Today is My 70th Birthday

Say It Ain't So!

70th birthday

Today is my 70th birthday. Can you believe it? More importantly, can I believe it? Yes, but just barely! Do I have angst about aging? Well …

I got hearing aids in March. I’m going for bunion surgery in June. I’m still contemplating plastic surgery. However, I did opt out of cataract surgery — mostly because I didn’t like the eye doctor!

Yes, the signs are clear. Well, blurry! I am advancing in years.

My son waggishly suggested it’s time to rename this blog. He says I’m way past Muddling through Middle Age! Ouch! I’d ground him or cut off his allowance, but he, of course, doesn’t live at home … and as for that allowance? Honestly, I need to keep in his good graces in case one day I need an allowance from him.

Yet, I don’t feel old or particularly traumatized by reaching this new decade of life. I admit to aching a bit more than I used to but that’s about it as far as my aging laments go.

I’m still busy. Still having lots of fun. My memory’s good — at least to the best of my recollection! And when I brush my hair and put lipstick on, I’m reasonably presentable. So, all things considered, (sore feet and hearing aids aside), I’m in pretty good shape.

As far as a “zest” for living, I think I’m zestier than ever! I just returned from an NYC ten-show marathon. Even for theater-a-holic me, that’s a new record! And it wasn’t just a non-stop show-a-thon. My friend of 51 years (now that’s another big number) Laura S. and I walked our feet off — like in the old days at Barnard College, traipsing up Madison Avenue and along the East River on a picture-perfect sunny day.

I am still game for adventure. As you know, Handsome Hubby and I have been traveling a lot this year, three weeks in Europe and off to freezing Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis. (A-hum. Who knew we could have stayed home and seen it from the comfort of our warm backyard just last week? Oh, well!)

Also, I’m devouring books like they are chocolate. There’s just so much to read and learn and if I’m going to die soon, the likely cause? Being smothered under an avalanche of books crashing down from my nightstand.

And speaking of books, I just read former President Jimmy Carter’s The Virtues of Aging, written in 1998. It is a sweet book, filled with the sort of gentle folksy wisdom you’d expect from President Carter.

In it, speaking for himself and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, he wrote:

“There is no doubt that we now cherish each day more than when we were younger. Our primary purpose in our golden years is not just to stay alive as long as we can, but to savor every opportunity for pleasure, excitement, adventure, and fulfillment.”

These words, of course, seem especially poignant now with the First Lady’s recent passing and the President’s own advanced age and precarious health.

Yet, the thought behind those words resonated with me — especially the point about fulfillment. Handsome Hubby and I both still work. It’s important to us. In my family, both my parents and my oldest brother all worked and engaged with the community till the day they died. I know HH and I intend to do the same. As the saying goes in the West, we plan to die with “our boots on” — although in my case it’s more likely to be a pair of sneakers!

In any case, I’m feeling pretty darn content these days … grateful for a loving family, good friends, good health, and you, my dear readers. May we all muddle on together for a good long time … be we middle-aged, almost-oldsters, or whatever word we wish to describe ourselves with!

Meanwhile, a most happy birthday to all my fellow May “babies.” Celebrate riotously!

🎂 🎂 🎂

A final quote from The Virtues of Aging from President Carter’s friend, the late Jimmy Townsend:

“Anybody who can still do at sixty what he was doing at twenty wasn’t doing much at twenty.”

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10 replies
  1. Marissa
    Marissa says:

    Wishing you the happiest celebration of YOU my dear friend! 🎉You look AH-MAY-ZING for (2) 35’s! 😉 As always, love your wit!

  2. Andrea Serra
    Andrea Serra says:

    “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” Emily Dickinson
    Happy 70th dear Karen! And may there be many more!
    Love, Andrea


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