Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts on Turning Seventy ~ March 17, 2015

As we start crossing thresholds like 30, parents seem to morph into "senior citizens" from our point of view. Wrong assumption! Little do we know about aging and such things until we get here. Mom and Dad retired at 52 and 61 in 1971. They sold the family compound and hit the road for a decade to explore the US and Canada before settling in Arizona. They reinvented themselves, followed their artistic muses, fished, rode trains and made friends around the country. 

As Mark Twain said "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind it doesn't matter." Hell, at 70 I've reached wise woman status and consider myself a true broad, following in the footsteps of the irreverent and forward thinking women of my family.

To celebrate this milestone of a birthday we gathered friends and neighbors for a day filled with great food, stories, laughter and decadent desserts. A BBQ in March you ask? Yup, perfect winter weather, California style. 

Birthday Girl

Special request
Lemon cake with dark chocolate frosting
from neighbor Carol

Green Goddess Lilies from Susi's garden

Before guests arrive

The afternoon: relax, chat and eat dessert

Secret to success in life and aging

Enjoy life, take care of yourself and follow your dreams.  
Question authority, be your own advocate and never stop learning. 
Always trust your gut and keep negative people out of your life.
Give back, pay it forward and take care of your own little corner of the world.
Never take anything for granted and find the humor in all situations. 
Most important is to be who you are and not give a rat's ass about what other people think.  

Some words from a few well known elders:

George Will

After 70: One has the pleasure of playing, as it were, with house money and to have escaped the disagreeable fate of dying young.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

Helen Hayes
The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.

Maurice Chevalier
The French are true romantics. They feel the only difference between a man of forty and one of seventy is thirty years of experience.

Mark Twain's Recipe for Long Life. 
The New York Times, December 6, 1905

I have achieved my seventy years in the usual way: by sticking strictly to a scheme of life which would kill anybody else. It sounds like an exaggeration, but that is really the common rule for attaining old age. When we examine the programme of any of these garrulous old people we always find that the habits which have preserved them would have decayed us. I will offer here, as a sound maxim this: that we can't reach old age by another man's road.