Personal growth and transformation

Mary Lou,  Age 74

Hi Jane and Ellen,

Since I turned 70 there has been a lot of personal growth and tranformation in my life. Up until the age of 70 I was working part-time in an exciting environment as a sales associate at Monticello, Home of Thomas Jefferson. I had retired here from the Metropolitan area in 2006 and wanted to continue working on a part-time basis. I’ve had good health and it seemed that I had lots of good years ahead.
Just as I was about to turn 70, my youngest son invited me to spend Christmas in Arabia with his family as they had moved to the UAE with the Teach Away Program. I jumped at the chance for a trip of my lifetime. At the time I was beginning to have mobility problems caused by back pain and the orthopedist gave me a cortizone injection so I could fully enjoy the experience. It was an amazing trip!

When I returned home the pain progressed to needing back surgery. The problem wasn’t solved with just the back surgery so I had to go back for a hip replacement in early 2014.

These two surgeries served as a wake-up call that made me realize that life is short and there are no guarantees. Time to do the things I’ve always wanted to try. Another son and his wife traveled with me to Ireland for the most amazing trip back to my heritage land. I had begun art journaling while recovering from the two surgeries and created a watercolor journal of my experiences there. I learned, in my seventies, that I’m a pretty good artist! Another Grandma Moses!!

Another joy and passion I’ve had was to write. There’s was little time to fit writing in when I was raising my family and working a full-time job later in life. It was now or never so I started seriously tackling my story/memoir which I had begun back in the 90’s. I’ve also started a blog and am building a wonderful supportive blogging community (70Candles included). My blog can be reached through

Turning 70 has filled me with a zest for life and a desire to experience as much as I can within the ability that I’m able to. I walk a mile a day at least 3 to 4 times a week and try to stay active and connected to my community. I’m volunteering with the local board of aging doing data-entry for the insurance counseling program and also with the local hospital in the gift shop. In many ways I feel free to pursue whatever makes me happy. We’ve spent our lives doing for others and building up some stability and security in our lives. Now it’s time to coast and enjoy the view.

Thanks for this great blog as a vehicle to share a bit of our stories.

This entry was posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Family matters, Goals ahead, Looking ahead, Our bodies, our health, Resilience, Share your story, Traveling, What do we do with our time?, Work life and retirement and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Personal growth and transformation

  1. Elizabeth Carota says:

    Mary Lou,
    I like your perspective on life! In spite of a few health challenges and setbacks, you retain a positive outlook and enjoy living in your 70s. Good for you. I plan to do the same.
    Liz, 70 in 4 months

    • Mary Lou says:

      Thanks, Liz! There’s so much to still experience during our 70’s and with an attitude of gratitude those experiences get even better. I try to stay in the present and avoid looking back too much or anticipating the future too much. 🙂

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