I was something in the 60s but now I'm just sixty something.

Speeding Through My Sixties

on May 2, 2012

I am a baby boomer and proud of it!  Maybe we are not the “greatest generation” but we are the generation that is never going to grow old. We know this for a fact because Bob Dylan told us so. We started the youth culture in this country and it is up to us to keep the myth going.  We are having our faces lifted, our knees replaced, and our clogged arteries bypassed.  We were brought up on the  child rearing bible written by  Dr. Spock and we are keeping our faith afloat with the gospel of Dr. Oz. All of this spun wisdom is designed to keep us well, happy, and eternally youthful. I like Dr. Spock. He told our mothers to feed us whenever we cried.  I like Dr.Oz too. He tells us to have more sex. Here are two renowned  doctors who actually encourage us to do things we like. Should any of you  know of a doctor who tells us to cut down on exercise and drink more alcohol please introduce me.

I really do realize  that I can’t live forever. When I finally admitted my inevitable mortality I had  to stop delaying my midlife crisis. I put off midlife until my 60s to assure myself of living to 120.  Anyway, I was too busy in my forties to deal with it.

I had a really hard time coming up with some way to act out. I wanted something I could tell people about without them talking about me behind my back.  I was living in a small southern town and sixty is not nearly old enough to be considered charmingly eccentric.  You can be considered a number of other things so I had to be careful. It couldn’t take too much effort either because I didn’t want it to interfere with my gym time, shopping, or “Dancing With the Stars”.  Still, I was longing for someone to say to me “You did what?”

After some soul-searching I came up with something  hidden deep within me. I like to drive. Fast. This was not something I enjoyed as a young woman. For one thing I was never very brave. While all my college friends were out protesting and getting billy clubbed by the Buffalo police I found some excuse to remain back in my room.  I might have  said I needed to study. Or I might have said I was too hung over. I just know I said something because, really, do you have any idea what downtown Buffalo was like in those days? I think the college students, the drug dealers, and the prostitutes all got rounded up together. Though, come to think of it, they were all the same people. I also tended to drive slowly because I was never sure where I was going.  I still get lost. I drove around for an hour in downtown San Diego the other day looking for the freeway. Don’t you just hate one way streets?  When my children were born I realized I was suddenly a role model. I took the role seriously. I also wanted to avoid a lawsuit from the other parents in the carpool.

Now, it’s just me. And my BMW. Move over Steppenwolf!

Awhile ago I did a lot of  racing up and down the east coast putting out elder care fires. In the heartbreak of it all  I discovered how freeing it was to make a road trip alone. I also discovered how to make good time. I got my first ticket on the way to my father-in-law’s funeral. I don’t think the officer followed my reasoning. But honestly, my poor mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s and needed someone to get to her quickly. Poor Mom, talk about getting lost on a one way street.

Later, I began to make road trips just for fun. One clear sunny day driving through the desert on my way to Phoenix  I was cruising along at 97 singing out loud with Mick and the boys on the radio. I’m really not sure  how long the cop was following me.

Did you know you can do traffic school online now? I did learn a new word.  Velocitation means  speeding without realizing it. Life’s kind of like that too don’t you think?

I know driving fast isn’t much of a midlife rebellion. Nobody even really paid any attention to me. A friend or two told me I should slow down. My husband noted the increase in our car insurance. I’m thinking I should try something better. I’m still not very brave but I don’t live in a small town anymore. Got any ideas?

19 responses to “Speeding Through My Sixties

  1. Rowena says:

    Love it! Keep ’em coming! X

  2. Denise says:

    I LOVE YOU GIRL!!! Gee, I thought I was the wild one……LOL

  3. Annette Billings says:

    Please keep writing these!! I so need them and am so one of those “60” chicks!!
    Miss you nd your great sense of what is fun and right with life!! Annette

  4. I can feel the wind in your hair! I love your breezy voice and will stop in to read more!

  5. Ruth Perkins says:

    I enjoyed your blog. I have found yoga and meditation calm me down, and gives me somewhere to get out of the house. Shopping is good, too.

  6. Peggy Wilson says:

    I loved reading your blog. It sounds like you are feeling “free” and having fun. Keep it up!
    Peggy Wilson

  7. joycehendler says:

    Your post puts me in mind of two things. The first is Buffalo. The succession of people I have met from Buffalo were either creatively mad or just plain mad. When our next door neighbor, who was a famous scientist and curmudgeon wanted to nail me he spat out, “you must be from Buffalo” which really made me wonder.
    The second thing is fast driving. That really made me sad. Our son, Seth, who loved fast driving died after his car turned over. If I were a pessimist about life, I would say it was a romantic ending. But there really is usually something good over the next bump. My sometimes best friend, Adrienne Claiborne, told me she was on her way to Italy, but would halt the trip to come to the funeral. I said, “no. Go.”. Adrienne at seventy had re-met a high school boyfriend, and he turned out to be the love of her life. A few months later she and he were traveling in New York state on a weather filled night, and somehow their car went up in flames. So now, I am a little shy about fast driving.
    What else will express your thrill of riding that wild side? Good question.

  8. MaryN says:

    Loved reading your blog and feeling the wind in my hair as I rode with you with the top down! Glad to hear your voice and miss our days of coffee at Blair’s. Will look forward to more. Aaarrgh from a fellow pirate!

  9. Tom Miller says:

    Yea, but I got stopped while teaching my daughter how to drive. She’s the one w/ the heavy foot. Love u.

  10. Dave Steven says:

    Buy a sports car that’s very low to the ground; ideally something that rattles the hell out of itself as you drive with your arm out the window. An old Triumph Spitfire or Austin Healey. You’ll get the sensation of doing 100 at 35 mph. Modern cars are too easy to drive fast; no fun! Stick shift: mandatory!

    • sixtiestosixties says:

      This sounds like a good idea. I can just see me with my arm hanging out. Do I need to buy some Lucky Strikes to roll up in the sleeve of my t shirt?

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