Flourishing in the Eighth Decade!

Women everywhere, welcome to our blogspot, a space for sharing experiences, thoughts, and ideas about how to overcome obstacles and thrive as we approach and endure in the eighth decade of life. We hope this exchange will be a source of inspiration for the next generation of seventy year olds. Those baby boomers are hot on our heels, and want to know more about what lies ahead. Nobody gave us a guidebook or shared what this path might be like. As we burn those seventy candles, we can help shed some light on the trail for them.

What has this transition been like for you? Serious, funny, commonplace, unusual, short, long stories, all are welcome. How does it feel to be among the oldest in the crowd? What does it take to thrive in this decade? How do you think others see you? What contributes to well-being and yes, flourishing at three score and ten?

We welcome the comments and reflections of women everywhere. All cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic status and backgrounds; as diverse a sample as we can reach.

Please contribute brief anecdotes, observations, thoughts, ideas, and life stories by posting them in the comment section below.

Alternatively, you could email longer stories to us at 70candles@gmail.com. Please include information about your age, ethnicity/cultural background, geographic location, education, and work status. We will organize, collate, and share your emailed stories anonymously on this blogspot. Ultimately this may become a book about how our generation flourishes. Spread the word!! 

Posted in 70candles | 30 Comments

Aging gracefully in the West Indies

Anette, Age 72

Hi,
I am 72, mixed Asian and living my life to the fullest and I want to share some thoughts with my kindred spirits. I live in a tropical island in the West Indies. I have four grown children who live away from me, and six grands. I no longer babysit, as I have made that abundantly clear a while ago. I love my family..they are my joy and passion, but now I am living for me.. My husband passed away in 2015, so I live alone in my spacious house. I still work part time, I like being alone because being alone has a power few people can handle.

I weigh 127 pounds, petite 5′ 2″, adequately proportioned as well and I am in good health so far. I dress classy, wear 4′ heels and wear appropriate makeup. I am always complimented about my looks for my age and I still attract the opposite sex. I have discovered that I am more in tune with a forty year old guy than one nearer my age. I find them impotent in comparison.

I attribute my health to my continuous use of Premarin, since my menopause at 55 years, which is advised against by health professionals worldwide. My own view is that when your body stops producing estrogens, everything starts shutting down agewise- so what’s the harm in continuing to introduce this remarkable hormone into your system? Personally, the pros far outweigh the cons as evidenced by myself. I am not in any gym, I do a bit of walking now and then. I have a very active social life and I enjoy attending live shows, card games, travelling and I love sharing naughty jokes with my few friends, Actually, I have far outlived my contemporaries,some of whom are still around, but they are not enjoying good health.

I consider myself blessed as I optimistically look forward to another fulfilling year of my life. I never ask for many years, all I want is one more as I fully live in the now. That’s the only sure thing in my life as tomorrow is never promised. My eating habits have always been the same, small quantities several times per day and I partake of everything that I like and want to eat.

I shall appreciate hearing from any 70’s who share similarities with me.
Regards,

Anette.

Posted in 70candles, Family matters, Older women connecting, Our bodies, our health, Where to live | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

In sickness and in health

Anonymous,  Almost 70

I have had a few health scares of late…one of them possible Glaucoma….but not tested yet due to a terrible reaction to some medicine prescribed for eyelid dermatitis by one ophthalmologist which propelled visit to another ophthalmologist He is the one who said you might have glaucoma but we both chose not to test for it at this point because of skin/eye irritation from the medicine I have been taken. I have an appt. with him in 3 weeks for Glaucoma test.

Why I am really writing to Seventy Candles…is for any special advice on how to be in the moment with such worries and possible illnesses or whatever. I know as they say it can be worse….and have always had a bit of a hypochondria personality…but my love of life personality always managed to outweigh it….but lately not as easy…and I’m turning 70 this month ..and I wonder if that makes me more anxious. I don’t like this new me. However, I still love life, I am active etc..but this hypochondria and some very real possibilities is seeming to get more attention in my mind.

Have any of you experienced this? Any advice from any of you insightful women on how to deal with this would be so appreciative.

Best.

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Our bodies, our health | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

I cherish each birthday

Janie,  Almost 68

I have been looking for a blog to share with other women around my age for quite some time. Today I stumbled upon your site. How wonderful, I loved reading the stories so far.

