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Thoughts on Turning 70

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, in a little over four hours, I will have gotten my "three score and ten," as the KJV Bible puts it, the big Seven-Oh.

Seventy these days is kind of an ambiguous age. When I was a younger fellow it was much less ambiguous--if you hit 70, you could be pretty sure checkout time was near. Deaths of people in their 60s were frequent and unsurprising; anyone remaining vigorous in to his (or more commonly her) 80s was considered quite remarkable; somebody living to 90 or beyond was extremely rare. For example, when my American grandparents expired at the ages of 73 and 76, we all felt they had attained ripe old ages. These days, a death in one's early 70s is seen as almost tragically premature, and all God's chillun are supposed to make it to 85 at least.

Frankly, the idea of living another 20 years strikes me as far more daunting than prospect of my demise in the not too distant future. Advances in medical technology, healthier lifestyles, better nutrition, statin drugs and such all seem to be combining to inflict an endless twilight of decrepitude on a great many of us. While a great many more people are living beyond their mid-70s, the quality of life seems to drop off sharply after that age...in the majority of cases, anyway.

Anyway, I am hanging in pretty well at the moment. Today, I walked my big dog a few miles, spent some time on the elliptical machine, did some flexibility work and then had a total body workout with the weights. However, the poundages are puny in comparison to what I could handle in my lusty prime, in many cases no more than half what I was using 30 years ago. I think of the line in Aeschylus' Agamemnon where the chorus of old men bemoan supporting their "childlike strength" on canes. It's depressing,,,and I won't even go into what's happened to the ol' sex drive.

So, if this forum should get word that I have expired sooner rather than later, be not over-saddened for me. I feel ready at any time to stride boldly into the darkness and into what lies beyond...if there is anything.

Well, just an old man's random maundering here. I realize there are few men like Alex the Tailor who are active in the forum and older than I, and there was one old fellow recently making much of the fact that he was 81. Nonetheless, leaving my 60s and entering my 70s makes me feel a bit older already, silly though that may sound. There is the current saying, "Sixty is the new 40," which strikes me as ridiculously optimistic, but there may be some truth to "80 is the new 70."
post #2 of 20
Well [congratulations|sincerest condolences] on turning 70. Take comfort in knowing that at least you had a lusty prime, some of us never even had that.

post #3 of 20
Congratulations!

Just think, I remember every President you do except Truman.

Anyway, as to the weight thing. If you are working out with half the weights now that you were working out with at 35 you are far, far ahead of most. Something to ponder and be proud about.

PS: Do you finally want a digital camera gift for your dotage and Birthday? Of course it will be an older point and shoot, but you will feel 50 again!!
post #4 of 20
I feel that I am a young man at 27. My great great grandfather fought in the war of Northern Aggression and died in his 80s. He hobbled around on a peg leg for the last many decades of his life; a hardened man by any means. My great grandfather lived to his mid 90s and died in the family room where my family always celebrated Christmas. I do not know very much about his life, but he was admired to live to such an age. He was born inside the same house he died in. My grandfather lived to 84. He had alzheimers and a series of mini-stokes that turned him into a husk of what he once was. His death was a relief for most of my family, and a bittersweet occasion. He died at the point when he had little dignity left. My father still lives a healthy and influential life at 73.

I gather than older men feel relevant to the point where they influence others though authoritative control, heeded advice, or sexual power. After that they just want to see their children or grandchildren succeed in life and move up. After that, there is nothing. Overall, life is easier on men than it is women, but old age is cruel to men.
post #5 of 20
Sincerest congratulations, Jan. You see quite vigorous for your age. Wear your age with pride.
post #6 of 20
Happy Birthday Jan. It amazed me that you said you were 70. Honestly, you've got more spark than most of the men I know in their 40's and 50's. I'll consider myself lucky if I have even half that when I reach 50. IF I reach 50.
post #7 of 20
congratulations, you should live another 50 years just as healthy and with just as clear a mind
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

Happy Birthday Jan. It amazed me that you said you were 70. Honestly, you've got more spark than most of the men I know in their 40's and 50's. I'll consider myself lucky if I have even half that when I reach 50. IF I reach 50.
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

congratulations, you should live another 50 years just as healthy and with just as clear a mind

+1. Congrats
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh View Post

Anyway, as to the weight thing. If you are working out with half the weights now that you were working out with at 35 you are far, far ahead of most. Something to ponder and be proud about.

I was thinking the exact same thing. 1/2 the weight he could push around at age 40? I'd take that at 70.
post #10 of 20
My sincerest best wishes on your 70th, Jan. It may not be much for you but our short correspondences over the years here and in AAAC back in the day means a lot to me. Cheers, my old friend!
post #11 of 20
Happy Birthday ...

Thank you for your contributions during the years.
post #12 of 20
Happy Birthday!!!
post #13 of 20
Happy belated birthday and congratulations Jan.

So, when will you be starting your memoirs? You've certainly packed a lot of living into your years.
post #14 of 20
A bit late, but happy birthday Jan.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you, gentlemen, for all your kind comments. I really appreciate them.

As to remembering presidents, I believe I can recall the death of FDR, and I can vividly remember V-J Day--I was playing in the sprinkler when my grandfather came home honking the horn of his car and announcing that we had won the war!

In all, I have been very fortunate to have lasted into my eighth decade without have suffered serious illness or injury. Except for one good friend who drank himself to death (and a number of fine dogs) I have never lost out of due season anyone I really loved or cared about. Those are things to be very thankful for!
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