Thursday, December 26, 2019

On being 70

I turned 70 this year and it's OK. If you're not there yet, be encouraged!

I hated being 60. I was miserable at 60, and 70 is so much better. I was telling this to a 59 year old friend at Meeting yesterday and he said, jokingly, 'Is that because you don't have to worry about what you're going to be when you grow up?' 

It sort of is.

I feel as though I've arrived. This is me, warts and all, or, in my case, wrinkles and all. (See yesterday's photo.) Take me or leave me. 

I was recently in the supermarket with my two teenage grandsons and embarrassed them by explaining to the young and pleasant check-out man that it is much easier for the customer if, when giving change, you proffer coins first into the palm, and then notes. Said check-out man responded graciously. It was Waitrose.

As we left, I told the younger grandson 'I know you find it embarrassing but the great thing about being old is that you don't care what people think of you.' 

'I wish I didn't care,' he said. Of course when you're a teenager, what other people think is crucial.

Later in the morning, he said 'Actually, Sue, you do care what people think.' He calls me Sue, as they all do. 'When you buy something new to wear, you always ask Mum what she thinks of it.'

He'd got me. 'You're right. But I don't care what people I don't know think of me.' 

The other nice thing about turning 70 was the party. It was wonderful. I mean it was really wonderful. The last time I had a birthday party was when I was 40. That was a fancy dress party and people had to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. This growing up thing is obviously a big thing for me. I realise that only now as I write this post.

Different flavour cakes made by Zoe, friends and me

Isaac and Wendy and the girls came over from Colorado for my 70th birthday party, and of course my local 'kids' and grandkids were there, all my siblings and spouses came, plus one niece, and lots of old friends. I got to dance with three of my four grandchildren (one a 15 year old boy - dancing with him was one of the highlights of my night - but along with his brother I am no longer allowed to name or picture either on the blog, and more's the pity, because I would dearly love to show long-time blog readers who recall them from ten years ago what these fabulous teenagers look like now). 

And there was a surprise cake...

Surprise cake made by a friend, Chris Oxley

made by a friend and relation-in-law, Chris Oxley. Look! She put on it all my books - those dear little books - sweet pea packets, sax, sax music - and the sheet music is Misty - my patchwork and my laptop. I am still in awe of it. We ate the cake and the icing but I've kept everything else.

I only had the party so I would have a chance to dance, but having all the immediate family together plus old friends and the way everyone helped to make it happy - that was what was special. I went to bed that night thinking 'If I die tonight, I'll die happy.' Maybe that's what turning 70 is about for me. If I die now, I'll die happy – with my life, you understand. Not with the state of the world.

The grandchildren I am still allowed to show you - Cece and Lux
Photo by Isaac

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