Good Bye Birthday Cake

Good Bye Birthday Cake

Ten years ago I started a blog called Not Your Grandmother’s Seventy. Tag line: living your best life at any age. I started it in commemoration of turning seventy. I blogged on and off these last ten years. Sometimes diligently weekly, sometimes I skipped weeks, months, even years. One year ago I started thinking about what I should do with this blog. Rename it? What should I call it? None of that mattered because I did—nothing. Oh, I talked about it. A lot. I wrote a few pieces that were well received but without consistency I pretty much lost my audience. So now what?

WE ARE BACK

Still working on ultimate look and current name is simply: Karin Quirk. And so it shall be until I get inspiration for another title. Hopefully I’ll get some input from my readers.

SO WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH BIRTHDAY CAKE?

Ten years ago a good friend provided the cake for my birthday party. It was an amazing cake but the most amazing thing about it was that she had a representation of me on a raft going down a river. This was an homage to my birthday trip down the Colorado river. A fine cake indeed.

And I clung to that image as the cover for my blog. For ten years! When I was working with my support team on creating the new blog, I was told the birthday cake had to go. We had to explore new designs. Designs that more accurately depicted what this new blog would be about. This is not about age. A seventy year old’s birthday cake would not do. So good bye birthday cake.

NOW WHAT?

I have been asked why I’m doing this? What is my message? Who am I trying to reach? Can I say I don’t know? No? Then let’s dig in. Why am I doing this?

INSPIRATION

At my last birthday party (parties actually) all the cards and well wishes used the word inspiration. I’m inspirational? Why, because I’m still above ground? No, that wasn’t it. I have not lived an ordinary life, that’s for sure. I have had ups and downs and even a few triumphs. In my day job I work hard to inspire my clients to build their new lives. My message is don’t give up. It is never too late to start again.

I want to entertain, make you laugh, and, yes inspire you. When I am doing that, I laugh at myself and even inspire myself —sometimes I will tell you funny things that happened to me. Share inspirational stories. There’s that word again.

WILL YOU SHARE THIS JOURNEY WITH ME?

Stick around and let’s see how this evolves. I want to engage you as part of my community

BYE BIRTHDAY CAKE

The Rise of the Octogenarian

The Rise of the Octogenarian

In keeping with the theme of it’s never too late, today I took a look at the octogenarians among us.  We are a powerful lot: politicians and activists. Still very active. I’ve included the president of the United States because he will be joining us soon.

Nancy Pelosi 81

Chuck Grassley 88

Bernie Sanders 80

Gloria Steinem 88

Jane Fonda 83

Joe Biden 78

Rings Starr 81

Why, you say, am I telling you this? It’s really for myself. I am reminding myself that it really is never too late. I had resisted making five year plans and goals because it did seem too late. There is a joke about being too old to buy green bananas and many more jokes  like it. Now we know:

Make the plan!

Yes, pandemic has interfered with some of our plans. Most travel has been postponed and we aren’t planning big parties. However, we can still plan.  What have you wanted to do but felt it was too late? You’re too old? My purpose here is to prove you wrong. Actually, the purpose is to prove it to myself. 

River cruise, white water rafting, China? Been there. Mountain climbing, safari, Antarctica? Not for me. I guess I have to admit I’ve had a pretty full life after all.  So what’s next? Here’s my list:

  • Iceland (October)
  • Road Scholar adventure 
  • Cooking in Italy with friends
  • Outdoor concerts
  • A beach retreat with friends

I’m sure the list will get longer. I may start a journal page for the bucket list. 

Here is my challenge to you. Sit for a while and think about what you want to do in your future, be it next week, next year or the elusive someday.

Eighty Years Plus One Day

Eighty Years Plus One Day

Does it feel different? Of course not. Why do we think we will wake up the next morning and everything will be different?

The pandemic is still raging with Delta variant our latest cause for concern

Climate change is still real

Forest fires are still cause for concern

Some people still think the former President is still president

We are more politically polarized than I can ever remember

There are still anti Vaxers and anti maskers

White supremesists  still roam the land

And yet we continue on.


I still have a wonderful water view, good health, a great family, a supportive community, many friends, a thriving business and a great hairdresser. 

Do I have a secret to health and happiness? Nope.  

