Sandy, Almost 70
I will turn 70 in 10 days. Having a very difficult time emotionally with it, even though I have no ongoing health problems, a good boyfriend (5 years younger), adequate money, two great kids, a lovely apt, and a great life in general.
I feel guilty about having this emotional problem, since I have such a good life, but the fact is that in this society, 70 is considered ancient. I guess the main problem is that I consider it ancient.
I think we Boomers will change that perception since a lot of us are much better educated, in much better health, and much more active at these ages than previous generations. But I am the first year of the Boomers, so I can’t benefit from any change in society’s perceptions, and my own perceptions are based on what my grandmothers and women of my Mother’s generation were like. There probably are a lot of 70 year olds out there now who are like I want to be, but I don’t know it because they don’t walk around with a sign giving their age.
I look about 10 years younger than my age, keep my weight under control, and am very active, which results in most of my friends (who are almost all younger than I am) not being able to understand how hard this birthday is for me. My boyfriend either. They just say Oh, but you don’t look or act 70, so don’t worry about it. But I do. In my 60s, I could convince
myself that I was a stone’s throw from middle age. But 70 is old.
One thing that has helped is that I have made two new friends recently who are 70, and they look fine. They have health problems, but work around them, and are very active. They make me feel good because they are living proof that one does not have to look like a hag at 70. I am hoping to find a 70candles
discussion group near me (Philadelphia area) so I can meet more women like this.
I also have cut out magazine photos of well-known people who are older than I am and who are still attractive and vigorous. Like Jane Fonda. I will never look like her, but it just goes
to show that decrepitude is not inevitable with old age. I also found the photo of Jane that she put on her “Spirit of 76” post very encouraging. She looks great, and so is another counter to
my image of what older women look like.
I also find that getting out in nature raises my mood. Especially in areas with lots of greenery. I read recently that it is something about the greenery giving off negative ions that raises the mood.
And just finding the 70Candles book and this blog site has raised my spirits. And I haven’t even read the book yet!