Sixty, not out…

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog | 5 comments

I turn 60 today – well the day this post went up (13 July 2017), lest you read it later. Here are some semi tongue in cheek comments I made about this in my regular column in the Advocate. It was also entitled, Sixty, not out…

I turn 60 in July. I know you’d never have guessed it, and find it hard to believe as well. But there it is, the big six zero looming up ahead.

So when does old age begin? According to an often cited study, the British consider themselves old at 59, the French at 63 and the Greeks (bless them) at 68. I haven’t spotted an official Australian figure, but my research did lead me to a paper suggesting that old age really only begins at 80, while the footnote commented that this is true only if you rule napping and knitting out, and work, the gym and travel, in. Though it wasn’t clear, I think the implication was that you actually had to do something whilst at the gym, and that the travel would be further than to the local supermarket.

I discovered helpful tips to avoid aging as rapidly as the British. Dressing for style, rather than comfort, was one of the more unpleasant ones, as was the reminder not to wear slippers or to say “back in my day”. Sighing whilst getting out of a chair is also apparently forbidden. Taking up gardening as a hobby is said to be a sure sign of an imminent demise, so I’m at absolutely zero risk there.

Given that this is an article about me, I should mention that my mother-in-law turns 100 the same month I turn 60. Of course I don’t feel old. A chat on the phone to her (she lives in South Africa) and I feel like a 20 year old (“and how are you my boy?”). And what kind of a biblical scholar would I be if I didn’t remind you that Moses was invited to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt when he was 80. You can imagine him reading this article and sniffing, “you’re a paltry 60. Tend a few sheep in the desert for another 20 years like I did, and you just might be ready to do something.”

And who knows… Moses might be right. For when you journey with God, anything can be around the corner.


  1. Happy birthday, Welcome to the ‘over the hill gang’. Being a member allows you to be grumpy without cause, complain about everything, let everyone know you are able to do most things better than everyone else. Also you are allowed to complain about todays youth, forget your wife’s birthday and the date you were married. You are allowed these things and many others. I would like to invite you to an over sixties bush walking group called ‘theheckarewegroup’ this group goes for a walk in the bush once a week and then after about an hour they sit on a fallen tree and call out ‘ where the Heck are we?’. Again happy birthday

  2. Lovely article, Happy 6th!

  3. I think you have tended quite a few sheep already, Brian. Happy 60th birthday!

  4. A very Happy Birthday Brian. The 60s are a great time to be involved in Gods awesome plan. John & and I are hoping we might catch up with you in Sydney at the ACHEA Conference next month

    • Great that you and John will be at ACHEA. Look forward to catching up.

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