Yesterday was one of those lifetime mile-markers, as I celebrated my 60th Birthday. As birthday’s go, this one was much more reflective than most. The 60th birthday is considered to be one of those milestone birthdays.
Turning 60 is special. For some 60-year-olds, it could mean the opportunity to be with kids and grandkids; for others, it may be the time to party at a favorite haunt with old buddies with music playing in the background. If retirement is on its way, turning 60 may also be the kickstart for new pursuits and hobbies.
This birthday is a major milestone in some cultures as well. In China, for example, someone who has arrived at the age of 60 is considered to have completed a full life cycle. The 60th birthday is commemorated with such great extravagance because following the 60th year, the person celebrates a new life.
If you’re nearing this milestone, or planning a special celebration for that special 60-year-old, here are a few great suggestions:
Surround Yourself with Your Children and Grandchildren: No matter the age, there's nothing more important than family. Use your 60th birthday as an opportunity to spend time with those you love most. You can relive the magical moments of life by telling stories about your past, like describing where you were during important points in history.
Find a Hobby or Follow Your Passion: Wouldn't it be fun to finally open your own little cafe? Maybe you can take up gardening or some other new skill. Join a yoga class, go for a guided tour to a distant place, and enjoy partying with your friends. Whatever you choose, treat your 60th trip around the sun as a chance to try new things.¹
We closed out a weekend of celebrating with an all-family ZOOM call, as with our family in various stages of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, we decided to err on the side of safety. Again, ZOOM is a wonderful digital platform used for business, education, and family meetings alike. It’s so user friendly as Sandi & I use it often for both our family get-togethers and our Dan & Cindi shows.²
As I’ve felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude & thankfulness this week, I couldn’t help but think back over the years of parents, family & friends who’ve poured into my life along the way. Teachers, coaches & pastors that have made a difference. I’ve begun a process of writing ‘thank you’ notes to those folks who made a difference in my life…I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
But the process of writing these notes, has brought to mind a question; “Are manners becoming a thing of the past? Are Etiquette & good manners still in vogue?"
Manners still matter!
Some people argue that etiquette no longer matters, that the rules for good behavior are old-fashioned and out of date. However, good behavior and manners are never out of style. Etiquette is merely a set of guidelines for politeness and good manners, the kindnesses with which we should always treat each other. It will always matter!
Etiquette, the complex network of rules that govern good behavior and our social and business interactions, is always evolving and changing as society changes. It reflects our cultural norms, generally accepted ethical codes, and the rules of various groups we belong to.
In earlier times, the rules of etiquette were used for two purposes: to remind people of their own status within society and to reinforce certain restrictions on individuals within that society.³
Thank You is such a ‘small phrase’
Even though ‘thank you’ is such a small phrase, it can have big dividends. In a recent Psychology Today article, the ripple effect of a simple ‘thank you’ can be far reaching.
When you say "thank you" to someone, it's a small moment with big ripples: a confirmation of a deep and wonderful truth, that we all depend on each other, that we are all joined — across dinner tables and across the world — in a web whose threads are innumerable acts of giving.
For example, when sitting at a dinner table, thinking of all the hands that were a part of that very meal? From farm growers, preparers and servers — all had a role to play. You can’t possibly say thank you to everything you’re given. No one can. So, when you do say thanks, it’s a token of your appreciation for the larger whole, joining you with that whole. It will make you happy to open to the giving coming your way each day.
And in giving thanks to the people in your life, you open the door to receiving their thanks in turn. In your home or company, a nice circle, a step toward a culture of gratitude.
Many thank-you's involve little things in the flow of life, like thanking someone for passing the salt at dinner. Let these small moments matter to you. Feel your thanks in your chest and throat. When you say your thanks, try to let them show in your eyes. Life is made up of moments, beads on a golden chain; what are you stringing together? As they say in Tibet: "If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves."⁴
Are there other ways to say ‘thank you”?
Of course, a "thank you" is always appreciated — but, we've all become so used to hearing those two little words, they've all but lost their meaning in many cases.
When someone does something that inspires you to offer an expression that seems even more heartfelt and sincere, you might find yourself struggling to demonstrate your thankfulness — without relying on those oft-repeated words.
So, here are a few ways to thank someone (that don't involve those two little words you hear so often).
"I really appreciate that." Yes, this is essentially what the phrase "thank you" means. But, explicitly saying it to someone who helped you out can have a much greater impact than relying on that phrase that's uttered over and over again.
"You're a lifesaver." Recognizing results is another great way to sincerely show your gratitude. What's an easy way to accomplish that? Explaining how that person helped you out is the best place to start.
"How can I repay you?” There's no better way to show your gratitude than by being willing to return the favor when the opportunity arises. So, posing this question is an immediate way to show that you're more than ready act on your appreciation — rather than just talk about it.⁵
Not to sound cliché, but thank-you, for allowing me to pause, reflect a bit, and to look a little deeper into the ‘why’ behind the phrase ‘thank you.’ My Mother always said that, “Manners are the cornerstone of character.”
The scriptures remind us to, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).
It could be surmised, that a thankful attitude or an attitude of thanks — is really a matter of the heart. Is there any reason why this adopted Greek boy from West Virginia is so very blessed? To have my wife & best friend? Eight amazing & wonderful kiddos? And, now to add eight grandchildren into the mix? I haven’t even mentioned finding my birth Father and my 4 Brothers — yes, Brothers from another Mother.
I’ve often wondered if ‘blessings’ in life are really the blessings? Could it be that the ‘knowing you’re blessed’ is the blessing? Could the blessing be in the knowing? It is for me?
So, this week, let’s take stock, and let a spirit of gratitude & thankfulness well up inside you —as it’s good for the heart! At the very least, it’ll be great for those around you. And you know what, it might even give you a fresh start for what 2021 may indeed hold for you!
Remember, at Conizo we not only want to know your story — we’d love to help fill in the pages a bit in your story of a well-lived life. We hope to be an industry leader in providing the best in multigenerational information, resources, and experiences. We’re here for you!⁶
Thanks for stopping by…Live Life Well!
Liveaboutdotcom, Celebrate Turning 60 on Your Own Terms, https://www.liveabout.com/60th-birthday-quotes-2832170
The Importance of Etiquette, https://www.universalclass.com/articles/self-helpetiquette//the-importance-of-etiquette.htm
Psychology Today, Say Thank You, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-wise-brain/201808/say-thank-you
INC.com, 4 Better Ways to Say Thank You, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-wise-brain/201808/say-thank-you
Conizo Living and Wellness, www.Conizo.com