In The Richness of Time

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Today I am celebrating 70 years of living. It is my birthday – and I am having trouble getting my mind around being alive for 70 years. Maybe it is because I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count that high. Maybe it is because getting old is so very complex. In any case I have found that I am now attracted to roses in the fullness of their maturity whereas the me of my early years preferred buds with their full potential waiting to unfurl. I am feeling giddy-excited about arriving at what I consider a mature old age. Wow!

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JB and I talk about death a lot – we are trying to figure out how to prepare for a life without each other. We know it will be painful and I am hoping he dies first because I can’t fathom leaving him behind to mourn. I worry about whether he could take care of himself although I also tease him that there will be a line of widows forming at our door bringing him suppers and pies.

Within those 70 years it is not surprising that I have watched as people I love lost the flush of full bloom and their pedals withered until death stilled their bodies. Dying frightens me, because I don’t know if I can handle the loss of control that comes from life-sucking disease. But I don’t fear death, in fact I look forward to it as another exciting journey. My faith helps me with that.

But today I’m not thinking about death as much as I’m thinking about life. Oh, the grace and beauty that comes with remembering a life fully lived. JB and I were talking about how fortunate we are to have time together and the resources we need. We believe we have just enough of everything. Our joy is increased by knowing we will loose it all as we age and die. I am expecting that the loss will be okay as long as we completely and thoroughly enjoy our todays.

I feel like I am on a cusp. Life is changing for me in a way that is neither all good or all bad. Just like the life I have lived. I have the aches and pains of a body that is wearing out. My friends and I laugh about it, because we are all in the same boat. We marvel at how our minds sometimes forget that our bodies can’t do what they did in our youth. When I think about what I use to be able to do, sometimes I am sad about the loss and sometimes I smile. Life is like that. The good news is that I now have the freedom to rest when I need to rest, and can use my age as an excuse not to do it at all if the work becomes too taxing.

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Life at 70 feels rich and full. Colors are deeper, smells are sweeter, touch is more comforting. The great mysteries of life inspire more awe, and I revel in the simple pleasures of the scent of rain and snow, the warmth of the sun upon my face, the crunch of leaves beneath my feet, and the breeze blowing through my hair. I know who I am because of where I have been. I know I can face my future with confidence and let the crusty, feisty character within me emerge. Seventy is my ticket to being all that I am.

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54 thoughts on “In The Richness of Time

    • Because I feel that way, may be the reason why I can’t get my mind around being 70. I’m looking forward to having you and Jo at my secret birthday party tomorrow. :)

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    • Thanks, Jan. That is my plan – as long as I have enough strength to hold the camera up, and can keep the brain and fingers connected on the keyboard. :)

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    • Thanks, Sue. I didn’t go into my 60’s with much grace but this I am really happy with. Seventy is giving a sense of freedom to just relax and be.

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    • Oh you nailed it. And I had two occasions that are only for the really old – 50 years of marriage (Yipes) and turning 70. This territory is not for the timid. Thanks for the laugh this morning, Judy.

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    • I hope your hubby had as much fun turning 70 as I did. It kind of surprised me that I enjoyed it so much. I wasn’t keen on turning 60. :)

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  1. Reblogged this on Lois Roelofs and commented:
    Blogger Pat Bailey poetically expresses thoughts about turning 70. At 72, I found her graceful musing to complement my own feelings about this decade. Read and enjoy these last days of summer!

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  2. Pat, some belated birthday wishes from me, too. I’m positive about turning 60 next year, it doesn’t seem so bad. I admire the way you and your husband discuss death. A lot prefer not to speak of it, but it’s best to have a plan. The roses are a beautiful analogy. <3

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    • I hope you do, too, Nora. My 6th decade wasn’t always happy as I was learning to live with chronic illness. It is surprising me how much I am looking forward to my 70s.

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  3. Welcome to the seventies! I asked my 85 year old brother-in-law how I got to this age and he said; “jut wake up every morning”. I’m 71 and doing fine. Enjoy the possibilities of this age. Enjoyed your post.

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    • Thanks Rich. My husband and I smile at each other every morning because, like your brother-in-law, we woke up again together. I think I needed to reach 70 to give myself permission to just sit back and enjoy retirement.

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  4. Happy birthday and many, many more, Pat. I relate to having to get the mind around the years. In my head I feel like sixteen and indefeatable. (In my body I feel 90 and I’m only 64. LOL!) I hope you are still celebrating today. Many blessings,
    J.

    The flowers are stunning. The colors of the roses in the second photo take my breath away.

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  5. Happy birthday and many,many happy returns of the day:) Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas. I believe that every stage in life is as we make it and as we move on we should enjoy what comes our way. Lakshmi

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