Senior, Single and Seventy 

So you’re a little bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be” sings Bob Seger; one of my favorites from the 60’s! I’m proud to say I sang and danced to rock and roll all through MY 60’s....just as Rock and Roll Never Forgets; neither have I! My family is used to rock songs blasting in my car; or being coaxed to dance with me when it's played at a concert, theater or store aisles.  But as I approach another Birthday, I wonder if it’s time to grow up and stop acting like a sixty-something kid?  I’ll be 73 this year…along with a dozen of my high school girlfriends who’ve stayed close all these years.

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my life. I don’t care how old I am, I’ll always want a cake, presents and fun celebration. Even if it sounds like this:  "Wow! You are a very big number" as my youngest grandson exclaimed last year.  I get as excited about mine as they do ...courtesy of the 70 plus years of   ‘birthday wisdom’ I’ve accumulated. My parents made our birthdays a grand and festive occasion. My siblings and I would dress in our Sunday best; and because we each shared our birth dates with a grandparent.... it was even more special! As we grew older, our grandmothers took us shopping for new clothes (as I now do with my older grand girls!)   On my 13th, I had a party with both boys and girls…..and listened to rock and roll of course! I was thrilled to receive gifts of single dollar bills; at the time it seemed like a million bucks!

I find great joy in celebrating others' special day as well!  As soon as the first grandchild came along, I started celebrating Half Birthdays! It worked out well with the older two as their days are exactly six months apart. The three younger ones have winter birthdays.......too long to wait till next one!  So Grandma makes sure there's a spring time celebration for them. When our kids were young, we posted signs around the house with photos and proclamations of how awesome they were........a tradition they carry on now with their children. While my folks were still living, they called each grandchild and great-grandchild to sing Happy Birthday over the phone! My Mom would send cards with money in the amount of how old they were.....something I wish I still did. I love giving wrapped gifts!





I’m blessed that my family supports my indulgences. They jumped on board for my 65th celebration at the beach. We rode five miles on our bikes, counted 65 steps in the sand....six times sliding down the ship's pulley rope, five times up and down the fire pole........you get the idea! I received 65 balloons from Mom and 65 M&M's from the grandkids! Yes, they’re catching birthday fever from me!



Sometimes it’s an even-bigger-than-usual-deal! One year I flew over the snow on a dog sled in Alaska with my oldest granddaughter. I spent another birthday in Australia climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge.   I was totally caught off guard when my sister invited me for dinner…..and I walked into a room full of friends shouting "surprise" on my 50th!  A few years ago my Mom sent me a special gift.....a beautiful necklace with the birthstones of my five grandkids! Some years it's just sweet and simple....like a yummy cake, cards and a few kiddos. I was an educator for over 30 years, and even though my birthday often fell during Spring Break, room moms and colleagues always made sure there was a gift, student-made cards and a cake each year. No wonder I'm spoiled!













My gal pals and I will be meeting for our annual gathering in Michigan again this summer. We’ve stayed in different places over the years; places where we can shop, eat and talk……mostly talk! There’s nothing better than catching up and sharing stories of our lives. This year we’ll be toasting one another during our collective celebration at Greenfield Village. I can’t think of a better ‘big deal’ way to honor my birthday than with these amazing women who’ve been together through it all! 
The 1960’s gave me my start; I graduated college, got married, began teaching, and had my first child. I taught aerobics, learned to hook a rug, renovated our lake house and honed my gardening skills.  By the time I reached age 60….I’d had another child, moved cross-country three times, received my masters degree, became a principal, worked as a fitness trainer, learned country line dancing and welcomed three grandchildren!



My 60’s brought two more…twins! And then…retirement, travel and discovering Zumba, paddle boarding and blogging! I survived uprooting my kids, finding new jobs in new places, financial woes, illnesses, graying hair and the loss of my parents. The sudden death of my husband brought me to a standstill for awhile…..but I’m surviving. He helped grow me strong and equipped me to carry on; to welcome this new chapter in my life.


Senior, single and seventy....wow! This is how I see it; instead of aging, I’m increasing in value! I’ve got grandchildren, wisdom and energy. I've had 7 perfect decades of life and love; wonderful friends and neighbors from all the places I’ve lived and worked and I'm ready to embrace whatever unfolds in the years to come! That’s very valuable indeed!   

