As I Approach 70...

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Yikes, I can hardly believe I’m about to be 70 (in just a couple of months). Where did the time go? How did it go so quickly? Is there a way I can stop it? Can I laugh it away or merely move into acceptance?

I notice there are more struggles than expected. That is, there are more things to deal with. I thought I’d tap into a few of them and perhaps write about them in more detail in the future. I’ll weave in some of my own experiences along the way, as well, hoping it may be helpful.

Projected topics will include:

  • The issue of where do we live and with whom?
  • The issue of work—do we keep working or stop?
  • Those nasty, annoying health issues, of course.
  • The issues surrounding caregiving and relationships with children, grandchildren and friends.

Let me just introduce this series, say a few things and then roll the rest of them out to you in the near future.

It seems like 70 showed up really quickly. Maybe that’s because for the last 912 years, beginning at age 60, I took myself on an adventure of a lifetime. I sold everything in March of 2006 and moved from Austin, TX, to New York City... just because I wanted to. It had been a life-long dream of mine, and it was an amazing experience. I work for myself, as a consultant and speaker, so I could operate from there easily. I am very social, so I met people and became a real active “New Yorker.”

I had a lot of energy and never felt my age was an issue or a hindrance... until, at age 63, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There I was, living far away from my family, my child, divorced, on my own and self-employed. Many people stepped up to help, but it wasn’t the same as having a partner to rely on. Cancer took on a life of it’s own for a while; about two years. There was surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and ongoing exhaustion. But, I truly made it through like a super hero. I’m doing great.

Just a few months ago, I decided to leave NY and return to Austin. I mainly wanted to be closer to my son and life-long friends. The fact that it’s warmer there and that the last few winters in NY were awful definitely contributed to the decision.

I’ve been back in Austin, working to rebuild friendships, find more work. In essence, I’m “rebooting, reinventing, and regenerating” my life… AGAIN!

My messages here are simple:

  • We are never too old to try new things/reboot!
  • We can even experience challenges and ask for help.
  • Know when to hold them, know when to fold them (as Kenny Rogers would sing)
  • Get all you can from life, but retreat when you need to.

I hope this is helpful and I invite you to share it with others.

In the next part of this series, I’m going to take on: Where to Live and with Whom!

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3 Comments

Nice! Well said. Thank you for your insights..
I agree with your messages. I am approaching 80, still a care giver, still planning new adventures and still learning to ask for help. I worked until I was 73 and had to stop (fold) as the challenges of caregiving became too great, My mother is now 103 and well cared for in a facility and more stable than she has been for years due to appropriate meds. I am divorced too and am in a relationship that we consider permanent. Having been in my own for many years, I opened my life up to another partner when I was over 70. I can recommend it to anyone. I have had adventures with R that I would never have had on my own and also he has been very helpful and supportive with my mother. We are looking at making some lifestyle changes in the future. R (younger than me) still works and I want to become a snowbird - spend time in the south in the winters where he can join me for breaks. I also want us to move from this largish house to a senior's community where help is more easily available than here. I have some health issues which are to some degree related to the stress of care giving. I caution others to look after themselves as I wish I had done that better earlier in my life. The health issues - CFS/FM and gut infections that flare up are not life threatening, but do limit my energy and ability to do things. I search for alternative meds/supplements to help and ways to keep active. The "Where to live and with whom" is already mainly answered in my life. I don't agree that we can avoid aging - it is a biological reality. However, I do believe that we can avoid some, though not all, of the vicissitudes of aging by a carefully chosen and practiced lifestyle. It is a matter of, at any given time, making the best of what you have.
Very interesting. Brave of you to move and start over in a new place and no family around. I'm so glad you're recovering nicely from the cancer. Best wishes on all your endeavors !