" in their teen's lives. They are not finished yet in spite of their protests. I was glad to be able to work part-time so that I had lots of car time with my teens as we traveled to & from school and extra-curricular activities. Very precious time.
    Carol in VT

    1. Great eye Carol...seaglass in the shape of Vermont! :) Couldn't agree more about the 'car time' so many life decisions can be addressed when you have a captured audience, especailly on long drives! If only I could say the same about air time! I hope your pain free days are near, I know many who have dealt with knee and hip replacments and they all seem to be thankful that they made the effort. Take care Carol and thank you for reading along. :)

  3. sixty is a time to say "hey, i made it.. time for the victory lap!" Congratulations, and Happy Birthday. Swift

  4. Your thoughts are identical with mine and 10 yrs older it is still a number.
    It's not the years that count but the mindset and having a fulfilled life.
    I wish you a very healthy and happy new decade.

  5. Happy Birthday! Lovely post

    At 40, reading the fine print in law books gave me awful headaches. Coworkers told me eyesight can change, "You're over 40." I was sure I was fraught with worry I'm loosing my eyesight. I insisted on complete test by an ophthalmic surgeon. I explained to him that I use to be able to clearly see the clasp on my necklace right in front of my face, and now its way out here. He said with a sincere voice, "You're over 40." Since then, aging as been mostly meh.

    1. HA! I hear you May, for me it was 45...seemed like I was seeing specialists all at once until I got with the program and put it down to age and getting more regular check ups. My latest project is the brain...making sure it stays full and active, just wish I felt the same way about exercise... ;)

  6. Happy Birthday, Jeanne! Age is so much a state of mind. When i was 18, the very cool older brother of a friend (i should include that he was also drunk!) told several of us that altho we thought that we were totally sexy, but that his wife had never been sexier than the day she turned 30. I carried that with me for years, looking forward to 30 - and it lived up to promise! Forties, fifties and even sixties flew by. Seventy caught me a bit by surprise, tho. I kept remembering my mother and grandmothers when they were 70. The latter was clearly an OLD woman and declining physically, while my mother re-married in her 70th year. All that to say that the world has changed. At 70, i still feel 40-something (except for those pesky physical things) and see so many possibilities. Am back in college (auditing for free, because i'm old enough) and meeting lots of young people and learning new things. The roles that used to be assigned to "age" have mostly fallen by the wayside and we can define our own age-appropriate behavior. The world is at our feet and we can do whatever it is that we want to do.

    Enjoy! 70 awaits!

    1. I love the way you think Webb and good for you for taking classes again! I just finished reading an article on age and the very same, staying mentally active as well as physcially and also diversifying your friendship group with people of all ages. I can see the merits in all ages, keeps your spirit and body fresh and active, something you seem to have mastered very well. If that's what 70 looks like, I am all for it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts...always a pleasure! :)

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I HOPE THAT MISTER H IS WITH YOU ?IF NOT I KNOW YOU WILL HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOUT..............60 is around the corner for me 3 years.Have not given it much thought except HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?I am SLOWING DOWN A LOT.................and I do not want to SLOW DOWN!Iam losing my hair!Already half has fallen out...........WHY?WHO THE HELL KNOWS.Can anyone HELP ME............NOT REALLY!SO, I have started to collect TURBANS.I hope they are NOT HOT!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY where ever you are.............ENJOY THE RIDE WHILE YOU CAN!!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! Mister H is in Hong Kong but with me in spirit. We will rendezvous next week. I have many dear friends in Sydney and had a special celebration. So sorry to hear about your hair...maybe stress? You look stunning in a turban, not many people can pull it off but you certainly can. I hope the problem sorts itself out for you. Love your advice...I shall endeavour to enjoy the ride, thank you! xxx

  8. First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jeanne! Having been on the other side of 60 for several years now, so many platitudes spring to mind to assuage the realization that one is past the midway point, but you've requested wisdom so what I'll offer is that the best anti-aging measure is to remain curious about life and keep expanding our lives. It's obvious that you and Mr. H are doing just that! By the way, you wrote a lovely post of your safari—quite informative.

