Word To Ponder: Sexagenarian

Craig Elbe
3 min readApr 6, 2021

A sexagenarian is a person that is between 60 and 70 years old. It is also used as an adjective as being 60 years old or between the ages of 60 and 70 years old. A second adjective definition is of being related to a sexagenarian.

What caught me with this word is not so much ever hearing it, but wondering why it even exists. Or why is has to. I mean, really, does everything need a label? Can’t a person in their respective generation just be called that age or range instead of a label? It’s quite disheartening, and reminds me of something from my past.

One of my ex-girlfriends thought I was on the autism spectrum where Asperger’s Syndrome is. She and I had been living together for over two years at that point. One of her friends who is a therapist more or less diagnosed me with Asperger’s after a few couples nights out and observing me in other social settings.

My girlfriend was convinced I needed an actual diagnosis from a doctor who didn’t know me so she could understand how to “deal” with me. At that point, again over two years, we knew each other quite well and what made the other tick. She became obsessed about getting that label. We both knew the relationship was struggling and why it was. Labeling me wasn’t going to solve anything.

In short, we just stopped caring enough to meet each other’s needs. The mutual deprivation bred resentment and straw grasping. An Asperger’s diagnosis for me was her straw, whereas mine was feebly trying to replicate the early days when it was too late for her to care. We eventually came to the realization there wasn’t any turning back, and we simply grew apart after a grand total of three years. Thankfully, we parted ways amicably.

These days, there is a lot of generation bashing. Millennials garner much criticism that’s too unfair to pin on a span of time where the only commonality is when people were born. Everything that warrants criticism starts and ends with culture; the culture a person was raised in and the culture the person puts themselves in as a free choosing adult.

All people come to place in their lives when they realize their parents had to wing it and made the best choice they could at the time. When hindsight shows a better option existed, it’s up to that person to not resent their parents for any of that. You must take ownership of your life to live your best life, no matter the head start you were or were not given.

Some people can’t overcome the greatness of their parents, real or imagined, and become crippled by it and settle for a less than fulfilling life. Others don’t broaden their scope to see the bigger world that is there outside the realm their parents showed them.

Be careful what you judge and desire to label. My two examples are just two of way too many. There will always be more than meets what you’re privy to. In this short attention span reality we live in, it’s never been more important. It’s also never been more important to know yourself as best you can to withstand whatever judgement comes your way. Becoming something you’re not out of fear of judgment or influence of it serves nobody well, including yourself.

First published on craigelbe.com