Seger closes Night Moves with this; “strange how the night moves with autumn closing in.” Slowing down a bit maybe, but I’m not done dancing.  Autumn is also called Indian summer…..still lots of time to grow older and bolder; to learn, laugh and love some more. 





16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful attitude to have...and share. I too will turn seventy this year, thanks for the boost. Some times I find myself thinking too much about how near the end of the road I am instead of what a great road it has been so far. Gotta work on that.

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    1. Yes you do, Bob! For sure. I was scared after my husband died as his parents live into their 90's and he was just 70 with no apparent problems. My folks lived into their 80s...but that doesn't mean anything to me now. But it's in my nature to keep moving and learning and enjoying; so I guess that's a good thing! Stay busy and connected with fun things and fun people every day! :) Thank you for reading and commenting...you're a great fan...AND...you don't look like you'' be 70 at all!!!

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  2. Look how lovely and adventurous you are! Bigger numbers are better, and you prove that. The pictures of you and your sweet ones make me smile. And the Bob Seger lyrics make my heart sing. Seventy is going to be a great year for you! Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you, my friend! That's one way to look at it 'big numbers are better' as Laney said. The truth is I don't feel any older....just keep being me and having fun! My husband was annoyed by my Pollyanna-ism sometimes....but it has served me well!

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  3. I love that you say instead of aging you are increasing in value. That should be emblazed on t-shirts! Thanks for showing that age is only a state of mind--and stay as youthful and vibrant and excited about birthdays as long as you can!
    Estelle

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    1. I like what you say about staying vibrant and excited! These things do keep me feeling young I think. I appreciate you taking time to read me and leave a comment, Estelle!

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  4. I share your active and optimistic spirit--it's the only way to age! Thanks for being a great role model--I'm not that far behind you!

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    1. Wow, a role model....what an honor, Carol! Thanks to both you and Estelle for your sweet words of encouragement. I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful sisterhood of writers!

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  5. What an inspiring attitude. As a fellow teacher, I can imagine how much energy and hope you brought to your students' lives. I will look forward to following your exploits from afar where I live in Switzerland.

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    1. Thank you, Pat! I follow Sixty and Me from Switzerland.....are you part of that? So wonderful to be global friends....real friends! I did have fun teaching.....still go back as a sub in my favorite grade... 4th....and the gifted classrooms! Remember when we were young having old teachers? That's me! LOL

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  6. I agree with Carol. You are very inspiring and a role model, Joan. While I'm not a big birthday celebration kind of gal, I do plan trips around key ages. I went to Antarctica for my 50th and will be leaving for Namibia in a couple months to celebrate my 55th. I plan to stay active and to celebrate life out loud, just like you.

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    1. Thanks, Jen...I never wanted to be role model by becoming a widow before any of my friends; but that's what they called me. At least I'm in good company with the 70 somethings! There's a great group of bloggers I'm enjoying!
      Love how you say 'live out loud'....my new favorite phrase! Have great fun on your Namibia trip; you'll have so much to share!

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  7. Hi Joan! Happy Birthday (soon!) I knew after reading your blog for a while that we had a lot in common and this one confirms it---I love to celebrate too! Birthdays are just another great reason to celebrate being alive. And I completely agree that age is only a number and that people are as young as they feel and show the world. I LOVE all the things you do to celebrate your age and think your plan to get together with girlfriends will be AWESOME. Sure life throws us curve balls now and then, and they aren't always easy, but you are offering us and those around you a great example of how to not just take it in stride--but thrive! Looking forward to hearing of many, many more celebrations in your future. ~Kathy

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  8. Oh wow! Thanks for taking the time to write this beautiful comment! I too can tell from your posts and articles what a zest for life you have and appreciate your nurturing and healthy info! I continue to move forward and I love the word thrive here; a great goal as well as motivator. :) Thank you so much, my friend!

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  9. Joan - What a wonderful post. Thanks so much for sharing this on my first blogger link-up party

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  10. Happy Birthday! What a great tradition and inspiration on birthday joy sharing!

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