    P.S. To La Contessa: Low levels of iron and vitamin D can cause hair loss.

    1. Thank you Susan, I so appreciate your advice and I could not agree more...the more curious we are about life and expanding and enriching our lives the better. If anything, I have to remember to take it one project at at time, easier said than done but better than none! Thank you for your feelback on the safari post..more coming! :)

  9. A very happy birthday to you! I am still figuring out life after 60, and in a couple of weeks, life after 61;).

    1. Thank you Lisa..I would say you are doing extremely well in your 60th year! :)

  10. Jeanne, I'm a wee bit late but send you belated birthday wishes for the entire year ahead - 60 is special and you have twelve precious months to enjoy it day by day, month by month. . . . and I just know YOU will!
    I loved my 60's, becoming much more comfortable in my skin so to speak, and feeling really well physically and more settled emotionally. I started all that fabulous world traveling in the second half - who would have ever know I would visit all 7 continents at such a late age. I recall climbing into my first Zodiac boat in the sub-Antarctic Islands off NZ, and thinking what in the world am I doing here and will I survive. . . . . . .and it just got better from then on out!
    I will turn 74 next month and do admit that physically I am not as fit as I was in my 60's - no details necessary, but life often throws curves at us, many impact our health. All we can do is pick ourselves up, and keep going best we can knowing there are still things to do, places to go, and so much to be thankful for. I have a second great-grandson due to arrive for Christmas -
    I'm taking a granddaughter to New Orleans to celebrate her 21st with jazz and a first drink in Oct. - and my next expedition trip will be in the coming Spring when I will be in and out of those Zodiac boats yet again as I sail around Cape Horn and along the Chilean fjords - God willing!!!!

    So dear Jeanne, just know your sixties are going to be special - enjoy every moment.
    With love and hugs - and when you are eventually settled in NH I'm still hoping to come see you!
    Mary XX

    1. Mary...I just love what you that you started travelling the world in your 60's and what a trip it has been! So exciting to be welcoming a second great-grandson, such a blessing. Your grandaughters trip to New Orleans with her first drink...with grandmother, is a great story and a memory she will always treasure. I imagine, one day, she will want to carry on the same tradition. On top of all that you have another expecition are a woman to love Mary, you truly live life! Thank you for your encouraging words...I am so excited and yes, I would love for you to come and see me in NH! Thank you again for reading along Mary...we are on the same page in life, always wonderful to fine a kindred spirit, no matter the age! xxx

  11. Jeanne,

    A very happy birthday to you! I am sure that it was fabulous! Wisdom, well they say with age comes wisdom. I think sometimes that is the case and other times not. One has to be open to wisdom, learning and more.

    I have never been a person that worries about age, not sure why that is but its just never been an issue. Maybe it is because in my mind I am 29 and not 50.

    I too am a worrier like you and that will never change but what I have found in 50 years is that life can change in an instant, everything one thought or believed can be whisked away in the blink of an eye. We can choose to stand still and let it consume us or move forward. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

    Tears, laughter and asking for help are things that I find cathartic and useful as I age. I have to be honest and say that as I age I have let go of the things, and people that are a drain on my life. Life is just too short.

    My only advice, make sure to keep moving...walking, running, yoga, etc. Find something you like and do it daily, it is good for the mind, body and soul.

    Take care and enjoy everyday.

    I second Mary, when you are settled in NH, perhaps running writers or artists seminars or even women's groups and blogger meet ups I would love to be on the list!

    1. You will most certainly be on the list Elizabeth! Thank you for your thoughts on age, I agree on all fronts and you are right, if people are a drain, better to let go. I will take your advice to heart, and especially the part about important to keep our body and minds active. Always wonderful to hear from you

  12. May I add my belated good wishes for your 60th birthday from three years ahead. If you are a procrastinator then I can hardly imagine what you would achieve if you were not! I do agree about the value of mixing with all age groups. I am so lucky to have a three year old in my life now. Even if she does wake at 5 am! I am bracing myself for a transatlantic trip, part excited, part trepidatious. I will think of you circumnavigating the globe with such insouciance.


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