As you probably can guess, my feelings about crossing the 60 year line were complicated. Never a person to feel big feelings about a decade mark, I anticipated 60 would be the same— until I turned 59. This last year has been spent torturing my husband about how to create the perfect 60th birthday. It seem’s that the pressure to celebrate the day was as great as the number. When did 60 become the new sweet 16? And poor Darling Husband, I really boxed him into a corner.
Here’s what I didn’t want under any circumstance:
a) a surprise party
b) any kind of party where I was the center of attention
c) any kind of surprise
d) big presents
However, the celebration had to be BIG. Poor DH was so crazed that at one point he suggested marriage counseling so that someone else could figure out what in hell I wanted.
In truth, I just didn’t want to turn 60. No, no, no, not one bit.
When the chance came to surprise my grand kids at Disney World, I was elated. It was perfect. You gotta know how much I love them and how much I still love all things Disney. The day before we would greet them, Darling Husband was giving me me a day of beauty at the our hotel spa: massage, facial, mani-pedi, hair-cut – all the dwarfs. Then on my big day, DH and I would surprise the kids as they entered the Magic Kingdom. A big family lunch was planned at my favorite Disney restaurant. My daughter-in-law had arranged for me to have a cake delivered by a Disney Character outside of the restaurant (I found out about that later).
This was going to be perfect!!
Warm, loving and ostentatious.
Then Hurricane Matthew changed everything. The kids’ Disney Cruise was rerouted from the Bahamas and Florida to Canada. DH felt like he had one day to rearrange all his carefully charted birthday plans. DH tried to find a way to get me to where they were going to be. When that didn’t work, he tried to plan a last minute surprise party- which I stomped on right away. When I saw how harried he was becoming, I realized how much pressure I had put on both of us- but I couldn’t stop crying anyway.
Jeanine Wiest wrote a wonderful post on her blog, The Alchemy of Self-Healing, about how to plan for her 60th birthday, and mentioned looking for the opposite of the expected. The post entitled, John of God or Drag Queen Bingo. is about looking at the unexpected opposites for solutions to a problem. Thought I “instead of big, what if I designed a day of quiet play.”
So I did . Warm, Loving, and Perfectly Peaceful
I was going to stay in my pajamas all day
I was going to eat grilled cheese and milk for lunch. Holy Moly, I was going to eat white bread, butter, american cheese , fried in a pan – all a no-no for years. While it was far from glamorous, it felt absolutely decadent.
Then I was going paint and write in my new studio room; Hello Virginia Wolff.
And end it all with dinner at my favorite restaurant with DH.
In fact it turned out even better.
Husband brought home my favorite cake which we had for breakfast, the whole thing.
And I added a soothing facial midway through the day. Husband, in his frantic urge to build a fabulous day forgot to make a reservation and then had to call 18 venues to find one. I felt very loved – and very ashamed.
The phone rang all day. I gained weight. I had fun.
As long as I hold onto my own truths, 60 is going to be ok.
How are you going to plan your big day?
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