I am in remission from breast cancer (2 years) and as a result my perspective on life has definitely changed. I look forward to my 68th birthday with happiness and glee. I used to dread growing older but now I cherish each birthday.

I line dance with other senior women twice a week. I highly recommend it if you can, great exercise for the body and mind, and the opportunity to meet other women your age.

My husband and I have 5 shared children and 11 grandchildren, we are blessed. We recently downsized to a duplex. This was difficult for me, we had a beautiful home and I always equated that with success. However I am not minding the house cleaning, much easier.

I retired from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. I was so used to working it took me forever to get used to retirement. I now highly recommend it. The key is to stay involved.

I have rambled enough, thank you for the opportunity to connect with other women who are in their “golden years”.

Janie

Posted in 70candles, Looking ahead, Networking, Older women connecting, Our bodies, our health, Resilience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s next?

Diana,  Age 72

What’s next in your life?

We’re old enough to know (thankfully) that life doesn’t end at seventy. It continues to challenge, frustrate, and satisfy.

There’s always a next step – we’re old but we’re not out – what’s the next step in your life?

My husband and I moved to Knoxville on his retirement to be near our daughter and her family. We have a single family house in a nice neighborhood, with friendly neighbors but no close friends our age nearby
.
Our health is good now (and we do Everything in our power to keep it that way), but we know that someday we’re going to need a smaller place.

So my ‘next step’ is wondering when and where to downsize yet again.

I’m thinking two more years here, then get serious about selling and moving. But moving to what? I haven’t heard of any great senior communities here in Knox County and there’s no way I’m going any further from my support system. (Great solutions always appreciated.)

So what’s next in your life?

Posted in 70candles, Family matters, Looking ahead, Older women connecting, Where to live | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

To move or not to move?

Carol,  Age 69

I AM 69 BUT SOON TO BE 70 AND MY HUSBAND IS 73, AND FOR 5YRS NOW WE CANT DECIDE IF WE SHOULD LEAVE OUR FAMILIES FOR A WARMER LOCATION THAN CHICAGO. OUR GRAND KIDS ARE 11YRS AND 13YRS AND MY SON AND HIS WIFE WILL BE MOVING TO FLORIDA IN 8 TO 10 YEARS WHEN THE KIDS GO TO COLLEGE. BUT, THATS A LONG TIME FROM NOW FOR US, SO WE DONT KNOW IF ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AND FLYING BACK AND FORTH TO VISIT THEM WOULD RUN INTO TOO MUCH MONEY FOR US BECAUSE WE ARE AVERAGE INCOME PEOPLE. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Family matters, Looking ahead, Where to live | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Unquenchable desire for Ongoingness

Roseann,  Almost  70

I will be 70 years old tomorrow…Jan. 5, 1948 was my entrance into this world…

I just found this site, through the gift of the book “70 Things to Do When You Turn 70.” I work 28 hours a week as an addictions counselor and addictions educator- and today, due to the snow and frigid temperatures, our office is closed. How blessed am I- or I would not have picked up the book to read and discover your website.
Its funny, but the thought came to me to celebrate my birthday with all of you- who are also 70 and beyond…A sisterhood for sure. For we have lived, loved, laughed, cried, explored our Hearts and Souls, and are filled with an unquenchable desire for Ongoingness…I remember well a quote from Anne Frank’s diary- unbeknownst to her, that her diary would one day be found, she had written, ” I want to go on living even after my death…” And so she has- and didn’t have to plan it or manipulate it to make it happen. I kind of feel like that- I want to go on living even after my death. And I realize that the best way to do that is to live well, making beautiful memories with every person who touches my day…open to the imprint that they make upon me, and humbly grateful that I can- in some way- also create an imprint of memory upon them.

I told my friends that I did not want any birthday gifts this year- I have many scarves, books, bracelets, candles, figurines of Angels and so on- and I cherish them all- but do not really need any more…I told them what I wanted from them is to spend time with them- that would be the best gift ever. I told them that they have 365 days in which to plan something with me for this birthday year- a breakfast, lunch or dinner at a local dinner, a trip to the ocean, a day in the city, a trip to the gardens, a spiritual workshop, a concert etc. ( I will pay my own way- the gift is the gift of time…) Something special- and it had to be for more than just one hour! We are always rushing, rushing, living life in time slots…The gift is to spend quality time and just BE together in the precious moment. I will take photographs of each wonderful “Being Together Day,” and make a book of it…

