Age Is an Art: 67th Birthday

Updated on May 2, 2018
Marsei profile image

I have lived in a suburb of New Orleans for 45 years with my husband of 52 years. A pigeon-toed calico cat, Lucy, joined us four years ago.

Birthday

My Day

Being 67 today, March 14, 2013, I'd like to share some of the things that I've discovered through my life. The first is that being right matters when it's about trivia, who won what game, etc. In relationships, one can't let it matter all the time. The wins and losses have to be spread around somewhat. Saying "You're right," hurts, but you'll survive.

Guilt is irrelevant. (Thanks, Kathy, for that one.) It truly is.

Living in the present created a key shift in my life. Visiting the past is pointless and causes unnecessary pain. Living in the future creates anxiety and takes us out of the now, where our lives are.

Saving spirituality up for when you or a loved one are sick or when you're scared or miserable is not a good practice. Staying in touch with the divine every day and beginning each day with meditation or prayer is a doorway to peace.

Looking to anything or anyone for fulfillment is a mistake. Careers go away, partners leave or die, children and grandchildren have their own lives and interests. Develop the parts of yourself that give you joy and you will have fulfillment.

It's not the career or the job you will remember. It's not the car you bought or the house you built or the trip to Europe you took. When your life winds down a bit and you begin to assess what matters, it's the love you gave and the love that was given to you by family, friends, and the divine, and I include animals in the family and friends; those things stand alone as important and valuable, or at least they do for me.

Continuing those thoughts on my 70th birthday. I think one thing I have learned in the last three years is that things will go wrong with your body as you get older. Don't panic! My experience has been that most are easily fixed or fix themselves if you ignore them long enough. My husband and I have a two-week rule, especially with strains, sprains, etc.: If it's not gone in two weeks, go to the doctor. It usually is.

Last week, my husband and I drug the treadmill out of the corner and into the middle of the den and started on a diet together. We chose low carbohydrate. I don't think it matters much, but get moving and stop eating so much! That is one of the things about getting older. Although I work, it's all on my laptop and I am more sedentary each year. His work has slowed down in recent years and he's out and about less also. We are pulling ourselves out of the cocoon we were in, finally.

One of the most important decisions I think any of us can make is to be outside more. I have been trying my best to sit in the backyard at least an hour a day. Joe saw a flock of yellow finches in our oak tree this afternoon, heading for South America, I suppose. There is always something to see outside and for me, it makes me feel more connected to life in general.

Finally, if you are thinking about whether you should buy dinner for the family, give the grandchildren something they want, donate to a worthy cause, or just buy yourself a new pair of jeans, do it! We are going to England to visit our son this June if nothing interferes, and I cannot wait to see all the new sights and sounds. As we get older, life is more precious each day and more intense because it's shorter. One time when I was hesitant to burn some candles I had been saving, a friend of mine -- long gone now -- said, "Burn the damn candles. Life is too short not to."

So don't focus on your aches and pains, get moving, get outdoors more often, take a trip, make a friend, and burn the damn candles.

Happy birthday to me!

Questions & Answers

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      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Thank you! I did have a great day. Thanks for the compliment. Seems like one photo out of 20 is decent these days, but that's okay too!

      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Thank you, Vocalcoach, for your comments. I am learning to love at this late age. I think guilt about the past and anxiety about the future can keep us from being able to love. I'm finally moving past all that at this late stage. Thanks so much for commenting. I enjoy our work.

        marsei

      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Thanks, Bob, for your comments. I agree about the store windows! That woman I see needs some diet and exercise! We bought a fishing boat a few months ago, nothing big or fancy, just a fishing boat but big enough to take on Lake Pontchartrain. It has added a new dimension to things for me, largely by getting me outside in the wind and sun (and heat recently). Here's hoping both of us have another 15 years or so of happy and peaceful times ahead!

      • Bob Bamberg profile image

        Bob Bamberg 

        5 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

        I turned 67 in June and every so often I have to remind myself that I'm that age, especially when people relate to me as a senior citizen. I don't feel like a senior citizen and, while I've come to terms with the face I see in the mirror, I still have a bone to pick with the reflection I see in store windows as I pass by. That's a bona fide senior I see.