Have I learned how to be more productive? Nope

Do I still have times of depression? Yup

And yet I continue on.

What are some tactics that help?

Gratitude practice/morning practice

This may be the single most important thing I do to keep it all together. For a while I was listing six gratitudes every day on Facebook. Six. Don’t stop at five. Sometimes I write in a journal, at this time I am trying out a digital diary/planner. I am not sure if that will be my go to. I’ve had some frustrations with my work disappearing and other technical details. A paper notebook is good but I cannot read my handwriting and I don’t always have the journal with me. On my desk I currently have:

  • Bullet Journal
  • Miracle Morning
  • Five minute journal
  • Elisi (a digital planner)

I seem to be using a combination of all. Maybe that’s OK 

Exercise

I’ve heard that helps, I say somewhat jokingly. I try to walk every day. Emphasis on the try. I am so proud of my daughter who has achieved a mile a day for 116 days.  I’m not there yet.  I do go to Pilates twice a week and a physical therapist once a week. My understanding is we need to just keep moving the body.  

Brain Health

According to Sanjay Gupta in his book Stay Strong, the most important thing you can do for your brain is exercise. Doesn’t take a lot but get that heart rate up several times a day. 

I am also convinced that those of us who continue our work beyond “retirement” maintain better brain health.

Have Young Friends

This may seem to be counterintuitive.  Don’t you want to have older friends so you look younger by comparison?  I don’t think so. My younger friends keep me current and relevant. There may be a lot of reasons my friends are younger. I’m not opposed to having older friends but I just don’t.  I won’t wear old lady shoes but I do seem to have some leisure suits that scream Golden Girls.

Stay current

It really bothers me when people tell me they never read the news. Have you heard the saying “those who refuse to learn history are condemned to repeat it?”  Head in the sand won’t solve the problems I opened with above.  There are people working on solutions. Support those people if you can’t be one of then yourself. But don’t ignore them. 

And those are my observations of the day after. Stay tuned for more. 

It’s never too late-Or is it?

It’s never too late-Or is it?

I have subtitled this blog Live your best life at any Age —it is never too late.  Do  you really believe this?  Do I? Is it truly never too late? I started this blog as an inspiration to others, and myself, that it truly is never too late.  I started it as I turned...

Where Am I Going?

Where Am I Going?

Day 3

At a turning point: so I will no longer be in my 70’s; but, boy, that was a lot of fun!

Why a Blog?

Why a Blog?

Day 1

Blog renaming, my purpose, and starting (and restarting) at any age!

It’s never too late to begin again. Or is it?

It’s never too late to begin again. Or is it?

Ten years ago I started a blog in anticipation to my 70th birthday. Feeling energetic and active, I decided to call it Not Your Grandmother’s 70.  Subtitle: living your best life at any age. It seemed fitting because I considered myself the poster child for it’s never...

So It is New Year’s Eve. Must say something meaningful

How many New Year’s Eves has it been? I remember the year I said that I had no expectations of anything happening in the coming year. Funny, before the year was over I was married. The one and only marriage I have ever had. While that may be a subject of future posts,...

The Time Machine Question

The Time Machine Question

”What would you tell your younger self?  Ah, the time machine question. I was recently challenged to write about what I would tell my younger self.  Obviously:  “Keep writing!” I wrote as a young girl. When did that stop?  Probably when my mother...

In Defense of Football and Homage to Mrs. McLaughlin

”You really need to understand football, all of you” was a command from Mrs. McLaughlin.  (The same Mrs. McLaughlin that I credit with making me take college prep classes which changed my life) So we learned the basics of football.  First and Ten — do it again.  What...

Another Trip Around the Sun

Seven years ago I started this blog on the eve of my seventieth birthday. It’s been an on and off situation. Sometimes people even read it! So if you are good at math you can determine that I am now 77. Holy Thor. I’m not sure I know anyone that old. So once again I...

The Time “Just Not Screwing Up” Worked

Some successes come with a resounding “Yippee”, and a spin around the room. Passing a bar exam comes to mind. Some successes take a while to sink in.  And then there are the ones you didn’t realize were such a big deal until much later. Often when looking around for...

Is It True No One Reads Anymore?