This is my dream and I will let you know how it turns out!
So to all those on this website, may I offer my hello to you and thank you for being here, on the eve of my 70 th Birthday…It is cold and snowy outside (actually, its freezing and tomorrow is supposed to be worse!) but I feel warm and loved within…I hope to be here a long time- for I do so enjoy and am in awe of the Journey…I hope that is part of the Soul Plan…There are so many Hearts I have yet to meet, so many places yet to see, so many words yet to write, so many prayers yet to pray…Happy Birthday to me and to all of you…Each day can be a new Birth Day…

Thank you for listening- and for helping me celebrate this special time of my life…

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Goals ahead, Gratitude and Spirituality, Looking ahead, Networking, Older women connecting, Resilience, What do we do with our time? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We send our very best wishes to all the women who are part of our 70Candles! family.

Your wise and heartfelt participation continues to make this blog a place of warmth, comfort and inspiration for women everywhere.

May 2018 be a year of health, friendship and fulfillment for you all.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jane and Ellen

Posted in 70candles, Gratitude and Spirituality, Looking ahead, Older women connecting | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Ireland-to do as I like

Pam,  Age 74

Hi all,
I’m 74 and not finished. I would like to accomplish one more item on my to do list, which is to travel back to Ireland alone. Spend a few weeks/months just doing my stuff. Many years ago I visited Ireland with my spouse (at the time), but didn’t feel free to do some of the things that I wanted to do. I plan to rent a car and travel, but not sure about driving on the wrong side of the road. I don’t want to take a bus tour. I would also like to rent a cottage to do my writing and just do as I like. Any feed back would be welcome.

Posted in 70candles, Goals ahead, Looking ahead, Networking, Older women connecting, Traveling, What do we do with our time? | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Am I too late?

Valerie,  Age, 697

I have read some of the submissions and really like that the two of you want to hear about how we flourish. At least that’s what I heard, or understood. What about if I didn’t flourish. What about the rude awakening that what I thought I was doing was living, not realizing, that I was sliding quickly into 70!

I divorced after 24 years, my 4th marriage! I was raised by a mom who had three children, by three different husbands. I had two sons, with two different husbands. I was not encouraged to go to college, my step dad was unfit, I was banished at 17 and had to find my own place to live.

I was ill a great deal during my life, have had many many surgeries, didn’t ever make a career out of the opportunities that were afforded to me. WISH so much that I had, now. Had no financial training, don’t have retirement locked up. Never knew who I was or what I wanted to do.

Did a lot of not so good things in my mid life. Took care of both my parents before they died. Although they were not married for many years, and I missed that very much.

I would like to know, am I too late, will I make it to a happy place? Why didn’t I become the woman I see you have become? I am grateful but afraid, and hope and pray, although I am not very good at that, either, that I can someday believe that I did my best, with the tools I had and that I tried so very hard.

I have recently met two woman who will turn 70 this summer with me. We are so different and all shocked that we are 70! I am so glad I met them, we will celebrate and flourish as we do.

Take care,
Valerie

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Caretaking, Family matters, Finances, Networking, Older women connecting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Mothering middle-aged women

Sandra Butler,  Age 79

Hello everyone,

As I approach my 80th birthday and move into my next decade of candles, I’m delighted to let you know about my newest book, It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Women written with close friend and colleague Nan Gefen, and published by She Writes Press.

As mothers enter the last decades of our lives, the historic roles we’ve held with our daughters often shift and change in complicated ways. Now that we are no longer central in caring for them as we once were, many women report experiencing a recalibrating of authority, autonomy, and independence.

It Never Ends is a long overdue exploration of the complex challenges and unexpected rewards of aging mothers in their relationships with their midlife daughters. Based on interviews with women between 65 and 85, we illuminate the complex issues of closeness, distance, longing, and need that arise. Mothers reflect upon the ongoing effects of the past on the present, the cultural, familial, and interpersonal conflicts that remain, and the varied and often invisible ways they continue mothering. The book reveals mothers’ courage as they reflect on the mistakes they’ve made, acknowledge their regrets, and search to come to terms with their relationships as they now are.

I’m delighted to join you on these pages and eager to hear your response, thoughts, questions and ideas about how this conversation can move forward.

Posted in 70candles, Caretaking, Family matters, Parenting, Share your story | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments