A new era heralds some new situations

It's been a birthday baptism of fire.

My goal this month is to spend time with my friends and family - those people who are important to me. It’s my birthday present to myself.

And yes, I have thus far enjoyed a lovely lady's lunch, a home gathering and I have a dinner appointment lined up with an old school friend and another with a few crazy girlfriends. Birthdays ending in zeros make good excuses for get togethers.

But in planning these get togethers, I have noticed there is something new – something I thought only people in my parent’s era had to deal with. My friends might have all the time world, but they do not seem to have all the health in the world. Or, speaking of worlds, they are out exploring it.

In just one week, several have taken off overseas, two are in the throes of cancer treatments, one is just plain tired, another split with her husband, one chopped off his finger and another very dear friend has been diagnosed with Alzheimers.

I have decided that this new decade is going to be one filled with health and good friends so I am not very happy about these latest developments, and most particularly the Alzheimers diagnosis.

All of a sudden my own vacant head space where thoughts occasionally whizz around in a void, not lasting long enough for me to grasp hold of, significantly pales. We all laugh when we try to remember names and events but with this diagnosis, suddenly things aren't so funny.

Besides their state of health and what countries are on their travel radars, my friends  talk about downsizing and retirement, asking me when I am doing both. And me, only freshly initiated into this new decade feel bamboozled by this new age space I find myself in. I am as yet unaccustomed to this  unchartered space occupied by retirees and people with less fingers.

So turning 60 has lurched me forward into a place that forces a few life questions, starting with what am I doing here in the first place?

But there are deeper questions to be answered. Questions like am I living a life that is fulfilled, a life that is happy, a life that promotes humanity and love? 

And if I'm not, there is never a better time to turn some things around. That circle at the end of my age may be prophetic after all.