The View from 70

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 To my readers: I’m continuing my blogging class with today’s assignment of writing a list.

Things I like about being 70

At 70, when I meet someone new, I no longer get suspicious glances when I tell them I’m retired. That was not always the case when I retired at 55. If I uttered the R-word 15 years ago, faces looked at me with a combination of surprise, envy, and resentment of my good fortune. Or at least, I imagined they did. Then if people found out that I was a retired teacher, their smiles disappeared completely as they realized that their taxes were helping support me while I enjoyed my leisure. This leads to my next point…

At 70, I no longer care as much what others think of me. I would like to say I no longer care at all, but that isn’t exactly true. It’s just that I waste  less time agonizing over whether something I say or do will annoy and alienate others. I can’t spare the time or energy on such worries.

At 70, my age is a built-in excuse for not doing many things that I don’t want to do. Want me to bring 4 dozen home-made, hand-decorated cookies for a holiday exchange? Gosh, I’m sorry, but my (insert any real or imaginary ailment here) won’t let me do things like that any more. Nor can I drive you to the airport during rush hour, clean your house when you’re sick, go garage-sailing all day long, walk your dog in snowy/icy weather, or anything else that doesn’t appeal to me. It’s not that I’m not willing to. No, certainly not that; it’s that I’m too old to.

At 70, I also have a selective memory. I may forget to do things that I don’t want to do. But let someone casually offer me a glass of wine, and I’ll show up at their front door, maybe even months later, to collect.

At 70, I get to do things at my own pace. I’ll decide when I get the Christmas cards in the mail, if at all; I’ll drive any speed at which I feel safe, though I promise to stay in the right lane; I’ll sleep as late as I want; then I may waste the rest of the morning drinking coffee, checking Facebook and Twitter, and petting my cats.

At 70, I will cheerfully agree that I am old. But I’m not totally ancient yet, and that thought consoles me. So does this poster, which is the desktop picture on my computer.


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