Turning 70

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Frugal For Everyone, Health and Safety | 73 comments

Turning 70This week, on the 20th to be exact, I will be turning 70. Now many consider this old, but forget that. I’m going to borrow from the saying where 50 is the new 30…making 70 the new 50. Sounds about right.

(That’s me on the swing being pushed by one of my grandsons.)

We don't stop playing because we're old, we become old because we stop playing....... George Bernard Shaw

We don’t stop playing because we’re old, we become old because we stop playing…….
George Bernard Shaw

Looking at other people in my age group it seems that 70 is a defining age. To some it means they have become old and they lose their passion for living. They go on to just exist, which is so sad and what a waste. To others, including myself, it means now is the time to do all those things you didn’t have time for before. It’s a matter of attitude and choice.

Turning 70 – The Good:

  • It is a time of life with few responsibilities.
  • It is a time where you are able to selfishly look after your own interests, without feeling guilty.
  • It is time for a more ‘take it or leave it’ attitude, worrying less about what others think.
  • It is a time when past hurts and slights seem very petty and should be forgotten.
  • It is a time for learning and, strange as it may sound, a time for growth.
  • It is a time to treasure each day

Turning 70 – The Bad:

Turning 70It’s not all good, some things are bad, most of them physical. Our social outings nowadays are trips to the doctor’s office with a quick stop at Tim’s for a coffee. We can’t do things as fast as we used to, which can be frustrating until you learn to accept it and be thankful that you’re still able to do it at all. Many of us, once we get down, have a hard time getting back up. That can lead to some pretty awkward situations. Night driving is a thing of the past so no more evenings out. But when you stop and think about it, these are all such minor things they really don’t matter in the larger scheme of things.

Turning 70 – The Ugly:

Getting older and vanity don’t go together.  Everything that was cute is no more. My best features once were my eyes and my lips. Now I have my dad’s eyebrows, meaning the two brows want to become one and grow like a bush. My eyelashes, once long and lush, are now short and faded. As for my lips, I’d tell you about them if I could find them. They have totally disappeared. (Note to my sisters – lip liner will NOT do the job anymore). Then there is that hair-raising moment of waking up to discover you have more whiskers than your husband. Oh Yeah!! The best compliment nowadays? “My, you look nice”. AAARGH!

Turning 70 – Let’s Raise a Toast:

turning 70

Here’s to turning 70

I have lived my three score years and ten. That means every day after Tuesday will be a freebie. I love getting things for nothing, including freebie days – rather exciting. With a lot of projects on the go and so much still to learn, I intend to make the most of those freebie days for at least another twenty years – if this can be stretched to thirty, so much the better.  So on Tuesday I’ll be raising a toast to turning 70 and the start of the next chapter of my life – the good, the bad AND the ugly.

Talk to you again next week,


70 Candles on cupcakeImage courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Woman with walkerImage courtesy of Praisaeng at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Champagne flutesImage courtesy of m_bartosch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. Hi Lenie; glad to hear you are viewing this whole turning 70 with a positive outlook. henny young man once quipped that there are three ages for men there is youth middle age and you look good. lol me i’ve been grey since i was a teenager. but my dad always said that ivey men either go grey or go bald so be glad you are grey. haha thank god i’m still grey. my brother michael even said that if his hair were my color and as curly he’d let it grow down to his but. 🙂 so i’m 48 will be 49 in april and getting closer to this 50 the new 30 you were talking about. wishing you a happy freebee day, max

    • Hi Mac – So you will soon be 30 again – the number really is pretty meaningless because you really don’t want to wake up one day and declare I’m old. Better just put the age on the back burner and keep rolling along. As for the hair, you’re right, rather be gray then bald – I don’t think that would be my look at all.

  2. “It is time for a more ‘take it or leave it’ attitude, worrying less about what others think.”

    Some seniors take this point much too far and lamentably descend into boorishness. We are all counting on you, Lenie, to set a shining example of courtesy and decorum in your senior years for all the young whippersnappers out there. 🙂

    • A shining example I will be – spreading my my courtesy and decorum wherever it may land – Keep smiling, I will.

