Happy Birthday to me! I’m 71 today!

Hello again from Celebrating70!!

Cake (XXL)I started Celebrating70 last year when I was 70 years old. How time does fly!

Today I’m celebrating my 71st birthday. What a blessing! So many times we lament getting old. But, heck, what’s the alternative, my friends? As someone once so wisely said, “Never complain about growing old. So many never get the chance.”

When we are blessed with the gift of life, we shouldn’t waste it!  Rather than regretting that we aren’t younger – been there, done that – we can instead focus on actually living the years that God is giving us. Gratitude will motivate us along the way.

At 71 what do I have to be grateful for? So much!  I have my daughters, my grandsons, the rest of my family, my good friends.  I have the ability to still work (Yes, I want to!) and the ability to walk (not all do…), to see (glasses, of course!), and to hear (okay, yes, with hearing aids!). And…I am grateful for watching the big snowflakes making their way to this good earth, seeing the flowers bloom in the spring (any time now, please!), or simply hearing the sound of my grandsons’ voices on the phone. Priceless. Though much less meaningful, I am also grateful for a steaming mug of good strong coffee, a slice or two of delicious hot pizza, sometimes maybe even a bit of yummy crème brûlée. You get the idea. Too many blessings to mention!

In a short article in Health.com entitled Afraid of Getting Older? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be, Dr Gail Saltz tells us that, “It sounds cliché, but please don’t forget that with age comes wisdom, experience, often a wider circle of loved ones, and more comfort and security in your sense of self.  Those are things worth looking forward to.” Yes, we do have much to look forward to!

On a somewhat lighter note…have you ever read the funny narrative entitled The Stranger in My House by Rose Madeline Mula? Click on the title to take a look. Let’s just say it made me smile…and I sure could relate! Probably my favorite part came near the end:

 “I thought she (the stranger in the mirror) couldn’t get any meaner…but yesterday she…had the nerve to come with me when I went to have some passport pictures taken, and she actually stepped in front of the camera just as the shutter clicked. Disaster! I have never seen such a terrible picture. How can I go abroad now?”

All I can say is…I don’t know which is worse: my passport photo or the photo on my new driver’s license. Is that really me????

Well, yes, that is me in the mirror! My beauty has drawn inward now. But I’m still me and will always be. Me…but even better!

So…Happy Birthday to me!

You’re old. You sag. Get over it!

Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls certainly has a way with words!

Sophia Petrillo SmallerI never watched The Golden Girls when it was in “prime time,” but I love to catch the reruns. And Sophia is my favorite!

As The Golden Girls Wiki on Fandom points out, “Sophia is best known for her wisecracks, put-downs and brazen remarks.” I do think “You’re old–You sag–Get over it” meets all three criteria! Let’s just say Sophia isn’t known to pull any punches.

The Golden Girls offers a comedic perspective on what “old age” was like in Miami in the late 1980’s. What totally amazes me now is that when The Golden Girls premiered in 1985, actress Rue McClanahan (Blanche) was actually 51, Bea Arthur (Dorothy) was 63, Betty White (Rose) was 63, and Estelle Getty (my Sophia) was 62!! What’s wrong with that picture?? I’m 70! If they were old, what am I?? Aye yai yai.

But I digress. Regardless of the ages of the actresses playing the roles, cheerful programming about aging women was and is a welcome diversion from programming that exalts youth and beauty above all else and minimizes the value of those of us who have celebrated many, many birthdays. While certainly there are stereotypes in The Golden Girls, the program balances happy times and sad times and also exemplifies the importance of sharing our lives with kindred spirits who will help us navigate our ups and downs with both humor and caring.

Moving on now from The Golden Girls…a 2017 HBO documentary entitled If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast is worth checking out. First of all, I love the title! In the article The Sunny, Funny View of Old Age, Sophie Gilbert describes how in this Emmy-nominated documentary “acclaimed nonagenarians including Carl Reiner and Betty White challenge stereotypes about life after 90.” Now I’m feeling a bit more youthful!

Sophia Petrillo’s harsh quip about aging aside, whether we’re mere septuagenarians or we’re current or aspiring nonagenarians, we can do ourselves the favor of maintaining a positive spirit and being grateful for our blessings.  And also – for good measure – let’s be sure to do what Oprah advises…“Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.”

Great advice, I’d say!

P.S. Thanks, Pat, for the great “tip” about If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat BreakfastIt’s a keeper!

Hold a True Friend with Both Your Hands

There are some blessings in this life that money just can’t buy!

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Photo by Will Milne on Pexels.com

This African proverb offers sage advice. There are blessings in this life that money just can’t buy.  Friendship is one of them!

Little did I know when I introduced myself to a co-worker way back in 1973 that I had just met my best friend for life. Today – more than forty years later – Liz and I are still BFFs. When I count my blessings, I absolutely count Liz twice! We have shared interests, shared values and shared goals. Liz has been with me “through thick and thin” and has never, ever let me down. God bless Liz…

Looking back into my childhood, Sheila was my best friend. Sheila and I together rode her dappled pony Prince through our rural “neighborhood.” Bareback, no helmets, often no shoes, our hair blowing in the wind. Boy, did we have a good time!

Friendships most often come to us through serendipity. We meet someone, strike up a conversation, recognize some commonality, make a few plans, and then a friendship starts to grow. Do all of our friendships last forever? Absolutely not. For a variety of reasons some valued friendships fade and are in dire need of nurturing and reconnection. (That sounds like a great goal to me!) Others were simply good while they lasted – perhaps meeting mutual needs for a time or a season – but not destined for the long term. And that’s okay.

Each and every day we have an opportunity to make a new friend. Being open to that possibility – and that continued serendipity – is paramount. “Back in the day” we generally met friends through face-to-face encounters.  Today we can meet friends with the help of technology…and they can be anywhere in this big world! How great is that?!

Friends make our lives richer, more meaningful, and happier. They can give us an opportunity to see life from a different perspective. They share our joys, share our sorrows and lift us up when we need it most.

Yes, we would be well-advised to hold a true friend with both our hands!

Would you agree?

Old Age Ain’t No Place for Sissies

When we are blessed with many birthdays, we have already faced many challenges…and will continue to face challenges for as long as we are given the gift of life.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Bette Davis was right! (Younger folks might have never heard of Bette Davis.  “Oldsters” like me recognize that name.) Yes, Ms. Davis was “on the money” when she made the declaration that “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Obviously she was old enough to know that when we are blessed with many birthdays, we have already faced many challenges…and will continue to face challenges for as long as we are given the gift of life.

Do you know any aging folks who seem to have given up and sometimes almost relish wallowing in some kind of self-imposed purgatory? How sad is that???

Let’s see. I’ve experienced the death of both of my parents and my big brother, Tim. I said good-bye to my precious grandparents, “Munner” and “Pap,” so many years ago. Today I am trying to help a very close family member navigate more-than-difficult life twists and turns that have come her way. Tomorrow? Who knows?

But…I have also been blessed through the years with two wonderful daughters and two grandsons that I love more than life itself. My best friend of close to fifty years  has brought me so much strength, happiness and balance as we have lived our lives and faced life’s challenges. While we live miles apart, we are always close at heart!

In other words, Bette Davis was indeed right. Old age ain’t no place for sissies! It’s a place for those who have both survived challenges and been blessed beyond measure.

Get on board the old age train to contentment, acceptance, happiness and thankfulness. You’re in good company!

Do you have any inspiring “old age quotes” to pass along??