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Come Play With Me


 “The first half of life is learning to be an adult – the second half is learning to be a child.”

—Pablo Picasso

  

Are you able to access the child within? The one who understands what it means to play … to have fun?

 

Admittedly, this is not an area in which I’m well-versed. As an over-achieving only child, I’ve spent much of my life focusing on being an adult. I suppose it’s been a while since I’ve played, and I’m not sure I remember how.

 

This month I turn sixty, nudging me to look within, ask questions, and wonder what’s next in life. Isn’t it natural to examine our pasts and project into the future during these birthday milestones? Yet, in the process I’ve become curious about what it means to have fun, especially at this new stage of life.  However, I’m unsure of the answer, prompting me to wonder … Who was I as a child? How did I play and have fun?

 

I’m now at the stage of life when people tend to relax, travel, and do more of what they wish. After all, our kids are grown and self-reliant. Schedules suddenly become flexible. We are more able to come and go as we please. I guess having less responsibilities is why some say the sixties are the perfect time to tap into our inner child and learn how to have fun again. But what does this look like? Where do I start?

 

Before tackling this conundrum, I took time to reflect. How did play show up during different phases of my life? Pausing to consider this question, it became apparent there were times when I may have forgotten how to have fun … failed to engage in play because I was so concerned about being grown-up, mature, responsible … planning for the future. Yet, this did not get me any closer to my answer.

 

Returning to the above quote for guidance, three words stood out … learning, be, and child. Maybe these words would offer clues as what it means to play and have fun in your sixties.

 

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I’d like to think so. At least, I’m hoping I can be open to new ways, opportunities, and possibilities as I step into the seventh decade of my life. Yet too often our tendency is to remain stuck in what we know, deem comfortable, and find acceptable. Still, what if we permitted ourselves some levity, left our box, and explored the unknown? Could we experience pure and utter joy in areas of life we’ve kept arms’ distance away? Might we learn how to play in new and exciting ways? I hope so.

 

However, a major deterrent to letting myself try new things is my need to do, maintain a routine, and get shit done. But living this type of a lifestyle requires time to complete all the non-negotiable, daily tasks, rarely allowing room to play. Therefore, it’s important to grant ourselves slack and realize we may not accomplish all we’ve planned if we hope to slice out a portion of our day for joy. But perhaps this delay of gratitude for doing might be rewarded by unexpected bliss, a most likely outcome of being … with ample time and space allowed for play, unrestricted by rules and expectations.

 

Perhaps adults cannot fully understand what it means to play without consulting a child. What if we asked the child in us … the children in us? What do they want to do? Do they yearn to express their creativity? Or could they need more movement, adventure, exploration? Then again, maybe these little kids never played because they, like us, weren’t exactly sure how to.

 

Releasing my natural desire for additional goals and aspirations, I’m allowing time and space to learn how to play with my inner child … as well as my sixty-year-old self. While I doubt you’ll find me on the floor with Barbie, Ken, and her orange and yellow camper (one of my favorite childhood pastimes), you may see me trying something new, unexpected. Then again, I may choose to do nothing in particular. I just might explore, check things out, just be.

 

What’s become abundantly clear is it’s time for me to stop solely focusing on the “adult” Michelle—the one who plans, organizes, strives, and does. I want to invite levity into my life. As foreign as this concept seems, less structure, reduced self-imposed rules, and fewer “shoulds” may be exactly what I require to let go and play. It’s all about balance … something that continues to challenge me in so many ways.

 

What’s your version of fun and play? Or have you, like me, been so busy becoming your best adult-self that you’ve forgotten what it means to be a child? If so, vow to take a time out today. View life as a metaphorical playground. And please, come play with me.

 

 

 

And for a few more giggles, check out this blog I wrote over four years ago … about what it might be like to turn sixty. Hmmm …

 

Sexy at Sixty

 

October is birthday month in my family. My oldest son celebrated his special day on the 18th, and my husband and younger son shared a birthday on the 28th. I’m the outlier… my birthday isn’t until February, and I will be turning 55 this upcoming year. Just typing those two numerals startles me a bit. To be honest, I’ve always been challenged by the “5”s in the “birthday world.” Turning thirty, forty, or even fifty didn’t bother me. But I did have trouble with twenty-five, thirty- five, and forty-five. I think that I would always anticipate the next decade at the mid-way point, so in a way, I’d be thinking I was actually older than I was!


However, when I dealt with cancer seven years ago, I made a promise to myself that I’d never complain about getting older… because I certainly didn’t like the alternative! So, I will do my best not to allow fifty-five to ruffle my feathers. I will try to embrace this next milestone instead of becoming a grouchy, sullen or cranky middle-aged woman who commiserates about getting older.


Last week, while having dinner with another couple, an innocent comment sparked a fabulous “aha” moment. During our conversation, our friend, mentioned that he found an older woman extremely sexy. I guess that’s not an abnormal comment, but I usually don’t associate aging females with the term, “sexy.” That’s when it hit me… wouldn’t sexy at sixty be pretty amazing?


Before you start to judge or make assumptions, I’m not talking about how most people describe “sexy.” This is not about being voluptuous, a temptress, or a seductive siren. No, what I’m talking about is quite different. My definition involves something few women possess in their younger years. What I desire to be in five years is totally different. The image that intrigues me does not rest on pure physical appearance, body type, or bedroom eyes. My sexy at sixty exudes three elements… self-confidence, wisdom, and grace.


Self-confidence is a rare gift, almost never seen in young women. I’ve only known several females in their twenties or thirties who were blessed with the innate knowledge of their true self-value. These individuals didn’t compare or judge others because they were completely comfortable with themselves. But, as we all know, most women don’t fall under that category. It takes us time to know who we are so that we can learn to like, accept, and perhaps even love ourselves. That’s when the self-confidence kicks in.


Wisdom also defines my version of sexy. A wise woman doesn’t blurt out the right response to prove that she’s smart. No. Instead, women with wisdom know. While they might or might not have the correct answer, they understand, something much greater. Wisdom isn’t knowledge of a content area or a specific philosophy. Rather, it is a generalized comprehension of how the world functions and how we, as individual beings, interact. That’s why I want to be wise!

 

And, grace… I think it may be my new favorite word. When I was younger, I wanted to be faster, the first to accomplish something, or the best at what I did. Now, I wish for gracefulness in all things. I hope to flow in my yoga practice. I want to efficiently glide when I run. And I wish to demonstrate kindness, patience, and compassion during my interactions with others. While grace certainly won’t win me any medals or offer accolades for outstanding accomplishments, it will give me the satisfaction that whatever I do is done with elegance and poise.

 

Self-confidence, wisdom, and grace… these are my three components for “Sexy at Sixty.” While this may be quite a lofty goal, the good news is that I have some time to work on these characteristics. Sure, I wouldn’t mind having some of those traditional “sexy” traits either, but we all know that those fade with age. What makes up my version doesn’t… they only become better with time.

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brianoplus
Feb 14

"Self-confidence, wisdom, and grace… these are my three components for 'Sexy at Sixty.'”

Absolutely! I would add intelligence, kindness, and basic human decency. All of these make a woman sexy at sixty (and at seventy). You still have the prime of your life to live!


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Michelle Davis
Michelle Davis
Feb 14
Replying to

Thank you! I agree with your additions. Have a great day:)

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