Before moving on from the big 70 . . .

Since the last two posts were about turning 70, maybe I’ve milked the topic ad nauseam. But those posts mostly reprinted other people’s thoughts, and now that the big birthday is past, my own feelings are clearer.

* Friends and family made it one of my best birthdays ever. The wishes via text, email, phone, traditional card, and in person gave me such a lift. The next time a self-pitying “I’m all alone in the world” mood hits, I hope to remind myself of how many people care. It’s been gratifying to both keep old friends in my former environs and make new friends closer to where I live now.

* Most everyone who crosses the threshold from middle age into whatever being 70 is now called probably wonders, How did I ever get this old? There’s another reason, however, that my age feels unreal: Both of my parents are living; I am still in a parent-child relationship. An adage says that you’re not a grownup until your parents are gone, so I’m both not grown up and age 70. Besides the obvious blessing of still having my parents, their longevity offers me hope for many more years.

* I’m grateful for my health. I haven’t been in a hospital bed since I left the newborn nursery. Sure, I wear hearing aids and carry around more pounds than in my jogging days, but physical debility doesn’t keep me from doing anything I want.

* I have senior moments, but my brain still functions well enough to have meaningful conversations, play Scrabble, and write this blog.

* Regrets about not staying in journalism and not having children have faded as time has put such ambitions out of reach. I focus much less on goals and the future and much more on the present.

* I don’t have a bucket list of experiences I still want to fit in — for which I’m glad. I don’t care if I never see the Taj Mahal or read Ulysses. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up but that I’m content with wherever I go and whatever I do.

* It’s good to be settled into a building with an elevator and to live a block from two grocery stores, two bus lines, and an el station. Unless I eventually need assisted living, I never have to move again.

* Although I sometimes have too much to do one day and not enough for several days in a row, I’m mostly happy with how I use my time. There isn’t anything I want to give up — Chicago Greeter tours, this blog, my website, weekly Scrabble, a book group, ushering at Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres. As for adding things, the current demands on my time seem about right, although I would still like to find and stick with a cause that helps the less fortunate.

* In conclusion, life is going well — so what was there about turning 70 to feel bad about?



“Trump’s deployment of troops to the border carries a pricetag of $210 million — money that could have been better spent on civilian personnel to handle asylum claims.”
Chicago Tribune editorial

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