That is, the summer of my being 59, not to be confused with the “Summer of ’69,” which you may remember if you enjoyed life in the eighties.
I must admit, the road to sixty didn’t start for me quite the way I might have planned given we were in the middle of a pandemic. This year my birthday fell on Mother’s Day, so it was a double celebration, and I have had plenty of time to reflect.
You could say this was the summer I let my hair down, quite literally, because there was no place to go to have it done, so yes — it’s longer than it’s been in years and I haven’t touched a blow-dryer. In early July when the salons opened, I was one of the first there, but only for color and a slight trim to get rid of the dead ends, and maybe that’s the unplanned theme of this summer for me: get rid of stuff that just doesn’t matter anymore.
In 1969, I was eight years old. A few fun facts: the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was introduced, and this matters to me because it was the first car I bought with my own money, in 1980. We went to the moon, literally. The average cost of a new home was $15,550.
A music festival known as Woodstock on a dairy farm was the center of attention, which some might say took place during a pandemic, the H3N2 influenza virus, but it was also reported there was no flu activity in the US at that time.
The Beatles released Abbey Road, their final album recorded together. My husband is English and we have traveled often to England over the years. On one of those trips we were driving by and I wanted a picture, so my twelve-year-old son reluctantly got one of my daughter and me while my husband was in the getaway car. I say it that way because we quickly learned that people don’t like it when you stop to take a picture in that road!
Nixon became President.
In the movies, Funny Girl, Midnight Cowboy and Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang were released.
Popular musicians at the time were The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John.
Oh, and my husband reminded me he was married for the first time in 1969. I suggested he stop trying to contribute to this blog.
Do I remember anything during the summer of ’69? Some stuff, but not much. I remember moments, but many of the things I mentioned above I enjoyed and appreciated later on in life.
The song “Summer of ’69” was released in 1984. I was 22 years old, 36 years ago (some math involved here) but I got it.
I was married (but that would only last a few years), working full time and not paying any attention to the news at that stage.
A few more fun facts:
The first Apple Macintosh went on sale.
Reagan was President.
The first Miss America ever to resign and surrender her crown, though this I do remember.
I was listening to Wham, Culture Club, Yes, Kenny Loggins, and loved Footloose.Springsteen released “Born in the USA.”
In the movies, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Gremlins and Footloose were a few of my favorites.
Although I was a young adult at that stage, it’s the moments that mattered and what I remember. A marriage I was fighting for but didn’t really know it at the time, friendships I made, first jobs and family occasions.
“And now the times are changin’,
Look at everything that’s come and gone.”
Wait, that’s from the song, “Summer of ‘69.” I can easily reference a time in my life when I hear a song — anyone else do that?
For me, the ‘80s and ‘90s were fun, but I was a late starter and it got real for me in 2000 when my daughter was born. The minute I held her for the first time, it was no longer about me, it was about her.
My son was an added blessing in 2002 and I remember thinking while I was pregnant with him, he will graduate high school in the year 2020, how exciting that will be for him and it seems so far away. I also remember thinking I will turn sixty his first year of college; I hope I can keep up with both my kids. Well, that went fast and so far, so good!
I started this road to sixty literally afraid to leave our home, sheltering with my husband (who is high-risk) and our kids, learned to use Instacart (which I’d never heard of before), shopped more for masks than any other item or clothing (initially anyway), and stocked up on hand-sanitizer, wipes and toilet paper.
I learned how to entertain at home, socially distanced. I fought for my son’s graduation from high school and literally planned and organized his prom for his senior class because I felt that is what they deserved to have. And one more thing — I continued to build my business and blog online because I am lucky enough to work from home. I should also add, for those of us who are midlife bloggers, the support of this community has been amazing!
Okay, so I was a little busy, just not in any way I planned.
My take-away from the summer of 2020? Times change but I’m not sure people do. We grow and adapt, hopefully in a positive way.
“Those were the best days of my life,” another line from the song. The truth is, these are the best days of my life and I’ve learned to appreciate that.
And this summer also confirmed that health comes first; your mindset makes a difference and moments matter.
How are you saying goodbye to summer? Check out what a few of my blogging friends have on their minds.