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Life Arts    H4'ed 8/15/14

Turning 60: Desperately Seeking Something

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Glamour eyes
Glamour eyes
(Image by MerylAnn Butler, courtesy of Glamour Shots, Greenbrier Mall)
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The last thing I remember, Abbie Hoffman was telling me not to trust anyone over 30. Now, not only am I over 30 -- WAY over -- but all my kids are over 30, too.

So when the big 60th birthday stared me down, I knew I had to do something before I became terminally unhip.

Not that life was bad. Not at all. After an adventurous gypsy decade in the Southwest I was settling into the comfortable role of a babysitting gramma, and providing care for my elderly dad, while continuing to be involved in a number of exciting and creative endeavors.

Still, it seemed like time to mark the new chapter of my story with something, some kind of observance or ritual. I wondered what.

I remembered watching an interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which author, scholar and self-described "evocateur," Jean Houston said, at age 75, "I find ... the second half of life to be the most exciting, the most interesting."

Oprah asked, "When did it get good for you?" and Houston replied, "It started to get really good at 60, really good."

Oprah--who, like me, was nearing 60--was delightfully surprised to hear that, and so was I!

Then my artist-friend and grade school chum, Paula Botwinick, celebrated her 60th birthday by skydiving.


Out. Of. A. Plane.
On purpose.

Paula celebrates 60, skydiving tandem over Fire Island with her instructor
Paula celebrates 60, skydiving tandem over Fire Island with her instructor
(Image by Paula Botwinick, used with permission)
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Floating once the parachute opened
Floating once the parachute opened
(Image by Paula Botwinick, used with permission)
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I saw her video, it was exhilarating and amazing. I admire her so much. She's fit. She does yoga and salsa. But I get butterflies in my stomach when I'm on a garden swing, so I can hardly wrap my mind around jumping out of a plane.

So while I was in complete and total awe of Paula's brave adventure, I knew it wasn't my adventure.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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