Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Turning Seventy

 I used to think seventy was old, but not anymore.  I have friends who are in their eighties and they are not old by any means.  They are vibrant and active and are wonderful role models.  Marion, Ruby, Birdie, Gail, Sandy, Lauraine go before me and show me that age doesn't need to slow us down.  Indeed, age simply gives us more space to soar, to express ideas to live a more fulfilling life.

No matter how high the age, it's the attitude that counts.  In my sixties, I felt old. I slacked off on my writing, but now I am back.  I endured a lot of heart and health problems and now I feel healthier and more energetic.  That, thanks to eating real food and to cardiologists who can fix ailing hearts.

The hard things about growing older are the losses.  I wrote a book a few years ago called Caring for Your Elderly Parents.  In it I asked adult children to consider the grief their parents encounter as they age.  Loss of friends, of family members, of certain abilities.  Over the past few years my family has endured many losses.  My mother was from a family of 13 children and when you add their spouses  there were 26.  There are only three aunties left now. 

In 2011 we  lost my mother.  My dear Mom was old at seventy--I think she was old even at sixty.  Yet she endured. Life was very different for her than it is for me.  She had numerous health problems. Still, she lived to be eighty-eight.  She was a fighter. She kept on keeping on regardless of her situation.

I have no idea how long I will live--of course none of us do.  And the length of time left doesn't really matter.  It is the quality of life that matters. Sure there are days what I'll look in the mirror and wonder where the older woman looking back at me came from.  Undoubtedly, there will be hard days when sadness and depression threaten to tear me down.  It happens and everyone deserves a pity party from time to time.  But every day, even when I feel down,  I will thank God for my life and my many many blessings.

I will rejoice in my children and my grandchildren and in my adorable great grandchildren.  I am seventy, but I am young enough to enjoy them.  I still have a healthy mind.  Okay, so I forget things--like what I was going to say or what I went into the other room for.  But I remember a lot of things too. 

I remember how to love and to hope and to give.  I remember that like a fine wine we get better with age.  I remember how to write a good mystery and I am doing just that.

I am not thrilled about turning seventy, but when I consider the alternative, it's not so bad. So here I go.

Soaring into the seventies, Pat