Past milestone birthdays have never really bothered me. I turned 30 in England, and it was great fun. I had a fun 40th party and never thought twice about hitting the big 4-0. My 50th was relatively uneventful, but I didn't feel impacted at all by the march of time; it was just another day. But I have to admit that facing my 60th is starting to get under my skin a little.
Wrapping up six decades is a big deal. Still, I contend that being a 1951 early Baby Boom child landed me in exactly the right time and place for taking advantage of all that the second half of the 20th century and beyond has had to offer. I don't remember a time before television; it was brand new when I came along, so we grew together. Sociologists and marketers realized the potential of all these new babies around the time I burst on the scene, so we early 50's babies became guinea pigs and targets for toys, toothpastes, education theories, medical breakthroughs, and political/economic movements.
Captain Kangaroo, Slinky, Etch-a-Sketch, Play-Doh, Barbie (though I never had one, thank you very much), Cheerios, Look Ma no cavities Crest toothpaste, the Flintstones and the Jetsons, transistor radios, fishnets and mini-skirts, Motown, the Beatles, Shindig and Hullabaloo, Clairol hot rollers, bell bottoms, campus anti-war protests, Texas Instruments hand-held calculators, Disco (sorry), The Official Preppy Handbook, YUPPYs, minivans, 401Ks, and hyperventilation about impending (if ever) retirement.
So to all you year-ending-in-1 babies, I say, embrace your milestone, whatever it may be. In ten years you'll look back on this one and smile.