Other people's thoughts on turning 70

I wasn’t going to pressure myself to write a post on my milestone birthday, but while waiting to get together with friends this afternoon and evening, I felt that reading others’ thoughts about turning 70 would help me. Thanks to the fellow septuagenarians quoted here — not just for their wisdom but also for making this an effortless post.


“How am I feeling? A little dazed, thank you. Every so often, I look around and wonder how I got here, landed on a foreign shore that once seemed impossibly distant. At the same time, reaching 70 is the easiest thing I’ve ever done. You draw breath, take nourishment, read the paper, and, suddenly, here you are, a newly minted septuagenarian. . . . We septuagenarians have reached an undeniable sweet spot. If we’ve been lucky, provident, or both, we have plenty of time, enough money, and the ability and inclination to use both. Within limits that become obvious, we can do whatever we want: travel, read, take classes, bike, bird-watch, go to concerts, or take in a day game. The window may be narrow — we know what comes next — but it’s a really nice window.”

— John Gurda, a Milwaukee historian and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel contributor


“My relationships with family and friends seem more precious, time more valuable, and the joy of books, music, art, and the natural world more enriching. . . . But aging is not for wimps. I struggle with energy, aching joints, and moments of memory failure. I tire easily . . . I accept my limitations at the same time as I embrace my new freedom. . . . For me, turning 70 feels like a doorway to the future; a modest, quiet, but satisfying future that I can craft to my own liking, within my own means.”

— Liz Byrsi, The Sydney Morning Herald


[H]ow very lucky I am to have gotten to this point. . . . I haven’t accomplished anything monumental in my life thus far, and it’s unlikely that I’m going to do so. But I’d like to think that a little bit of good done here and a little more done there adds up. . . . [T]he important thing about turning 70 is that it’s time to make peace, if you’re ever going to do so, with the fact that you’ll never be able to do everything you’d like to do . . . It’s truly time to ruthlessly refine your priorities.”

— Naomi Bloom, blogger, In Full Bloom


Seventy gives me permission to slow down.”

— Marta Adelsman, author, Why Wallow When You Can Soar?


“I won’t let this decade rush past. I plan to lighten up, yet live my remaining years with purpose. I will stay hopeful about the future, confident about my abilities, and aware of my limitations. I will spend less time meeting expectations of others and take more time focusing on personal expectations.”

— Jeanette Lewis, blogger, About Postwork Savvy


“Even though I've never found any answers, I've never stopped looking and questioning, wondering and hoping, seeking and probing. And that, for me, has given meaning to my life.”

— Bob Quarteroni, opinion contributor, PennLive


“[I]t’s cup half-full. Hanging on, and still having fun, fun, fun.”

— Michele Hanson, The Guardian


“At 70, one has earned regular timeouts. But that doesn't mean setting up camp there and falling asleep! The rocking chair is a well-deserved respite, but notice that for it to do what it was designed to do, it must be kept in motion. And so must we.”

— Judith Rich, HuffPost contributor


“Mick Jagger is 72 [in 2016], but he can still dance.”

— David Milofsky, emeritus professor of English, Colorado State University


“The image of 70 from 30 or 40 years ago no longer fits for us today. We need to rethink and overturn that old view; take off the blinders and recognize the glorious change that has occurred for us. We look younger and have more vitality today, thanks to good nutrition, medical care, and exercise. So I say, this is how 70 looks, and I am grateful and celebrating!”

— Bev Scott, Retirement Lifestyle Planning




“I’m pretty sure this statement is Saudi Arabia First, not America First.” 

— Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Trump’s refusal to accuse the Saudi crown prince of ordering a journalist’s murder


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  • Happy Sweet 70. I'm almost seven years older and all those sages are right. Bring on the 80s.

  • Thank you for the birthday wishes, Dennis. So far, 70 feels just fine. Marianne

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