How to be less cranky when turning 60

  • Buy a coffin.
  • Put the coffin in your living room.
  • Fill the coffin with clothes that don’t fit, books you’ll never read, lists of people you don’t talk to anymore, every regret you’ve ever had, all your lost dreams. Add a picture of you at 28.
  • Stop plucking the hairs on your chin. For fun, see how long they’ll grow.
  • Stop gluing down the three hairs on your left eyebrow that poke out like past sins.
  • Burn your 36 DD bras. Fly free.
  • Stop buying self-help books. If you own any, add them to the coffin.
  • Do 10 squats a day so you can get up and down off the toilet when you’re 70.
  • Eat bread and pasta and potatoes and white sugar and milk chocolate if you want.
  • Walk outside, not on a treadmill. The treadmill is a symbol. So is being outside.
  • Give your better angels a voice and tell the bitter bitches who talk over everyone to fuck off. Better yet, throw the bitches in the coffin.
  • Obsess about now.
  • Practice listening to your dog, your cat, your budgie, your goldfish and then go listen to your best friend.
  • Talk to people the way you talk to your pet. Chances are if you say “Who’s a good friend?” they’ll beam with pleasure.
  • Look up at the sky and not your feet. The view is better.
  • Practice what you preach.




64 thoughts on “How to be less cranky when turning 60

  1. That was the best thing I’ve read today!!! I’ve shared this jewel on my twitter page @artistclancy ! Thank you so much Susanne for writing it! I look forward to reading more of what you write!

    • wow, Sue. Thank you so much for sharing this in the Twitterverse. I just saw a movie tonight about the Japanese artist Hokusai who believed that his best years were going to be after he turned 60. He renamed himself “Old man crazy to paint.” I think I’ll rename myself “Old woman crazy to write.”

      • You’re welcome! One of my writer heroines (of whom your work reminds me), said that she started writing after age 55 because she had “stories to tell” and had better get to telling them. Her name was Billie Letts and I had the honor of meeting her, creating a portrait of her and corresponding with her for years after the portrait had been exhibited, sold etc. I wish you all the best and I enjoy following your work. Keep it up please!

          • I just Googled her and I will be taking my Chapters/Indigo gift card to the store tomorrow to buy one of her books. I need a good novel and a new writer to read. Thanks again, Sue!

          • Oh good Susanne! I’m glad to hear that! I like all of Billie Letts’s books but “The Honk And Holler Opening Soon” is my favorite. Have fun tomorrow!

    • I don’t picture you as Cranky, O. Maybe with a small “c” but not full-on Upper Case wound up tight C. I’m trying to get to the lower-case and then perhaps work my way to curmudgeonly. Good luck to you! (FYI – I’m 4 months away. There’s still time.)

  2. How true. All of it. I definitely want to burn my DD bra. (When did I become a DD anyway?) But I’ll have to think about the 10 squats. Might not be worth it. Now I’m off to a meal of white bread, potatoes and chocolate. Perfect.

    • Honestly, I am getting more and more addled with each passing month as I ramp up to the big 60. I thought I’d replied to this comment and I humbly apologize for missing it. I echo the mystery of the DD. Even it is becoming inadequate to the task and I’m damned if I want to spend more money on yet a larger size. Good lord. The mind boggles.

  3. Terrific, this goes in the keep box. I am ten years on from here, and I do 4 squats and 4 (easy) press-ups at night, plus touch my toes 30 times – it’s very soothing. Everything still works fine, in case you want to know. I’d love to ditch the tweezers, with an AA cup the bra has never been an issue.

    • Good to know everything is still working well, Hilary. It must be the soothing 30 toe-touches! As a 70 year old friend recently told me, “Movement is the best lubricant.”

  4. Susanne, this is a gem. As I began to read, a finger was on the chin and the mind had ordered, when you get up from the computer, get the tweezer and pluck it out!! Am I allowed to copy and paste into a word document to be saved on my USB please? May I request you to write one such for men, I’m being selfish, husband will turn 60 in 2018, and to think of the greater good,other men will benefit from it too. Or maybe I could plagiarise your idea and change it to suit men, read husband. 🙂 🙂

  5. Fabulous. If I had a coffin in my living room, I’d want to use it for plant storage… Whimsical or nah?
    So, 60 is the year I can officially free my breasts? I’d long wondered.
    “Who’s a good writer? Is Susanne a good writer? Yes she is.”

  6. Too funny! Thanks for the laugh … especially “Who’s a good friend?!” I’m dying to try that one out! 😉

    Then I read Maggie’s comment about the blobby nose. Sigh. So it’s not just me, then? As if my nose wasn’t already ‘prominent’ enough!

  7. Nicely done Susanne! It takes almost a life time to realise the wisdom of these words and the rest of our lives to practise living them daily. No time to be cranky! 🙂 I love the idea of the symbolic coffin! ❤

  8. Pingback: From the Back Seat of the Marl-Mobile – The Zombies Ate My Brains

    • Thank you, Deborah. I had written a straight-ahead kind of post on the same subject and although I liked it well-enough it was a bit drippy. Glad you found it irreverent.

    • Or, another way to look at it is that fortunately you’ve made it to 60. Lots don’t. Feel free to add to the list with your own thoughts, too. Something about hiking and enjoying art perhaps?

  9. So many good ones here, but the eyebrow deserves mention – alla sudden I have these up-trending witchy-poo brows. Bleah.

    And my nose! It’s getting blobby! Or blobby-er. Double bleah.

    Your last line reminded me of a draft post – I best dust that off and get it published!

    Have a good week!

    • I suppose the advice could work no matter what age. Its really about figuring out what’s important in life. Sometimes, if you’re like me, it takes a long time to figure it out. Thanks for your nice comment! Clearly you’ve been talking nicely to your pet – or the sky or the trees or….

"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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