And what turning 60 means to me…..
In the near future, I will be turning 60! I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple months, wondering how I’ll feel when that day arrives. I had a terrible time when I turned 30. I was not where I wanted to be at that time in my life and life wasn’t all that great. As a result, I sank into a depression that lasted for the better part of the year.
Fortunately, things slowly turned around in my life, and turning 40 and 50 didn’t bother me at all. But, now I’m at the 60 mark in my life. It keeps going through my head – 60! 60! 60! It’s just a number, yes, but for some, it represents a lifestyle change – and the entrance into senior citizen world.
A friend of mine recently commented that a friend of hers referring to it as “becoming an older adult”. I kind of like that! I’d much prefer that phrase than being referred to as a senior citizen. Due to the fact that I do not feel like a senior citizen. My thought processes aren’t old. I’m still learning and doing new things and am excited about it. As my Dad put it (he’s in his upper 80s!), it’s not like I’ll magically transform overnight and find myself sitting in a rocking chair, an afghan over my lap, staring at the TV all day. So true, so true!
All over the place, you see articles about “choosing to be happy”. This is something that I’ve been working on for the past several years. I’ve been doing all that I can to restrict the amount of negativity that I’ll allow in my life. It does no good to complain all the time, particularly if you’re not going to do anything to make a change for the better. It’s a conscious effort to “decide” to be happy sometimes. When things go wrong in life and your days (or weeks) are going badly, it’s difficult to maintain a happy attitude or outlook.
At the beginning of the global pandemic that began in March 2020, I went through a very difficult time. There was so much anger and negativity among the people around me, in the news, and on social media. I began to take steps to surround myself with more positive things. I was accused of overreacting to the events going on around the globe and told that I “shouldn’t feel that way”. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned in my nearly 60 years, is that no one should ever tell you how to feel.
I started to do things with my life that helped me achieve a positive outlook. I’ve been a landscape photographer for over 15 years, so I decided to forge ahead and start sharing and selling my photographs. I created a website (BeautifulSunPhotography.com) and began to upload my work. What good were all my photographs doing on a hard drive? My tagline is “Evoking emotions, one photograph at a time”.
And, because there’s always a backstory to the majority of my photographs, I decided to start a photography blog. To tell the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t tell the story about what it took to get to a certain photo shoot. Like the time that Dad and I hiked down to the brink of Tahquamenon Falls in Upper Michigan on a cold December day. There had been rain the week before that brought down the levels of snow to a reasonable amount on the paths leading to the stairs leading to the Lower Falls observation deck.
Each time that I go out with my camera now, it’s an adventure. I don’t think anyone ever gets too old for an adventure, but you do have to be in the right frame of mind to really enjoy it.
I’m ready to face my 60s and to continue going on adventures for as long as I possibly can!