Turning seventy is a pretty big marker in your life, kind of like a “land-mine”. You are there, it is the climax, as unfortunately, it is mostly downhill after 70, with health issues, brain issues and with what personally worries me the most: stamina!
As we go through life we make wonderful friends, have wonderful adventures and experiences, enjoy our family time and spend a lot of time working at some job to support our lifestyle and our hobbies, adventures, and family. We live hectic busy lives racing from event to event, sport to sport, meeting to meeting and don’t realize we love it, till it is done and our children are grown and live elsewhere. But the memories and the joy of them remain.
I am lucky enough to have one beautiful granddaughter that spends time with me throughout the year, but does not live closeby; so I do miss the everyday experiences with her and regret she does not live closer. Still, at eight we have a wonderful and loving relationship.
This year I decided to have a party for my Birthday, which I have not done since I was sixty and will not do again unless I turn 100. (But I will be too senile by then to know if I had one or not) . Ha Ha
My youngest son and granddaughter and I made seven types of sausage one summer day and ate the “go-betweens” for dinner. That is called “not changing and cleaning the sausage stuffer between recipes”. They were so good, my husband and I made two more kinds one night after he got home from work. It was a lot of fun and over 100 sausages of all different kinds were made.
I had decided to have a 70th Birthday party, so sent out Evites and Emails to about 150 friends and family. I used to have parties with my women friends when I was in my late forties and early fifties and single, and more than one hundred people would show up. I would make the entree, and everyone would bring food and wine. It was easy and great fun! One year everyone had to wear red, so my whole house was a sea of red. One year it was a “silly slipper” party and the best slippers won a price. Invitations were mailed and each person could meet a friend. We all made lots of new friends this way and had fun and lots of laughs. I had expectations of this being the same for my 70th!
My dear friends of forty years came up from Del Mar for the celebration, and friends of fifty years came, even after recent back surgery. Most of my book club, my Table Five Women’s group, and a variety of neighbors, ex-students and local friends came and we had a lovely evening. But it was not the hundred or more that used to arrive.
The Evite card had a photo of me at 30 saying the “Glamour is Gone”, but the party has just begun. In many ways that is just not true. I believe the quiet time of life has just begun. Since I am no longer working, I awake when I desire. (not too late with new puppy) and enjoy my days painting, cooking and reading (Seventy-five books last year and fifty-one so far this year). I no longer participate in Rotary or the local Chamber and interestingly enough only one person attended from those years of service.
This Birthday is the last of the big parties I will attempt to have. We may be eating sausage for the next ten years anyway. I so very much appreciate my friends that took the time to stop by and love the cards and several gifts. I have come to the realization, that as our friends grow older, they travel more, spend time with newly extended families and do not respond to invitations. In life, we are always learning. I love all the Birthday Greetings that I receive via Social Media and accept that Social Media is beginning to replace or attempting to replace meaningful relationships.
I remember when, before cell phones with contact lists, I had over a hundred telephones memorized and now I cannot even tell you those of my spouse or my sons without referring to my cell phone. Email and text and messages via Facebook have replaced many happy phone calls and coffee dates with friends. Thinking about this I wonder what it will be by the time I turn eighty?
None of this is a complaint! It is a realization that life changes as we age. Our families live all over the world. Our friends are busy with their families traveling all over the world to stay close to them. My summer birthday date sends people to weddings and the births of grandchildren; the last hurrah of good weather for those traveling in this area and people so much on the go there is not enough time for everything.
I had really wanted to just go to Ireland, but that was not in the cards. From now on I am going to be traveling on my birthday and enjoying it. No more weeks of prep for a party or a day or two of clean up afterward. I am accepting that I am too old and too dang tired.
I have always been lucky in life that I have wonderful friends and I intend to keep them close and love them more than ever, but I am going to put “me first” for once and save my money and travel and paint.
So Happy Birthday to Me and thank you to all my family and friends for making it wonderful!!!