“No one reads blog posts anymore” is something I heard a few weeks ago.  Perhaps no one reads anything longer than a twitter feed anymore. I am told Instragram is where it’s at.  #donotmakemeread. Pictures of cats, babies and beautiful cupcakes?  That’s all we want?...

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This was written in March 2011 — in anticipation of turning 70 that year.  There have been stops and starts in the years between.  This year I committed to revive the blog with a new post every Sunday.  Today I look back at the beginning. The baby boomers are now well...

Why I Speak Out

“Oh, I don’t talk politics, you can’t change anyone’s mind.”  I often find myself "preaching to the choir" feeling I can't possibly make a difference.  But that's not true.  I do believe we can and should shine a light.  We can make a difference.  Whenever I feel that...

I Wrote a Book and You Should Too

I learned this week that no one reads blog posts anymore.  Well, that just makes me sad. But I just keep writing them whether anyone reads them or not. So there! As you have probably guessed, this blog is my fun writing. It is keeping the mental juices flowing,...

Manifestation and Other Woo Woo Stuff

I was listening to an audiobook today in which the author talked about manifestation and all that woo woo stuff.  She approached it with amusement but yet a touch of seriousness.  She pointed out that one cannot just sit poolside and manifest a great job, a lover a...

Why You Should Consider a Mastermind Group

I have been writing a lot about connection, accountability, and developing social circles.  Most are very informal, but there is a variation that is more formal that has made a tremendous difference in my life. The groups go by different names but they are basically a...

Turning Points

The Road not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both And be one traveller, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better...

When Pulling the “Old Lady Card” Can Be Useful

Remember the old days when we used our charm to get our way?  I think today charm is way way underused.  Charm can be used by male, female, nongendered.  Old, young. “Charm is the ability to make someone think that both of you are quite wonderful. Charm is not about...

The Joy of Being Single—Part one fine dining?

I am in the business of making people single.  I see the positive changes happening to people when they reclaim their lives.  Often they did not know how unhappy they were until they made the change to being single.  But I do have to caution folks that it is not the...

Do you have a tribe?

Last week I wrote about commitment and that I had committed to an every Sunday post.  Well I broke the streek.  You know, Super Bowl, friends gathering, etc. etc.  So here it is Tuesday and I am committed to a blog this week. Fresh out of ideas, I asked my tribe....

Commitment

“Commitment is what Transforms the promise into reality. It is the words that speak Boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak Louder than the words. It is making the time When there is none. Coming through time After time after time, Year after year after...

My Conversation With a Millenial

Grandma meets the millennial.  He probably winced when I walked in the door of the Mac store. Certainly not his demographic.  "She's going to waste my time and won't understand anything" I'm sure he was thinking.  He seems a little more interested as I pulled out my...

Some Days the Garbage Does Pile Up

Some Days the Garbage Does Pile Up

The new year has come and gone. Last week I found myself with a head cold, my car was out of gas, there was no coffee in the house.  If I didn’t have auto pay I probably would be without lights or heat.  Adulting can be challenging.  And then this . . . A true...

Your Grandmother is on Facebook, and that’s a good thing

This is my friend, Bonnie and her Seahawks ring.  Bonnie is more than 70.  Bonnie is on Facebook.  Be like Bonnie.Now and then I meet people who refuse to be on Facebook. Not sure what that is about.  Once again I make my case.  Of course, the likelihood of you seeing...

Welcome 2018

Here we are.  Another year.  What is a new year without resolutions? For several months I have been promising to bring back this blog.  Then I set a very clear intention that I would begin January 1.  A Super Moon, a full moon.  It was a great time to begin an...

Are You a Writer?

I am told the first step to being a writer is to call yourself one. I write. I write marketing pieces for my business, I journal. I write e mails to clients, other attorneys and I think some pretty funny Facebook posts. I occasionally, but not as often now, write...

Mood Indigo Blues

You ain't never been blue; no, no no You ain't never been blue, Till you've had that mood indigo.  That feelin goes stealin down to my shoes  You know what it is.  The pits, the gloomies, down in the dumps.  Rolled up in a ball on the bathroom floor.  In bed, covers...

A nostalgic trip back to a time that never was

On a recent sunny day I ventured out to a place back in time.  Fifty years ago (FIFTY?) I was a new teacher in the small logging town of Snoqualmie and today seemed like a perfect day to visit the famous Snoqualmie falls.  Yes, a perfect trip back in time.  Except I...

