I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I turn 60 this year, and what it means. If anything.
I can’t at the moment think of anything good about being 60. We don’t even get a bus pass where I live. In spite of that, I don’t think my 60th birthday will feel as bad as my 50th.
Then, I was working in an office where nearly everyone was younger than me. Young enough to think that a classic film was one that came out in the 1990s.
Now, I have a peer group: friends my own age. That’s partly through Twitter and partly through meeting people in real life. (Tip: joining a union is a good way to meet like-minded people. In my local branch, I’ve got a gang.)
The night before I turned 50, I started this blog. Because I’d promised myself I’d start a blog before I was 50.
I haven’t made any promises this time round.
Somebody I know posted on Facebook last year: “I'm collating a ‘bucket list before you're 60’... If you were 59, what would be on your list to do/achieve before your 60th birthday?”
I noticed the “if”. I think she assumed no-one in the group was actually 59.
I felt a bit cross. Because why do you have to do all the exciting things before you are 60? Because your life will be over once you get to that point? It’s the sort of thing that people who are nowhere near 60 think about. I didn’t say any of this. I just replied, politely: “Too busy living to think about stuff I'm not doing!”
Of course, I’m thinking at the moment about how to make my life better. Because of the 60 thing. Because it’s January, and the internet is full of inspirational stuff about self-improvement.
I don’t really do inspirational, but I made an exception for this comment from one of my Twitter friends.
“Am going to put myself forward for things more this year. I may not be as pushy as Toby Young but if that meritless spawn can get those gigs, any of us should.”
Obviously it helps if you’re well connected, which I am not. (I went to a redbrick university in a wonderful city that most people in England despise.) But it’s not everything.
I recently started a YouTube playlist titled “Inspirational songs for common people”. (And if you’ve got suggestions for more, please let me know.) One of the songs is Mis-Shapes by Pulp: “We'll use the one thing we've got more of, that's our minds.”
I might be (nearly) 60, but I’m not giving up yet.