  3. Happy Birthday, Lenie! You’re just a kid compared to me because I passed 70 quite a while back. I’m lucky because I’m in excellent health. I refuse to let my age define me. I just continue to do what I want to do. As you said, the beauty is that you mostly don’t give a darn anymore about what people think of you. Regarding eyebrows, I hardly have any left — so be grateful for small pleasures!

    • Jeannette, I would NEVER have guessed that you were older. You sound so much like me in your thinking. We will just carry on like we’ve always done, without considering the numbers. As far as the eyebrows go – I don’t know whose situation is worse but one good thing – I can’t see as well as I used to so again, it doesn’t matter. Thanks for writing.

  4. Many many happy returns of this day, dear.

    If the get the chance to turn 70 someday I would like to live it the way you are living right now.

    So much of positive energies in you! Now I have realized that people who know how to live life, age is just a number for them.

  5. Happy Birthday Lenie! You look beautiful to me! I love your spirit, your honesty, your energy, and your sense of humor. That picture of you on the swing captures it all. Here’s to the the best years of your life ahead of you!

    • Hi Meredith – thanks for the birthday wish. I do like that picture of me on the swing – not because I look so gorgeous but because I had such a good time with my grandson.

  6. Great post! Happy Birthday!

  7. Don’t stop being as you are, Lenie. Mindset is very important to make you feel younger than you are. Think that my grandfather is now 91 yrs old and has an incredible desire to live. He never talks about death, he’s fascinated by technology, he’d like to learn using smartphones (but he can’t read on it because the writings are too small for him :D), he also use to go out everyday by car (!) to reach his fields in the countryside. He’s my example in life!
    Take care Lenie, and happy birthday again!

    • You are so right about the mindset. My parents were very much like your grandfather, enjoying life right to the end. I like that he’s still interested in learning – hope he does learn to use the smartphone – maybe with a magnifying glass. Anyway, I’m sure I would like him. I am going to keep doing and learning, it’s so important. Thanks for sharing the grandfather story.

  8. Happy Birthday, Lenie! Getting to know you via the BHB group has been a great pleasure. You have a tremendous zest for life, a desire to learn, and a caring and supportive nature. Those qualities will no doubt continue to keep you younger than your years. I hope your birthday was filled with love and joy. Here’s to the next decade!

    • Thanks for the b’day wish – I did have a really good day. the other day I was thinking, here I am enjoying my second freebie day – pretty neat. I really enjoyed getting to know you better through BHB and through your book and look forward to many years of reading each others posts.

  9. Happiest of birthdays to you Lenie! 70 is definitely the new 50. 🙂 There are certainly some great positives, as you outlined. If you have the right attitude, as you so clearly do, then it really is just a number! I hope you had a great celebration! xx

    • Hi Christine, thanks for the b’day wish. I did have a nice day, including the card from my husband which read – I’m really 18 – I just have 52 years experience. That set the stage for a great day.

  10. Happy Birthday!! I love knowing that sense of humor doesn’t diminish as we age, reading your articles gives me a few chuckles and brings a big smile to my face! 🙂

    • Hi Steve, thanks for the b’day wish. It’s important to keep seeing the lighter side of life and there really is a lot to laugh about. Beats the alternative – becoming a grumpy old woman.

  11. Happy Birthday! I’m bound and determined to live a long life, and if my family is any indication I just might. I figure just keep on moving and stay active and it will all pay off in the end. Age is relative. Encountering new things and being curious keeps us young.

    • Thanks Jeri. Genes do have a lot with longevity. My dad passes away when he was only 90 but my mom continued to carry on until she was 95. I have several aunts in Holland (mom’s sisters) who are older than that – they have slowed down physically but there is nothing wrong with them mentally. You are so right that being curious keeps us young.

  12. Happy slightly belated birthday Lenie. I loved this post and wish to be gifted with the same attitude as you (and my Mum) when I get there. You are right that it is all in the attitude. All the best.

