The Big Six Oh


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Earlier this year, I celebrated my 60th birthday. I use the word “celebrated” loosely, because I really didn’t feel much like celebrating. After all, once you hit 60, you’re getting up there! You’re not even “middle aged” anymore.

It was certainly different than my last milestone birthday! Having realized when I turned 40 that age is just a number and you’re always the same person deep inside, I just laughed when I turned 50. But so much has changed since then… the death of my favourite uncle, a dear friend of my dad’s who was like a family member, my mother-in-law, and a close friend who was close to my age, as well as being diagnosed with high blood pressure and osteoporosis. I was pretty convinced that it’s all downhill from here.

But then I thought about all the GOOD things that have happened during the last 10 years.

  • My family has grown to include two lovely daughters-in-law, three sweet grandchildren, and an amazing dog.
  • My business has continued to thrive and evolve – I’ve now been self-employed full-time for 12 years!
  • I established a networking group for local virtual assistants which will be 10 years old next year, and is strong enough to carry on without me should I decide to step down (not that I plan to do that any time soon).
  • My passions for reading and photography have been rekindled.
  • I’ve travelled to Nova Scotia and Arizona.
  • Scott and I have rented a cottage three times, and it looks like it’s now a yearly summer tradition.
  • I had always regretted losing touch with people I went to school or church with, or worked with, at various times in my past, but through Facebook and my high school reunion, I’ve reconnected with many of them. Most significantly, I’ve reunited with two childhood friends who invited me to join their book club, which is a huge part of my life now.
  • I’ve also made a few new friends!
  • My blood pressure is good now, controlled with medication.
  • It turned out that my bone density is no worse than it was when I was first tested; they’ve only changed the way they read the results.

So I guess it’s not so bad after all!

It’s still sometimes a shock to look in the mirror and see this older woman looking back at me. I can totally relate to Tom Hussey’s photo series, “Reflections of the Past.” Please check it out if you’ve never seen it – it’s quite wonderful! I really wanted to do something similar with my photos for this post, but I decided to settle for the side-by-side photos you see above.

“There is a very great difference between older and old, the former being desirable and the latter being inevitable.”
Michelle Franklin


Casual Photo of Janet Barclay

Janet Barclay

I eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, cooking, watching movies, drinking tea, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Sharon on April 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    These are nice sentiments and I have to say that getting older is not so nice in some ways, but there are so many things to be thankful for, and life goes on. I turn 71 this year but my mind still thinks I’m a lot younger.

    • Janet Barclay on April 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      I hope we both continue to be young in our minds, even if our bodies say otherwise. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Kathy Stinson on April 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    As you know, Janet, I’m 65 today, and I can tell you I’m happier on this birthday than I was on my 60th. I found that a tough one too. I loved reading about all the positives that have taken place in your life in the past ten years and have no doubt there are more to come. A good friend of mine, soon to celebrate her 90th birthday, said that her 60s and 70s were among the best years of her life. Reading the memoirs of Diana Athill and some other books on aging has helped me look forward with more sense of optimism in recent years too, than I felt five years ago. Not that our next decades will be without their challenges, but I think we’re both well situated to get lots of joy out of life for lots more days yet!

    • Janet Barclay on April 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, Kathy! Our conversation last week helped get me thinking more positively, and your comments have only reinforced it.

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