by Susan Ringo

Susan Ringo celebrates her 60th

One of these days I’ll team up with my friends and write the “Fabulous Woman’s Guide to Turning 60 Fabulously.” But for now, here’s the story of my party.

After considering a trip to a favorite destination like Paris (boring), I decided instead on a four-day party at our house in Telluride, Colo., with 22 of my closest friends and family.

I can easily and happily say I’ve never had more fun in my life.

We had an intimate birthday dinner (as intimate as you can be with two dozen people), a rollicking party the next night with many more friends, an outdoor concert with picnic supper, breakfast with a dreamy French chef, a hilarious piñata event (with a shocking-pi.jpgnk piñata lovingly carried from Mexico by daughter Amy), hikes, drives, talks, games, songs … as much as you can fit into four glorious days.

The fun and joy were infectious; everyone had a great time.

I attribute the overwhelming joy to:

– No “obligatory” invitations. I was truly happy to see every one of the guests in their pajamas every morning.

– The party brought dear friends from different parts of my life together for the first time. What a satisfying experience to watch them become friends with each other. The four-day duration helped.

– I welcomed presents! A “big” birthday like this challenges people to come up with gifts that are thoughtful and often funny. They typically say so much about the giver, and I love that. I haven’t received presents like that since I was 10. I’m 60! Give me a present!

– And finally, most importantly, I am happier at 60 than I’ve been in a long, long time. My body and mind fought menopause fiercely. I often felt bleak and defeated. I couldn’t find my old self anywhere. My 50th birthday was a very different experience from my 60th.

Sure, my 40-year old friends have better skin. But I have something else that I truly treasure: Could it be maturity?

It doesn’t sound very sexy but, interestingly, it does include a sexy, more confident attitude toward life. I’m wiser, less likely to judge, more appreciative and more passionate about the things that matter. I’m proud of what I know and who I am.

What could be more worth celebrating? If it took 60 years to get here, all the better.

Susan Ringo grew up in Texas and worked as a reporter, advertising copywriter and editor in Dallas and San Francisco. For the past 20 years, she has worked in feature film and television development and production with her husband, director Barry Sonnenfeld. She has three perfect daughters and one perfect granddaughter.

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  • Tiffiny A. December 1, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Hey Susan just scanning through the web as i try to once every couple of months and came across this . Just thought I would wish you all well and say happy lat b-day lol. Think of you guys often and hope everything and everyone is wonderful.
    Tiffiny Aganowski

  • Gail Lawrence January 29, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Congrats to Susan…I did the exact same party for my 60th on Tybee Island near Savannah, Ga. My daughter and 17 girlfriends, from age 25 to 74 all joined in for the most memorable, loving time. Four days of girl bonding that to say the least a few of them where a bit leery of the idea but loved every minute.
    A joy….the whole weekend was sheer joy. Turning 60 is not the horror the media makes it out to be. Youth is wonderful….Wisdom is better. As I now approach 62….Life is fuller, richer and all around happier.
    I work full time everyday and appreciate my time with family and friends so much more. I am blessed with good health. That’s the true secret. Do everything possible to stay healthy. Do all the right things that work well for yourself.
    If you’re 59…..Welcome to the best next ten!