How To Be 70: Part One

My mum and I

Firstly, a disclaimer.

I have three more weeks of being 69 before I hit the gate.

 TB-perfectly-H, I’m amazed I’m still here. A well-spent youth of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll in the fashion business combined with the last nine years that have ushered in a heart attack, skin cancer and breast cancer – have certainly given the Grim Reaper a run for her money. They may have destroyed my hearing but not it seems, me.

’70? Means death,’ said a 70+ woman friend recently and that’s true in certain respects, my genealogy doesn’t bode well. My mother was 79 when she died, my father who preceded her by three months, probably a couple of years younger. I come from a generation whose parents disclosed nothing to their offspring, certainly not their innermost hopes, fears or chronology. I had to work out my mum’s age by subtracting the posting dates on her 21st birthday cards, discovered in her loft after she died, from the date of her death – which I had to double-check with my younger sister. Maybe Alzheimer’s is waiting at the door…

I have no idea how to be 70, it’s approach scares me like no other decade – it seems to demand a certain level of maturity and sobriety, of slowing down and of adopting a different demeanour, and maybe wardrobe, that I really don’t have – or want. It screams OLD at me and suddenly, I worry that a frock that shows my knees is an affront to public decency.

I’m writing this on a flight to Seville to run two writing holidays [apologies, Greta] and have committed myself to running three again next year; plus workshops in UK and an investigation into long-weekend retreats in Italy. Despite the technical challenges of modern marketing and my abhorrence of PDFs, Mailchimp, Squarespace, Excel et al, I’ve started and I will continue because I adore my work and luckily, it seems to make other people very happy as well.

Writing it down has always helped me clarify my thoughts, I need to embrace ageing and maybe this blog will help me discover my ‘how’.


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2 Responses to How To Be 70: Part One

  1. Debbie says:

    Having just turned 59, I feel the same about approaching 60 – along with a disbelief that this will indeed be my age next July. I still haven’t learned how to BE, let alone how to be in my sixties…

    Beautifully written blog, I look forward to reading more!

  2. Bernadette Gosling says:

    Hi Elaine I’m 71 now, 72 next May!!! It horrifies me to think those numbers…. but I take great comfort & lots of relish when I announce to people strangers mostly “you know I’m 71”
    I love