It’s never too late to begin again. This has been my mantra for a long time. Maybe it’s because I have often wanted to begin again.
The most important challenge to begin again was when I decided to go to law school at 50.
I have always wanted to be a lawyer but, you know, I was a girl. I became a teacher and actually put a husband through law school. I had the vicarious experience and always hoped I could have the real experience.
I did well in law school, and I passed the California bar my first try.
When I was sworn into the bar, I was certain I wanted to be on my own.
But what kind of law could I do as a brand new 55 year old lawyer. I tried many things but my calling appeared in a most unusual way. The career I would pursue for the next 25 years came about, as most things in my life, by sheer happenstance.
At the time, I actually had a man in my life who was very supportive through this period. He told me we had been invited to a barbecue. Sounds fun. When we got to the driveway, he confesses that it was not a barbecue but rather we were there to watch a boxing match. He said that he knew I wouldn’t want to come if I knew that.
You got that right.
While the boys were in the TV room I sat at the bar. I engaged in conversation with a nice young man and when he found out I was a lawyer, he told me about his girlfriend who was in the middle of a divorce.
She cried all the time because she was not able to see her child. He asked me if I could help her? Of course, I could. Never mind that I knew nothing about family law, and to make it even better, the case was in Sacramento- a long way from Orange County.
I call this the incident when I was too stupid to know I couldn’t do it. I used the same negotiation skills that I used for for previous cases. I called the husband’s attorney and ultimately we resolved the case. I talked to that lawyer years later and we laughed about how little I knew. But I had a happy client who paid me $1500, and my family law career was born.
I always say that I did not choose family law, it chose me.
BTW that was the boxing match that lasted only a few minutes as one of the boxers bit the other’s ear off. I guess a lot of people remember that match. I remember it for different reasons.
So through one more happenstance, I began my career as a family law attorney. And Twenty five years, I am still here.
I often find myself counseling my clients that they could have a fulfilling life, they could begin again.
Find your best life at any age. That is the message I hope to impart.
For almost a year I’ve talked about resuming this blog which I started ten years ago as I was facing turning 70. For some time I was consistent. Then it was off and on. As I was facing the end of my seventies, I had a strong desire to document my slide towards, gasp, eighty. Octogenarian.
Will I have to change the name of the blog? Well, I’ll face that when I get there. In the meantime I worked on my memoir. That’s writing isn’t it?
One would think that being isolated during pandemic would be a time I would certainly get a lot of writing done. I did not. I also did not make bread, learn a foreign language or read the stack of books I intended to read. As my friends and I concluded: We survived.
Now I’m coming into the final stretch. Less than two months and I still haven’t begun. Then magic happened. A friend shared an opportunity for a 21 day day blog challenge one day before it was to begin. So here I am.
Instead of one blog a week, I am challenged to one a day. That should
make up for the missing weeks.
Why a blog?
I was recently challenged with that question by a friend. What is it driving me? What do I hope to accomplish? I’m aware that blogs are pretty old school. Now it’s U Tube, Facebook live, Instagram, Tim Tok and podcasts and probably a dozen other outlets. But I am a reader and a writer.
I like the words on a page. I like to think about what I want to write and I like that I can go back to replace a word a line. So blog I will.
What is my purpose?
I want to inspire and I want to entertain. I want to be funny and serious. A serious message served with humor? Self deprecating humor can be very effective. I started this blog to show that turning seventy does not mean you can’t continue striving, setting goals, and even start a new
career or hobby. I truly believe it’s never too late to begin again. Your best life at any age is my tag line.
Is this still true for octogenarians? I like that word, Octogenarian. I’ve been reading about keeping your brain sharp and want to send that message. While some octogenarians are still running marathons and
climbing mountains, that’s probably not for me. I’ll take on the mental challenges and leave the physical challenges to others. I am looking forward to seeing where the thirty day challenge will take me.
Does it matter if anyone reads it? Of course it does, but I can’t let it stop me from carrying on. A friend has been writing a blog and shared recently how it feels really good when someone tells her that they
have read her pieces. I agree with her.
Stay tuned. I hope you keep reading.
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 too late. I have had many careers and went to law school at age 50. I was planning a big adventure – taking a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in a wooden dory.
I said I would write a blog post weekly. And I did, for a while. Keeping with the theme of it’s never too late to begin again I would begin it again, and again. This last year seemed like a good time to write as I was isolated during the pandemic. Only I didn’t. Then the new year came around. A good time to start again. Only. I didn’t. First day of spring is a good time to start again. Only didn’t. It was important for me to start again as I was approaching the end of my seventies. Only I didn’t. The clock was ticking. Now half the year has passed. Yes, I must begin again. And here I am.
Recently I found another reason to begin again. I had cataract surgery and for the first time in my life I have 20/20 vision. “I can see clearly now” seemed like a good theme. And here I am, doing the countdown for the last few months of my seventies. Octogenarian? Who me? Well not quite as energetic and feeling the aches and pains catching up but still active. Active in my community and my career. Due to the pandemic, I made the difficult decision of severely cutting down on my office space and working remotely. I sit at a desk facing a glass door with a view of the water. Call this working? This week marks the 25th anniversary of my law school graduation. I feel blessed that I have been able to build a business that can sustain me in my “golden years”.
Now about this blog? What is my intention? I want to show that being an octogenarian is not all that scary. I recently read that a good portion of folks born today will live to be 120. Hmm? Not sure what I think about that. Ask me as I revive this blog at 90. I want to inspire people and make them laugh. I want to make myself stay relevant. I want to make people think. I want to entertain. In my work as a divorce attorney, I often encounter women who tell me it’s too late for them at 40, 50, 60. Occasionally even 35! I hope this blog gives them hope. It is not too late for them to begin their best lives. I hope the under seventy folks find something inspiring here.
When I entered my seventies I had role models, women who were still dynamic in their seventies. I am thrilled that most are still with us and are still role models in their eighties. They are still my inspiration.
- Gloria Steinem: 87
- Nancy Pelosi: 81
- Tina Turner: 81
- Jane Fonda: 83
- Julie Andrews: 86
- Lily Tomlin: 81
- Shirley MacLaine: 87
- And of course, Betty White: 99
So here is to beginning again. And again. And again.
Now let’s face the next serious question. Should we rename this blog? Not your grandmother’s 80? I guess I am not quite ready for that decision, but I am open to suggestions. I have a few more months to make that decision.
I hope you will join me on this journey. With your encouragement I won’t have to begin again. Just keep going!
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