60 is the new 60. Why I view my ‘new age’ as a blessing not a curse.
Warning – Although this is ‘normally’ a remodeling blog – I sometimes choose to ‘go reflective’ on lessons life is teaching me. This post falls in this category.
The funniest post I read on Facebook (the social network for old people who aren’t ‘snap-chatting’ and ‘tick-tocking’) on my 60th birthday (note – my birthday was February 13th and it’s still not too late to send me some ‘cold hard’ cash on my GO FUND ME page) was from my former roommate and fellow Carnegie-Mellon alum Terry Slade. Terry summed it up best when he said….
Happy Birthday Mike. 60 is the new 60. Deal with it.
I know 60 is supposed to be a ‘milestone’ birthday everyone dreads. However, for me it was a birthday I was (silently) looking forward to. And it was for a reason my wife always found strange, but I sometimes resemble that remark.
You see I was looking forward to turning 60 and it’s not because I would start to ‘evolve into’ the older ‘distinguished look.’ I didn’t need to evolve into the ‘older’ look because I’ve ‘arrived’ at that milestone a long time ago. Drug Mart has tallied up sales for MANY bottles of $9.99 Just for Men dark-brown hair coloring (now my secret is out) with the ‘special applicator brush’ to show for my futile attempts to reverse the aging process.
You see my Dad Joe died at the very young age of 59 (oh how my ‘perspective about age has changed over time). To me when Dad died, he was an ‘old dude.’ After all I was 29. He was more than twice my age, a ‘fossil’ if there ever was one.
As I kept ‘creeping up’ on 59 I thought more about my mortality (and these words are coming from a delusional self-professed ‘glass-half-full’ guy). So, when I hit 59 (the age Dad passed away) I felt like I just need to ‘get over the hump.’ Just get to 60 – make it past Dad. It was a psychological (and weird) ‘milestone. My wife HATED this thought process. However, it was my psychological and weird milestone.
But as a ‘new-age’ 60 I cannot help but be excited (despite my occasional sciatica, neck pain and desire to go to bed way too early) to be 60. In this article I want to share 3 reasons why I’m blessed, not cursed to be 60 with you. Soooooo, here goes.
Reason #1 I feel blessed to be 60– I see (despite not having 20/20 eyesight – or even close) many things to be excited about ahead
My cousin Mike (who used to work with me in our business) was recently cleaning out his garage and texted Rob (our VP of Operations) and I a picture of an old coffee mug from the 1980’s with our Cleveland Glass Block logo on it. Mike asked if either of us would like the mug in remembrance of the good ‘ol days.
You see (back in the day) this was our only business (and still to this day is the official name of our corporation – although most people know us as Innovate Building Solutions today).
This was undoubtedly a nice gesture on Mike’s part, but it was weird to me that I really didn’t want the mug and it wasn’t because I wasn’t proud of our history (a business which was started by my Dad in 1977 and grown by people like me, Mike, Rob and too many others to mention here). It was because of a saying I heard crystallized by Gary Vee (a famous marketing dude today if there ever was one) the other day who said…
I have no interest in holding up the past.
You see I’m so excited about the future.
On the business side I’m excited to see how our nationwide laminate bathroom wall panel business (shameless plug, but the digital marketer in me can’t help himself) is going to grow – and the new relationships we’re making.
On the personal side I’m excited to see (with a healthy parental dose of worry thrown into the equation) how my kids (Grant, Parker and Jade’s) life, education and careers will evolve.
On the spiritual side I’m excited to rejuvenate my faith journey (which has admittedly taken too long of a vacation).
I’m excited to take more vacations with Rose, because we both work waaaaaay too much.
Reason #2 I feel blessed to be 60– I listened to my pastor and learned I need to reframe my mind
Pastor Jeff said it best a few years ago when he said to stop focusing on what you ‘have to do’ and focus on what you ‘get to do.’
You see at this stage in life I’m still lucky to have a job (and career) where I ‘get to’ contribute and help our business grow and solve problems (and oh boy – don’t we love problems… OK I lied) daily.
Without the ability to contribute a life isn’t a life.