    • Tim, it’s all about making the most of the life you’re given. It’s obvious through your posts that you really enjoy the little things and find humour in most situations. So I’m pretty sure that you will have a most enjoyable life as you age. You already have the right attitude.

  13. Happy Birthday, I remember Kirk Douglas said in an interview, “Getting old is bad, but it’s better than the alternative”
    So if 50 the new 30, if you do the math, what does that make someone who is 20? Maybe that’s why they act the way they do.

  14. Happy birthday Lenie! Wowww you look great .
    Enjoy your day. I raise a glass of wine for you all the way from London, England.
    I love your attitude towards life.
    Wonderful post x

    • Thanks for the kind words (I don’t know what to call you, Safariontheblog seems a bit long) – I love your choise of compliment, so much nicer than ‘my, you look nice’ LOL. Appreciate you raising your glass all the way from England.

  15. Well, happy birthday to you, Lenie! This generation is aging so differently from our parents. I looked at a photo of some relatives the other day, and realized that in the photo, each of them was younger than myself. And yet, they seemed older than their time. We are lucky to have a better health system, a more open society and great resources for living grandly – no matter what our age.

    • Isn’t that true Krystyna – You’re right about the many advantages we have nowadays. I think many of our older relatives had a much more difficult life – often a hard physical one – that made them look old faster. Because they looked old, we treated them as such. Thanks for the birthday wish.

  16. Happy Birthday Lenie

    At 70 you are so spirited and lively. Enjoy with family and friends. Hope you are having so much fun.

  17. Happy Birthday to you Lenie! The good the bad and the ugly I love it. Such an honest post I love you total outlook on life and getting older. I love that you are still living life and learning.

    • Niekka, my brother and sister in law called to wish me happy birthday and we started discussing the ugly – had some good laughs about it. I never want to stop learning and doing – can’t imagine sitting in a rocker with a cat on my lap knitting little booties, letting life pass by. Anyway, thanks for the birthday wish.

  18. I wish you an awesome B-Day and many more amazing years to come Lenie! You Rock!

    • Thanks Eve – I like the You Rock comment.

  19. All the best for your birthday Lenie!!! You are looking good in the new pic! Of course you always did look good! You have more energy at 70 than a lot of people I know a lot younger. Of course if you are like me, I have days where my get up and go seems to have got up and went! lol! I hope you have a terrific birthday and many more to come!

    • Thanks Nance. Remember when Ed T. turned 70 and I told him that I wanted to be as good as him when I reached 70? Well, I’ve reached 70 but have decided I’ll never be as good as Ed. Thanks for the compliment – seriously, it took weeks of photo-taking before we came up with one that we felt could be used. You have to hold your chin just right LOL

  20. Happy Birthday Lenie! I totally buy into 70 being the new 50! A dear friend of mine will be turning 80 next month. She is a dynamo! She works, volunteers, laughs easily and loves a good debate. She recently moved to the mainland to be near her family and I really miss her because we used to go out all the time to theater and concerts – the woman never slows down and I only hope that when I reach her age I have the same energy and zest for life!

    • Thanks for the birthday wish Marquita. When you wrote about your friend the one thing that stood out – she laughs easily. I think if you have a positive attitude and really enjoy life, you may get older but you don’t get old. Quite a difference.

  21. Lenie, happy birthday. Enjoy everyday.

    • Thanks Kire – I will enjoy every day that comes my way.

  22. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful attitude you have toward life Lenie. I never thought much about ageing until my mom passed away last June. Now I think about aging all the time, it must be part of my grieving process. It’s as if there’s an urgency to do everything I can with the time I thought was, “endless”. Somehow it takes the joy out of trying new things when I sense an urgency to get it all done. I’m always grateful to wake up with my feet above the ground!

    • Pamela, I am so sorry that your mom passed away. I know how much that hurts and it does take time to move forward from that, but that day will come. Take care.

  23. I’m just a couple of months behind you Lenie, and also loving life despite the physical downers. The mental uppers are worth everything. And here’s a thought – just had a lengthy and chatty email from a wonderful lady who recently turned 90! So here’s to looking at you, fellow ‘kid’. Have a happy day and a great couple of decades ahead!

