Courageous & Outrageous - Honouring Milestones

By Pat Nicol

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Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children. ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Another decade is ending. Not just 2010, but for me, a personal one. When you are born in a decade year ending in zero, these birthdays seem to be much more significant than those in between. When I was 10, the thought of 70 was not even part of my ken. I didn’t have grandparents in my life.

When I was 20, the thought of 70 was not to be thought of at all. I didn’t even know anyone who was THAT old! The decade I turned 30 was a fun one, married just a few years, no great responsibilities.

Forty, I threw a party announcing my birthday as I had heard that life begins at 40. Fifty was the year that I walked away from working for someone else, started my own company and bought myself a sexy sounding car. That was an exciting decade with great things happening to businesswomen in Victoria. When I turned 60, I wrote a book about being courageous and outrageous, which led to this column. 

This month begins my seventh decade. Even as I write these words, I can’t quite believe it. I don’t see myself as a 70 year old, even when I look in the mirror. Recently, someone said he was celebrating the 20th anniversary of his 50th birthday. Certainly, that is one way of looking at it. 

I know in the grand scheme of things, I am still a child and there are days when I feel like that child. When I think about how much I still have to learn, I feel very young and naive. When I sit on the ground for a period of time and attempt to get up quickly, my physical body knows exactly how old it is. 

I am going to celebrate this birthday for the whole month of November with as many courageous and outrageous things as I, and any friend who wants to help, can conceive. I am, as von Goethe says, becoming a “true child.” There may be an afternoon in a tattoo parlour, certainly lots of champagne and laughter. 

If anyone has any great ideas of how this milestone can be honoured and played with, I would love to hear them. At the least, have a piece of birthday cake for me. 


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