I ‘get to’ influence my kids (‘er young adults) even if (at times) I’d like to smack them upside the head when they’re not ‘as perfect’ as my wife and me.
I ‘get to’ run for an hour in my basement (yes, I’m a bit touched) while listening to podcasts or writing blog posts and doing the weird things that I do.
At 60 there’s still a lot of things I’m ‘getting’ to do.
Reason #3 I feel blessed to be 60 – I get to tell everyone about the ‘new math’ I learned from those statistics courses I took at Carnegie-Mellon University ‘back in the day.’
You may find this weird, but I’m a guy who loves math.
How much math you may ask? Well I took 4 statistics courses while getting my B.S. (yes – some people think I resemble this remark) in Business Administration at Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU). And my university was such a macho place (not geek oriented at all) our team name was the Tartans and we were ‘represented’ by guys wearing skirts (‘er kilts) at sporting events. OK – we weren’t that macho, but back to the message.
I learned a TON about numbers at CMU. I hung out with some pretty bright people – in hopes some ‘smartness’ would rub off on me (not sure how well this worked out, but I still have hope). My grades were even pretty decent in those statistics courses (except for the one in my second semester of Sophomore year when I was the Rush Chairman of my Kappa Sigma fraternity house). I was the guy charged with recruiting new members during 6 weeks of partying (or intense studying as I told Mom and Dad), but back to the matter at hand.
However, here’s an important thing I did learn as a ‘Carnegie-Mellon’ numbers geek. Numbers can be fun, and you and I should have fun with them. So, even while ‘waxing nostalgic’ about my 60th birthday here’s 2 ‘math facts’ which will tell you everything you need to know about me.
- Fact #1 – I’m holding at 29 – While my buddy Terry said ’60 is the new 60,’ I also know (with my higher statistical knowledge than him) that 60 is also ((29 x 2) + 2) and I’ve chosen to ‘hold’ my age at 29. I’m also so doggone young I’ve ‘locked in’ my maturity at the age of 11 (because this maturity thing is waaaaaay overrated)!
- Fact #2 – I can ALWAYS try to get younger!- While 60 may be the new 60 – I don’t have to feel 60 or even look 60. You see when I ‘invest’ $9.99 in hair coloring my age just goes down and down and down. Or I can discipline myself to exercise (and boy don’t we LOVE that) and ‘challenge’ my biological age. Or I can learn like a maniac (which is something I love to do) so new ideas shine bright in my mind and I can feel ‘with it’ and ‘not behind the times.’ I can (and will) do everything in my power to try to feel and be younger – at least at heart, if not in my body (or hair coloring)!
A final thought..and learning from you…
Although I’ve written this post in a ‘tongue and cheek’ fashion I truly am grateful to have reached this ‘60th’ milestone birthday and blessed to look ahead not knowing where my journey will lead.
I’d be curious to know how you feel about your ‘new age?’ What are you learning you can (and should) share with others? After all age is just a ‘funny’ number you can simply manipulate (see reason #3 above) and ‘edutain’ others with, now isn’t it? Please comment below or drop me a line (while my hearing is still good enough to make out what you’re saying).
And yes, Terry (the voice of reason) I know you’re correct and 60 is the new 60 – and I don’t have a choice but to DEAL WITH IT!
Hi, if you don’t know me, I’m Mike Foti the author of this article and writer on 3 blogs. Most times I talk about construction – bathroom remodeling, glass products and remodeling business advice (trying to inject the articles with a bit of humor along the way).
Sometimes I like to get a little philosophical and like to talk about life, and even ‘gently’ aging like I have in this post.
I’ll also tell you I consider myself one of the wackier people I know. I’m a crazy-passionate entrepreneurial business owner (I work waaaaay more hours than my wife wants – and she’s right), I’m a one-hour a day jogger (despite having a heart attack in my past) and have 3 lovely (on most days) kids (‘er young adults) – Parker, Grant and Jade.
If you want to contact me to talk about this article (or need some remodeling advice – after all I should also be doing my day-job) you can reach me at Innovate Building Solutions at 888-467-7488 or at our Cleveland office at 216-658-1280 or at our Columbus office at 614-565-5888.
If you’d like business and marketing advice also check out Innovate Builders Blog