    • Christine, I love the fellow kid name. Some people make reaching 90 seem easy so if she can, so can we, right. Don’t you find life interesting now though. I don’t know how much farming you do anymore but that was hard work – now is the time to enjoy all those things you didn’t have time for……like writing your book.

  24. Great post, Lenie! Celebrate the great things about being older – and the fact that you made it! Think like you’re 50 and act like you’re 40. Why not! What are people going to say? “She’s having such a good time. And doesn’t she look nice?”

    • Beth, with all the positive comments I’ve received I’m starting to think that being 70 is the in-thing, everyone should try it. Actually I do like what you said about celebrating the great things about being older – as long as we do that the not so great things can be handled much easier. I really like the think like you’re 50 and act like you’re 40 -that’s even an improvement on mine ’70 is the new 50′ Love it.

  25. Happy birthday big sis. I’m going to say I’m not looking forward to the problem with the lip liner even though I still have a decade to go. Have a great one. Love you

    • Thanks little sis – when you reach 70 the lipliner problem becomes very insignificant – the reason for that of course if because you tend NOT to look in the mirror so you are in constant denial. That way you can still pretend you’re cute. At least, that’s my method. Love you too.

  26. Love this post! I hope to be as positive, energetic and all around just wonderful like you when I turn 70. Happiest of Birthdays to you tomorrow.

    • Melissa – thanks for the birthday wish and the wonderful words. You always make me feel good. As to you at 70, I’m pretty sure you will still be playing softball – I can picture it now – Shuffling into first base…… (I’d use an emoticon except I’m not sure how – that will be my next lesson) 🙂

    • Did you see that emoticon – I have no idea where that came from because I still don’t know how.

  27. Dear Lenie,

    Happy birthday and I hope you will celebrate many more. I like you attitude that 70 is the new 50. With every decade we see changes in our physical appearances. We do not heal as fast anymore and a cough now lasts longer than three days. The times that I could swing in the disco till dawn are over, yes. But I am still here and healthy. I will take you as an example when I feel “old” and tell myself: Lenie did so I can too!

    • Thanks Alice – First lesson: You never say feel ‘old, you only say feel young LOL. I think the secret to ageing is enjoying yourself as you do so. So with all the things you have going on, you don’t have time to get old, just older – there is a difference.

  28. Part of me looks forward to my “senior” years, because so much of life is preparing for that part of life that you often don’t get to enjoy it. It’s a weird thing to say, at the age of 31, but that’s probably why I feel a disconnect between myself and a lot of other people my age. Certainly there are drawbacks to getting older, as you mentioned, but there are a lot of positives, too. Happy Birthday and may the next 10+ years be just as good to you as your first 70 have been.

    • Andrew, at age 31 you shouldn’t be looking forward to your senior years but just enjoy each day as it comes along. It’s surprising how fast those senior years get here. Thanks for the birthday wish and I wish you much happiness each and every day.

  29. Congratulations on turning 70! You come across as young at heart!

    I particularly like your point about many things that worry a person in their younger years become petty in their older years.

    Keep that energy!

    • Thanks Phoenicia – I fully intend to keep doing and learning as there is still so much to know. In the meantime I will continue my blogging which is a terrific staying young tool. Every senior should do it.

  30. Happy birthday Lenie. This post is such a refreshingly simp,e and forthright commentary on aging.

    • Thanks for the birthday wish Ken. When you think about it – aging is a pretty simple process – basically you just go with the flow.

  31. First:

    ♪♪♬♫ Happy Birthday to YOU!
    ♪♪♬♫ Happy Birthday to YOU!
    ♪♪♬♫ Happy Birthday dear LENIE!
    ♪♪♬♫ Happy Birthday to YOU!

    Your new picture is terrific! I am so in agreement with everything (everything) you said in this post. I’m not far behind you and I find inspiration in your words to continue on with the attitude that I have. Most of it influenced by my 87 year old mom and 90 year old dad. They have truly aged amazingly.

