Karen Hadley

The Undeniability of 70

Last year, I wrote this as a celebration of reaching 70.

This month, I turn 70 years of age. This seems an undeniable milestone in a variety of ways.

Senior Citizenship: It seems undeniable at this point that I am a senior citizen. No matter how vigorous I have felt, no matter how insouciantly I insisted on overlooking the aging process, well, there it is, staring me in the face.

Seventy is an undeniable marker of advanced age in general. When you were younger and you observed a person who was 70 years old, didn’t you automatically and undeniably categorize them as old? I did and I don’t mind this categorization now.

Survivability: It seems to me that being 70 also carries with it an undeniability of survivability. Sadly, I have already lost several people dear to me who were younger than I am now. For whatever reason, I have outlasted them. I am appreciative of my own efforts to sustain good health and grateful for the contributions of those who have helped me.

Satisfaction: I am very satisfied with my life. That doesn’t mean I have accomplished every goal; I haven’t. But the most important matters have turned out well. My son is intelligent, successful and married to a woman I adore. I have cherished friends and many acquaintances I value. I have worked as a professional writer for more than a decade, an occupation I enjoy very much. I am still nimble mentally and fairly nimble physically. I have recovered a relationship with my long-lost sister and uncle. There are points I could grumble about but it’s undeniable that on the whole, I am satisfied with the life I have led. At this age, that’s a good feeling!

Contributions: I have spent many years of this life in pursuit of a better world for all. As a result of a rather one-sided approach to this solution, I may have neglected my own needs more than I should. But I don’t regret an instant of those years. They were years of camaraderie accompanied by a sense of progress and dedication to worthy goals. In my own universe, the value of all those years is undeniable.

Future: My perception of a valuable and useful future is also undeniable. Seventy is not an age for slowing down. Yes, the body needs more maintenance and attention than it did at fifty or sixty. But I still have the sensation that a rich and rewarding future awaits me.

Agelessness: How many times have you heard someone say they were a teenager in a senior citizen’s body or words to that effect? Arriving at this age confirms the truth of agelessness. While the body ages with the march of time, our viewpoints and attitudes do not need to age. We only need to grow in wisdom, perspective and experience. Agelessness is undeniable unless a person chooses to deny it.

This milestone is cherished above the sixty-nine previous anniversaries for all these reasons! It seems important at this moment to pause and reflect on the life I have lived and its qualities and quantities. I’m happy with my choices. Going forward, there are no guarantees but it is my intention to continue pursuing my goals and enjoying my friendships to the maximum degree possible. I am happy to include all my In-Real-Life and Online Friends in my future.

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