Yesterday I joined 4 million baby-boomers who turn 60 in 2012. That’s right, me, Dan Akroyd, Vladamir Putin, Liam Neeson, and Mr. T; we all make a significant turn this year.
It was an eventful year, 1952. Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hemmingway’s Old Man in the Sea was published. King George died and Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England. The Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series. T.V. shows (in black and white) included Howdy Doody, I’ve Got a Secret, Dragnet, and the Perry Como Show.1
I must admit, the milestone is only significant in that it was an excuse to have a lovely celebration with my family. Having said “no gifts”, I managed to get a collection of meaningful mementos. Cheryl and I realized we are now “turning the corner” and will soon be married for more years than we have not been.
Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, recently published 10 important messages about turning 60, in the Harvard Business Review. Two of them struck a chord. He said, “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.”The second missive was to “Slow down”. Speed is the enemy of nearly everything in life that really matters. It’s addictive and it undermines quality, compassion, depth, creativity, appreciation and real relationship.”2 Well, maybe I will pay attention to the first suggestion; I’ve never been any good at slowing down.
As the saying goes, I suspect I won’t feel any different tomorrow when compared to yesterday. I will just be mindful of the words of the famous philosopher, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, who said, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.3
If you have any thoughts about a milestone birthday, just comment on the blog, or better yet, please stop by then Macklem House, my door is always open.