    • Hi Patricia – love the birthday song and the notes – made my day and it has just started. Maybe you hit on the secret, our parents. My dad passed away when he was 89 and my mom was just 3 weeks shy of her 95th birthday. They also enjoyed their senior years. Anyway, I sure intend to enjoy mine.

  32. George Bernard Shaw is absolutely right. My brother in laws father was in good shape until he stopped swimming. Then slowly but surely he became old. Having said that he became 91 years old.

    • Catarina, how old was he when he stopped swimming? We have talked about getting a swimming pool because aquatic exercise is excellent when you can’t do many other kinds but so far it has just been talk. May have to take a serious look at it this year.

  33. I love this! I am not nearing that milestone yet, but I have already been making adjustments. I look in the mirror and I wonder what happened to that girl I remember. Now I see wrinkles and those eyebrows that want to join hands and become one. Sometimes I wonder if my makeup actually accentuates those issues rather than enhancing my good qualities. Big sigh… My husband and I have decided that we are living more today while planning for tomorrow. After all you can’t take it with you. Enjoy it today. Happy Birthday!

    • Hi Cheryl – My biggest shock came when a sister I hadn’t seen for a while got out of her car and said, Oh my goodness, you look like mom. Now when I look in the mirror, that’s who I see, which is actually OK because I always thought she was a cutie. As for living for today – now is the time to do it and enjoy it.

  34. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENNIE! You look lovely in the picture, and agreed 50 is the new 70, all that matters is how you feel inside and you’re an inspiration for everyone else.
    I admire your spirit and your heartfelt blog post.

    Love, Husnaa xx

    • Husnaa, Thanks for the birthday wish and the very kind words. Glad you enjoy my blog.

  35. Well happy birthday, Lenie and congratulations on making it to a big milestone. We are only as old as we feel, or is it act? Lol. So act like you are 12, I say. Your comments on the brows and such reminded me of a story ,my friend from Houston told us of taking her elderly mother out shopping. She said she happened to glance over at her mom while they were checking out and said “mom, are your eyebrows, BLUE??” Her mom said yes indeed they were. She couldn’t find her eyebrow pencil so she just used a blue ballpoint pen. :0). That’s the other great thing about getting older….you just don’t give a crap anymore. You do whatever you want! I hope you have a marvelous birthday, friend, and many, many more!!

    • Oh Susan, I love the ballpoint pen story – I haven’t reached that point yet but you’re right. We’ve pretty well spent a lifetime conforming, now we can stop. If what we do shocks some people, as you say who gives a crap. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  36. Completely love this Lenie! And the new picture too! And I want to first offer my sincerest and heartfelt birthday wishes…may all of those wishes come true:) Mostly, I am grateful that you didn’t wrap it ALL up in bow and make it pretty…just made it clear that even with the bad and the ugly, the good is worth hanging in there for:) It takes more than spirit and courage…it take a whole lot of humor too:) Happy Birthday Friend. Looking forward to many more blog posts from you!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Jacquie. This was actually a fun post to put together. It is all true – the bad and the ugly – but yes, the good more than makes it worthwhile. The humour I learned from you). As long as I can keep learning and blogging you can colour me happy. I’m sure we’ll share many more posts, after all, that’s what keeps life interesting, right?

  37. Happy Birthday to you, Lenie! I admire your spirit and agree with you about growing. We have the opportunity to grow every day of our lives. I wish you all best.

    • Thanks Michel – I can’t think of anything worse than just existing. I do enjoy all my activities plus researching and learning. Thanks for your kind wishes.

  38. Great post. So real and heartfelt. All ages should be celebrated because of all we’ve done to get there. I love that you have this blog and that you seem to enjoy it so much. So Happy Birthday to you and never stop celebrating the age you are.

    • Hi Kerry – Wow, that was fast. I just submitted this post and here you are, commenting. How nice and thanks for the birthday wish – I fully intend to enjoy all the days I have coming to me and to make the most of them. I do enjoy my blog and as long as I can do that I will remain young.

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