On Nearing Seventy

by Janet Adams Dunn

This one is different.
The sixty-nine others came and went so smoothly.
They didn’t change me, or cause discomfort.
They didn’t mess with me like this one.
I still felt the same and smiled each year.
I even scoffed, “You can’t scare me”, I said,
With confidence. But not this one.

Seventy? Is seventy old?
It sure doesn’t feel old. Not even close.
I still deadlift and grow strong new muscle.
I walk fast and hold myself up straight.
I still dance and move with rhythm.
I still seek knowledge, and laughter and …. affection.
I am still quite alive, thank God.

Yet I wonder ….
Are years counted on all my fingers,
Of one hand or two? Oh God I pray for more.
How many hugs and holidays with my children?
Or glorious sunrise snuggles and coffee?
It’s far too foggy and unsafe ahead. I prefer clarity.
I already miss what I don’t even know I will miss.
I grieve. I think too much.

These thoughts are new to me.
They swirl around inside my mind like fake snow,
floating and trapped within a water globe,
never comfortably settling. Drifting without answers.
Taunting me with uncertainty.

Don’t speak to me the platitudes,
or feed me false assurances.
I have heard them too many times.
I have even spoken them all …. to others.
I realize now they are powerless,
As I start my eighth decade.

Yet ….. this unsettledness, these thoughts,
The anxiousness – there is another side.
A different meaning to “uncertain” seventy.
It speaks to me in dark of night.
I feel it’s urgency when I wake.
It’s my own voice and it’s growing louder.
It shakes and moves me. It even dares me.
It is time. It is now.
Or not at all.

This entry was posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Goals ahead, Gratitude and Spirituality, Looking ahead, Our bodies, our health, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to On Nearing Seventy

  1. Blog Mavens says:

    This sums up 70 in the perfect way for me! Amazing poem..such powerful thoughts.
    Thank you.
    Joan Gracie

  2. Sandra Peck says:

    Yes, wonderful. I try to live by the last two lines.

  3. Blog Mavens says:

    Dear Jane and Ellen!!
    My goodness!
    How wonderful to open the 70 candles website blog and see my poem!!
    Tomorrow is my “big day” – yes I am turning 70 on August 27. What a birthday treat and honor for me to open this email and see that you have shared these thoughts with other women.
    Love and blessings to you both!

    • Blog Mavens says:

      It is a lovely poem, beautifully written…already getting a response.
      Happy Birthday to you from us.
      Jane and Ellen

      • Blog Mavens says:

        Jane and Ellen,
        Thank you! I am celebrating this weekend in the Yucatán in Mexico where I finished your wonderful book (pic below). I really connected to many of the stories. I also climbed the highest Mayan pyramid on the peninsula!
        I’m a retired professor too. A friend of mine (who also just turned 70) and I are thinking of starting an ongoing “70 Candles” group in our area (College Station, Texas) for both discussion and fun. We may have more questions for ya’ll later if that’s OK?
        Thanks again,

  4. Blog Mavens says:

    My goodness. Is this for real?
    Did you ever hear the song
    Don’t worry Be Happy! It’s a good song Bobby McFerrin
    Not much more you can do but take Xanax.
    Just came through “Irma” at 70.
    With my 74 yr husband.
    Still no power.
    So whatever life is left I truly appreciate it. Looking forward to 71 next year.

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