My 60th isn’t ‘just another birthday’. It’s a turning point | Kit de Waal

I’ve had to accept that I’m about to enter ‘old age’, but with this has come the sense of another new startHaving been denied all birthday celebrations until I left home at 16, I was always determined to mark subsequent birthdays well. I’d go to bed the night before in a juvenile state of anticipation and wake up ecstatic that I had survived another year, that I had proved them wrong and outrun the apocalypse. You see, I was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness and believed I would die in 1976 when Armageddon came. I would never reach 30, 40 or 50 so I thought. So each birthday has been a shaken fist at the heavens well as a celebration.My 21st lasted three days: drink, drugs, dance and a very long sleep. I came to and felt I’d finally put the cruel denials to bed and maybe that a three-day party would last me a lifetime. But I had a party for my 30th, 40th and 50th. OK, not three days long but a bit of a bash that welcomed in the next decade. So far, so good. And next year I will be 60. I thought the prospect would feel the same. That I would sashay up to the date, throw my arms out and say “welcome” as I had to all the others. But this one feels different. Continue reading...

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