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Turning 60: Great party, deep reflections

February 18, 2013

 
By Lin Willett
Gladstone, Oregon
That’s what adults do

I turned 60 this month.  There, I said it publicly. 
Not too many women seem to want to advertise this birthday but I have chosen to embrace mine.
My husband threw a great party,  Indian food with all the kids and grand kids, then a limo ride to karaoke with more of our friends and family than I have ever seen in one place at one time.

I will always remember pulling away from my house in a very LONG black vehicle and seeing out the back window FIVE cars full of family and friends creeping along behind, then arriving at a large room with a lot of flowers and just about everyone near and dear to me that could make it waiting my arrival. 
The thought did cross my mind that perhaps I had died and no one had bothered to tell me yet.

Then the biggest surprise. My husband Rod started the party off by singing Lou Rawl’s “You’ll Never Find”.  This was a definite first in our 38 years of marriage all the more amazing that he sang it publicly!
The rest of the afternoon was full of funny stories punctuated by our amateur attempts to sing old songs that somehow seemed harder to sing than they did in the shower that morning.  Since most of us are non drinkers,  we stood on our own bravado and could not blame liquor for our inadequacies.

Since I am a person who loves a good joke, most of the stories were about funny situations others have shared with me.  Hearing a lifetime of stories all at once made me realize that part of my calling must be to entertain others, something I have found joy in doing as long as I can remember.

Looking back  to that day, I’m wondering if somehow I have failed to inspire vs entertain those around me.  Perhaps I have dealt with life too casually.
Yet, there was no way to honor someone like me without humor, as it has been the balm that has made the difficulties and tedium of life bearable for me.

Today, as I am forced to my bed with a bad head cold, (too much birthday sugar?), I am thinking again about how I want my life to be remembered and I am realizing that my goal in life isn’t about being remembered as a great person, rather about being part of something greater than myself. If I fade to the background as a greater cause moves forward then I have accomplished my mission in life.

“Lord, give me Your goals and help me keep them in focus on this other side of 60.”

  
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