Sometimes “I got nothing” can be a good thing

Update:  This was written two years ago   It is amazingly prescient as I sit here wanting to revive my blog.   “I got nothing”.  That was how I opened a recent speech.  Seriously – I had nothing. Let me put it into some context.  I attended a speech workshop.  I...

Why I’m Not Writing a Book

For several years I have been writing a book.  Well, I have been talking about writing a book, thinking about it, taking classes, attending seminars and I’ve even designed the cover of my book.  Except the book never gets written. Now I am clear: I am NOT writing a...

WHY I SPEAK OUT

Causes, campaigns, elections.  Everyone has an opinion.  Or do they?  I am dismayed at the number of people who seem to be anti having any opinions or at least think you should keep them to yourself.  Stay quiet. Keep your opinions to yourself. "I don’t talk politics,...

I took a walk on the beach to find my purpose and guess what happened?

I took a walk on the beach to find my purpose and guess what happened?

Today I took a walk on the beach in hopes of finding a solution to a problem I had been wrestling with. I did find an answer but it was not what I was expecting. And the result is a lesson that might just apply to other situations. I am working on a project and was...

Finding Spiritual Advisors in Unlikely Places

Spiritual advisor, counselor, guru, therapist, resident philosopher, teacher – all terms for someone who gives you guidance mainly by listening without judgment, perhaps interjecting just the right words of wisdom.  Many people pay for such guidance but most of us...

Class Reunion Time

Why would you go to a high school class reunion?   Unless you were class president, homecoming queen or a cheerleader, high school was probably not your favorite time in your life.  All that teen age angst, all that never quite belonging turns out to be a common...

Are You Building Your Lemonade Stand?

“When life gives you lemons, you don't make lemonade. You use the seeds to plant a whole orchard - an entire franchise! Or you could just stay on the Destiny Bus and drink lemonade someone else has made, from a can.” ― Anthon St. Maarten Let me tell you about two...

LET’S TALK SPIRITUALITY

  Living your best life includes having a spiritual basis.  Don't worry, I'm not going to go all religious on you.  My friends come in many variations of spirituality including traditional Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, NewThought, and even atheist.  The kind of...

WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY IF YOU HAD IT TO DO ALL OVER?

One of my discussion groups was discussing how our lives are shaped by decisions we made along the way.  There is a somewhat new agey idea that all of our decisions are the right ones because they got us to where we are today.  My group all agreed there were some...

DO YOU SUFFER FROM “WAIDLE” DISEASE?

Many people suffer from this disease and it can be quite debilitating and while not necessarily life threatening, it can interfere with a person’s quality of life, affect personal relationships, careers and even one’s hopes and dreams. Waidle (sometimes known as...

Today I Saw My Future

This is day two of writing challenge  I saw myself at what I hope is a distant future   I didn't know it at the time, but today I saw my future and I found some inspiration and some despair.  I was at my grandson's baseball game which was called because of rain....

ARE YOUR FRIENDS ALL THE SAME AGE?

When we were little kids we all used to like to play with kids our own age.  An older child playing with younger kids was considered weird.  Many folks carry this into adulthood.  I suggest that you learn to play with people of different age groups. I frequently have...

A FIFTY YEAR OLD EXPERIENCES THE SOCRATIC METHOD

"Fictional characters like Professor Kingsfield of The Paper Chase have contributed to an image of the quintessential law school professor who puts a student in the “hot seat” and delves into what seems like an intimidating and almost torturous line of inquiry.  This...

YOU CAN MAKE A LOT OF DIFFERENCE IN OTHER’S LIVES

"Your Story can change someone else's"   You, Yes you! can make a LOT of difference in someone's lives merely by practicing the LOT principle.  Listen, Observe, Tell  Does the name George Bailey ring a bell?  He was the main character in the perennial classic...

CAN WE STILL CHANGE THE WORLD?

“When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.   This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius , Age of Aquarius”   If you identified with these lyrics this message is for you.  If you...

WANT TO LIVE LONGER? BETTER? TRY FACEBOOK. SERIOUSLY!

"Oooh, I would never do Facebook - it's dangerous!"   Walking across the street is dangerous,  life itself is dangerous.  OLD is about not trying new things.  My purpose in these musings is to help folks from being  OLD.  (OLD is the opposite of the wise sage we...

