My 60th birthday is coming quickly. I have been watching my high school mates turning 60 one by one. I look at their photos and only see the girls who once were walking the halls of St. Joseph Academy with me. I suppose that is a common experience.
Now I have close friends who are my age, but many are quite a bit younger. I have learned of their love of Alanis Morisette, a singer/songwriter I like just fine, but have not really followed. What I am learning from my younger friends is that Alanis is one fine writer. She has a song called “21 Things I Choose in a Lover” —my friend Laurie brought it to my attention–and it makes a terrific writing prompt. The “things” are not needs or deal breakers as much as qualities. I like the distinction.
Here is my version of 21 Things
21 Things I Choose in My Sixties
Will I only wear clothes and shoes that make me feel fabulous?
Will I have enough money to enjoy living?
Will I be able to maintain my energy to keep teaching?
Will I continue to innovate in my teaching?
Will I still want to travel?
Will my creative life stay in the forefront?
Will I pursue proficiency on guitar and mandolin?
Will I cherish improvisation?
Will I write my own songs?
Will I read all those novels on my shelf?
Will I publish some short stories?
Will I stay healthy?
Will my students continue to reach out to me?
Will I do more painting?
Will I meditate?
Will I do yoga regularly?
Will I only say what is necessary?
Will I remember that listening and patience are the ways of leadership?
Will I spend more time in nature?
Will I stay in the present moment?
Will I appreciate and give thanks for everything in my life?