        I don't dwell on the past, but I find myself reflecting on the good times and the bad. Memories can be a good thing, but they certainly are a double-edged sword.

        Happy Birthday! Maintain your wonderful outlook for many years to come.

      • Barbara Kay profile image

        Barbara Badder 

        5 years ago from USA

        Happy Birthday! I'll turn 62 this year. A milestone I guess. I hope you had a wonderful day. By the way, you look great.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Marsei - This is an important hub. I'm so impressed with your advice. I especially love your views on 'guilt.'

        I love to love! I'm never more joyous then when I experience loving others. I was born this way. When a 'dark' moment chains itself around me, I try to remember how good it feels to actually just go around loving everyone.

        You are just a 'kid' - I wouldn't mind being 65 again :) A belated but very happy birthday to a magnificent lady! ~ Audrey

      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Thank you for commenting. It was only through struggles with depression, much meditation and soul searching that I got there. The important thing is that you did. And I don't think it's ever too late. Music, meditation, nature and my family and friends are making these good days. When Uncle Arthur, (as my dad called arthritis) comes to visit, I try to remember that!

        Thanks again for commenting.

      • xstatic profile image

        Jim Higgins 

        5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

        Having passed your "milestone" several years ago, I can say that I am finally (it is never too late, well, almost never) begun to realize the truth of what you wrote here. Happy Birthday!

      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Thank you, Jaye.

        Even though I still work, being at home makes it easier to get lost in the past. However, those times are fewer and farther between. Music has become a source of joy to me and I often stop to listen to something beautiful and uplifting. I think as our lives wind down, there is a bit more urgency to learn to enjoy life. We realize it's not forever.

        Thanks again for your comments.

      • JayeWisdom profile image

        Jaye Denman 

        5 years ago from Deep South, USA

        I hope you had a lovely birthday, Sue. It's obvious you've separated the wheat from the chaff and recognized those things that really matter.

        It took me quite a while to "get" the message and leave the past where it belongs--in the past. Now I try to live in the moment and wring as much joy as possible from my life. As a retiree looking toward my 70th birthday in a few months, I stay busy...but not too busy to enjoy my family and friends. As you made clear, it's the love we share with the people who are special to us that matters as we grow older.

        Voted Up+++ and shared

        Jaye

      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Thank you, ytsenoh, for your comments and the compliment. I have spent this evening thinking about the things I've learned in my 67 years. I think the most important and perhaps the answer to all our problems is learning to control our thought processes and spoken words, keeping them uplifting, peaceful, loving, full of gratitude and not getting lost -- as we all do -- in negativity. It's a losing place to be. It's a simple concept, just difficult to maintain.

        I wrote a hub called Depression: The Bell Jar which will tell you more about me than you likely want to know!

        Thanks again for commenting.

      • ytsenoh profile image

        Cathy 

        5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

        Sue, belated happy birthday. Your hub was brief and would have loved to hear more about you. I will say you don't look 67, which means you must have a great attitude and healthy outlook on life. You hit the nail on the head really; it's the influence you leave, who you've loved and whose loved you. Hope you have a good week.

      • Marsei profile imageAUTHOR

        Sue Pratt 

        5 years ago from New Orleans

        Hi, Cat, and thank you!

        I haven't written anything in months, just hasn't felt right, but

        on my birthday, I wanted to try to talk about the things that helped me through. I see so many young people struggling and I hope they realize it gets better, not worse, as we get older. Things finally start to make sense as our lives start to wind down. Why? Who knows.

        Thanks again. You always lift my spirits.

        marsei

      • cat on a soapbox profile image

        Catherine Tally 

        5 years ago from Los Angeles

        Hi Sue,

        A very happy birthday to you ( who does not look even close to 67) and many happy returns !

        I am not very far behind you and hope that if and when I reach the same milestone that I will be living by the wonderful advice you've presented here. I love your keen observations and positive outlook! I will be sharing this. :) Cat

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