Remembering Fifty Years Ago

November 22, 2013. Of those of us alive in the United States, there are three events that will forever be “where were you”.  They are Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy Assassination and nine eleven.   Those who remember Pearl Harbor are now in their late 70s and beyond. ...

Ageism or Sageism?

The question for today:  How to impart wisdom to those following behind without sounding like a know it all grumpy old person. I started this blog when I celebrated my 70th birthday.  My challenge for the BIG birthday was a two week trip down the Colorado River...

What To Do When Your Life Sucks

Do you ever have days when your life sucks?  I don't mean big momentous tragic events like a health problem, serious relationship issues or, God forbid, a car collision or other disaster.  No, I mean just one of those days where you have what we may call the blahs,...

Have You Checked Your Social Settings?

In case you didn’t know it, we in the Seattle area have been snowed in for a week. I was going to write about how Facebook kept me connected. I was keeping up with friends, enjoying videos from friends who were “stranded” in L.A. and had to drive up the coast to...

Jobs I Have Done For Pay

As I converse with people in different fields I often hear myself say "I've done that".  It does seem like I have had a lot of jobs.   Today I decided to list the jobs I have had for pay.  These are pretty much in chronological order although I sometimes revisited...

Now What?

I said I was going to blog.  I actually published some posts and some got reposted.  Good grief I even have some followers. Now what? I participated in a thirty day challenge to blog every day.  I lasted four days. Now what? I made a commitment that I would continue...

SOME DAYS ARE LIKE THAT — EVEN IN AUSTRALIA

One of my favorite children's books is Alexander and the Horrible Terrible Very Bad Day.  Maybe you have read it?  It begins with Alexander declaring "I woke up this morning with gum in my hair and I knew it was going to be a horrible terrible very bad day"  He then...

What Happened to the Dinner Party?

I love to browse cookbooks and magazines about cooking.  I subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and and even watch the Food Network at the gym.  (OK, I did that three times but it sounds good)  I imagine the wonderful dinner parties I will have.  In the meantime I eat...

Things You Must Not Say If You Don’t Want to Look OLD

"Aging is mandatory.  Getting old is optional" has become my mantra.  Granted I am being opinionated here which is a prerogative of  being a sage, which I intend to be.   So here goes my own opinion grounded in careful research while moving around my community and...

Technology for Old People

I don't want to be disparaging to old people.  I just don't want to be one of them.   If you are reveling in being old, go for it.  I choose not be.  So here are some more irreverent ways not be old. TECHNOLOGY Please don't run from technology.  You learned how to use...

Why do all the “How to Look Fabulous at Any Age” Articles End at 50?

Glamour, Vogue, W, Cosmopolitan, Savvy.  We expected it of them.  But MORE -- the magazine for mature women?   They all do fashion and makeup articles for looking good at any age. Really?  ANY age? Rarely do they even go to 60.  As the baby boomers are now in their...

Say Good Bye to Sixty

Six months ago I started this blog with the idea of memorializing my countdown to the end of my sixties.  I added one more post shortly after the first when I found my mentor and writing coach had pushed me out of the nest by publishing my post to her 800 nearest and...

OMG I’ve Been Outed

Feel the fear and do it anyway.  So they say.  What do they know anyway? It usually takes a good friend to push you into the water, or off the couch.  I have just had a friend give me that push.  I have been outed. For some time I have been tinkering around with...

Not Your Grandmother’s 70

"My financial plan only needs to go to seventy because that's all the longer I plan to live"  A financial planner quoting a client   I was quite taken by this comment from a financial planner sitting on a panel with me on retirement planning.  It was a...

Thank You, Gloria Steinem

But you don't look ________(that old) Gloria Steinem is one of my heroines. She came into my life at just the right time. When she turned 40, it was unheard of for a woman of such years to admit her age.  She did.  People kept telling her that she didn't look forty....

Welcome to 2011 — The Year the First Baby Boomer Turns 65

Yesterday the first baby boomer turned 65. I'm ahead of the curve. I'm not exactly a member of "the greatest generation". (Never mind that I was born in the wrong county for that). I'm apparently five years older than the oldest boomer, yet that is where I feel I fit....

Karin Quirk