Reflections On 60.

Today is my 60th birthday. I went to the gym, came home, showered, and put on shorts and a white ocbd. While I was doing so, it occurred to me that this is probably my most Ivy year yet.

The author at 60, pre-gym, no filters. Why? Because you can dress a lot of things up, but some times just who you are and what you know are the most important things.

At 60, I have some experiences and accomplishments under my belt. Of course there were mistakes and missteps, things I wish I had done differently, people I hurt, all of that. But at 60, I’ve learned to keep the lessons but let go of the shame. That’s Ivy, a tradition and history with an emphasis on the value of learning.

At 60, I have people in my life that I love more than I have ever loved anything, and I have learned over the last year what the meaning of the word family really is. Like I said, late to the party perhaps but at least I got here. I always think of that story, I told it here, when the nurse asked me why I wore a suit to take my family to chemo and I said, “because I respect what you are doing and what she is going through.” Showing respect through dress is one of the most meaningful ways. I don’t care about my earring all that much, but I do care that the people I love and the things I respect are shown that in my choice of clothes.

At 60, I have finally learned not to care that much about the negativity in the world. And it gives me a confidence I never had before. I have learned that when people are negative it is almost always about something else. Or, as my 15 year old daughter says, “Sounds like a YOU problem.” Ivy is confidence.

At 60, I am in the very strange spot of knowing that my best days are still in front of me. I credit a lot of that to the study and application of Ivy. While I am not at all perfect, I have worked hard and have prospects. Hard work is Ivy. I have developed great friendships with a diversity of people. Both friendship and diversity are Ivy. And I am taking the rest of my life seriously, but I am going to make sure it is my own and not overly serious. When I think about a student back in the hey, taking things seriously but also wearing a leather loafer without a sock, it kinda feels like that.

Most importantly, at 60 I finally understand dignity and the value of it to myself and to others. Dignity is the gateway to so many good things. May we all share dignity with each other always.

Next week, a piece on this line J. Press is offering. For a sneak peek, click here.


22 Comments on "Reflections On 60."

  1. Commonwealth Colonel | August 3, 2023 at 3:13 pm |

    Happy birthday, JB!

  2. The Amazing Tom | August 3, 2023 at 3:17 pm |

    Happy Birthday and thanks for this site.

  3. Happy Birthday! Wise words

  4. Roger Sack | August 3, 2023 at 5:19 pm |

    Happy Birthday !!
    Enjoy being sixty. I did.
    Keep Up the Great Work!

  5. Gregory Carrara | August 3, 2023 at 5:32 pm |

    Happy Birthday and wise words-well reflected!

  6. Richard E. Press | August 3, 2023 at 6:50 pm |

    Happy Birthday kiddo, a prime player indeed, Richard

  7. Jeri Gallant Keer | August 3, 2023 at 9:12 pm |

    Happy Birthday John! Thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts and for this wonderful website. Enjoy your next trip around the sun!

  8. NaturalShoulder | August 3, 2023 at 10:19 pm |

    Happy birthday. Would never have guessed you to be 60. Your message resonated with me as I am about to turn 54 and realize this past year was one of my best ever and am hopefully the next year is better. Age brings with it life experiences which can provide wisdom.

  9. Happy birthday and always appreciate your insight.

  10. David Salter | August 4, 2023 at 7:41 am |

    Happy Birthday. Wise words indeed. I wish I had had the clarity of vision at sixty that you have. Still, I cobbled it together along the way and it turned out well.

  11. Very well said.
    Happy Birthday John and wishing you many more!!!!

  12. Charlottesville | August 4, 2023 at 8:58 am |

    Happy birthday, John. Very best wishes for your new decade.

  13. A day late, but Happy Birthday!

  14. Best wishes. Here’s my wish:

    May Ivy Style age like a well-worn, broken-in OCBD. Frayed around the edges but better with time.

  15. Michael Powell | August 4, 2023 at 9:39 am |

    You say it’s your birthday…
    It’s my birthday too, yeah…
    Happy birthday to you!

  16. the passenger | August 4, 2023 at 11:08 am |

    Happy birthday, John!

  17. whiskeydent | August 4, 2023 at 11:29 am |

    Have a good’n!

  18. Well stated! I’ll keep it in mind when I turn 57 in November.

    Happy Birthday and Kind Regards,


  19. Hardbopper | August 4, 2023 at 5:50 pm |

    Happy birthday! And thanks for not posting your birthday suit.

  20. Happy belated birthday John. You are wearing 60 very well! I turned 62 in July. Some days I feel “old”, but mostly I’m enjoying and appreciative of the ride. Your site is great – please keep up the good work.

  21. James Borkowski | August 6, 2023 at 7:03 am |


    Words to ponder on your 60th birtday:

    At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.
    At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground.
    At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.
    At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.
    At sixty, I heard them with docile ear.
    At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.

    Happy Birthday!

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