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!! 

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My poem

Ella Mahler

In my own thriving in the eighth decade
I am doing it.
It is okay.

If can make it
It is okay.

I can get up at four
(as Sylvia Plath did)
and write.

If I can just be active
Death will not conquer

If I can
Just make it
It will be okay.

Nuala O’Faolain says;
“There is no
Perfect tying up
Of the glorious mess of a life.”

From her book, One Hand and One Half , to be published 2016

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How might Susann spend her time?

Anonymous,  Age 70
Susann is a bright and physically strong 70 yr old woman.  She is opinionated but compassionate – she works well with the elderly and loves caring for her grandchildren – reading, instructing, and helping them stay fit.  She spent her adult life helicoptering her children and obtaining a PHD on the side.  She has taught in high school and college sporadically.  Although she lived on the East Coast with her husband she traveled to the West Coast to spend the summers with her family so she has a strong support system from her siblings now that she is a widow for 5 years.  She currently lives in a duplex with her married sibling, near most of her children.  Her interests are spending time with family, swimming, skating, and reading.  As a healthy woman with no immediate obligations, how would you suggest she structure her time wisely?

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Turning 70 YAHOOO!

Continue reading

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Seeking advice

Anonymous,  Age 69
I want to know how l can get on this mailing list to read about and get some advice on turning 70 and aging!  I am 70 in the fall!

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No time to waste

Laura,  Age 70
My birthday is January 15, tomorrow.  I will turn 70.  I retired in 2012 when caring for my mother consumed me.  She passed in 2013 and I have just come to terms with her passing.  I still work part time and will do so for another year.  I retired from a higher education position where we have the option after retirement to work for another 5 years, half time.  This eases the shock of complete retirement and gives me time to plan for the next phase.  I have racked my brain asking myself what is the next phase?  My profession consumed me entirely and it has been difficult to remove myself from it but, the 5 year transition has helped.

So, I amped up traveling which has been great, but I can’t be gone all the time.  I do have a husband who is not retired and a son and daughter-in-law that I cherish.  I am looking into volunteering, as my peers have done, and hopefully I will have grandchildren some day so I can take care of them.  One thing I have noticed is that being 70 makes me feel that there is no time to waste.  I am still confused about my age but I will get better and that will be sooner than later.

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Family matters, Goals ahead, Looking ahead, Traveling, What do we do with our time?, Work life and retirement | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

If not now…when?

Beverly,  Age 71

I turned 70 last January and more so than any other turning point, it bothered me!  I spent the year just floundering, wondering when my depression would lift and why I couldn’t move forward.  I’m in good health, reasonably secure financially and although I never married I have family nearby.

When I turned 71 a couple of weeks ago, my main reaction was, “thank God I’m not 70 anymore!”  Posting to this blog is my first step in trying to build a life now that my all-consuming career is over.  When I retired I realized that beyond work I had almost no other compartments in my life….that’s got to change and
“if not now, when?”

So I’m glad I found the “70” book and this website and plan to start taking other small steps in the next few months.  I need a purpose, I need friends and community, and I need to get in shape.

Thank you!

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Age is a mind set


Anonymous,  Age 73

I am turning 73 this January.  I live on my own…I have had a very busy life and experienced many wonderful things.

I am self employed and working!  I love my work as a designer.  I have worked through two marriages…It is important to me to stay in the best shape I can, learning new technology, looking great, “a bit of cosmetic stuff” to boost the self esteem, and trying to being current on everything! I have two wonderful grand daughters 19 and 22, who keep me on my toes…I drive a sports car and live in a loft; the stairs are great…travel when I can…

I don’t think age means a lot; it’s how you feel.  It’s a mind set…we have to keep moving and active to get the most from our lives.  The one thing I stay away from are “Old Age” venues etc…it’s just plain scary…I’m leaving that for the very last experience.


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Getting your 70Candles! book

Elena,  Age 71

I am reading the book 70 things to do when you turn 70 and in chapter 10 I found out about your blog and your book will be getting it soon.
About your 70gatherings in PA…where and when do you meet there? Would be interested to go depending if is not too far from Annapolis, Maryland.
Thank you and congratulations on making the book,

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Open to suggestions

Anonymous,  Age 70

I turned 70 recently, and that thought visits me more often than I would have expected. Neither good nor bad, it just jumps into my consciousness, and makes me stop and reset my head, so to speak.

