Sixty isn’t the “New” Anything. Except sixty.

Posted on June 3, 2010

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Life in the Boomer Lane is venting. She is seriously so tired of hearing people say things like “Sixty is the new fifty.” Or forty. Or even thirty. This morning, on one of the talk shows, she caught about 30 seconds of the guest going on and on about how sixty-year olds should go mountain climbing and have pajama parties and join Facebook and meet people on Match.com, whatever they want. OK, LBL thought, I like the general concept. But then the host asked, “So sixty is the new forty?” and LBL froze. The guest chirpily answered, “No, sixty is the new twenty!!!”

OK, folks, here’s the deal. Sixty isn’t anything other than sixty. Got it? If you are twenty, and you like to jump up and down on a bed and have pillow fights, does that make twenty the new five?” If you are twenty, you are twenty. If you are sixty, you are sixty. Sorry, but the iPad doesn’t, to my knowledge, include a time machine.

LBL knows what people are trying to say, but she’d like it said in a different way, a meaningful way: Sixty-year olds are redefining what it means to be sixty. We aren’t any age other than what we are. We are simply giving a new definition of what that is. LBL’s sixty-three isn’t twenty (A quick check of her body parts will confirm that). But, her sixty-three is vastly different than her parents’ sixty-three.

Sixty-year-olds now have access to all the wonders medical science can provide, including replacing or repairing a lot of internal and external body parts. Medications and nutrition keep us alive longer. Gyms are on every street corner. And the internet allows up to connect with each other in a way that our parents’ generation couldn’t have conceived of (LBL met my Now Husband on Match.com).

So, please, give us the respect we deserve. LBL has worked hard to get to where she is today. She wouldn’t change that for anything. That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like to magically change some things (two, for example). It just means she likes herself and she likes herself at sixty-three. She’s not the “new twenty.” She’s the “new sixty-three.”

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