I’ve been retired for a number of years, am in good health, though the body is aging in all the ways you might imagine. Got a new knee last January – an imperfect fix to say the least, but my physical stability is restored, and I can hike easy trails without pain again.

70 is supposed to be old. I don’t feel old in my mind. Maybe a little slower, but a lot wiser is all. I am a child of the 60s, and have maintained a progressive, intellectual outlook all this time. I know that people see me as older, but I just don’t care. Like most women, I noticed that I was invisible to men once I moved into my 50s. Their loss. Now, I have many younger friends and family members ranging from 7 to their 30s. I love them all, enjoy their company, and give them every opportunity to keep me up to date on the world they inhabit.

I divorced young after a nightmare marriage. No kids, which is really the only regret I have from my life besides that marriage. Personal freedom, solitude when I want it… I love this life at 70 more than I did at 50!

Right now, at 70, I am looking for more to do. I volunteer with kids, run book, hiking, and progressive discussion groups, and belong to a couple of others. Also have a little eBay shop. However, I still have a bit too much spare time. (No grandkids leave lots of time!) I’m open to suggestions!!!

Unless one has very poor health, I think our 70s are the gift of a lifetime! Freedom, wisdom, time to spend with loved ones-human and animal, our beautiful earth, listening to music, reading good books, and so much more.

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Family matters, Goals ahead, Looking ahead, Networking, Our bodies, our health, Resilience, Share your story | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Our book is here!

70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade

by Jane Giddan & Ellen Cole—Available now!

We are proud to announce the arrival of our book, 70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade. It’s offered by Taos Institute Publishing and is available in paperback and as a Kindle download.
Here’s a brief description:
As we turned 70, we, Jane and Ellen, friends since childhood, set out to investigate how women our age and older were living their lives. We sought role models for ourselves and messages for the droves of baby boomers on our heels. We were curious about the challenges and joys of our age-mates, their work and retirement status, living arrangements, family and social connections, and more. It was clear they were not like their own grandmothers who sat in rocking chairs knitting. But what was the new normal?
This book, informative and even inspirational, describes what we found in our reading, our ongoing 70candles.com blog, and in the 70candles conversation groups we held in various parts of the U.S. Although we’ve have taken somewhat different paths, we agree that turning 70 and entering their eighth decade has, indeed, been momentous. “Welcome to old age.” We and our peers have found this new era exciting, sometimes scary, but full of opportunity. As developmental psychologists speak of life’s stages and phases and rites of passage, the purpose of this book is the recognition that 70 is something important, part of an intriguing new stage of life, not just a birthday like any other.
70Candles! is aimed at all women approaching 70 and in their 70’s and those interested in this journey—men, women, family and friends.
We hope you will check it out and pass this news on to others who might find it of interest.
Some early reviews:
“It may be strange to say this about a practical guidebook on woman and aging but this one is pure delight ― uplifting, engaging and alive with the voices of wise women. My favorites are the 95-year-old who has a martini every night and goes barefoot as much as possible, and Nina, the futuristic woman whom the authors conjure as the strong, self-sufficient oldie all of us can become with the aid of technology. In 2016, the baby boomers start turning 70. No woman should take that leap without 70Candles! at her bedside.”
―Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of Getting Over Getting Older
’70Candles! offers wonderful wisdom, advice, and practical tips for making the most of life after seventy. In stark contrast to gloomy media portraits of aging, the authors show us how the later years can be filled with joy, excitement, and vibrant living. A book for every older person – and everyone who will become one!”
―Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., author of 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
To order: http://www.taosinstitute.net/70candles
E-Book (Kindle) version available at the above link also.
A Taos Institute Publication, Tempo Series

Posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Ageism anecdotes, Family matters, HUMOR, Looking ahead, Networking, Our bodies, our health, Poetry, Read Stories, Resilience, Stories, Technology and contemporary culture, What do we do with our time?, Where to live, Work life and retirement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments