Reflections from a 70 Year Old

Getting older is inevitable.  The years come with a predictable regularity that can never be altered.  I’ll be older tomorrow than I am today.  But acting old, now that’s optional.  Your attitude goes a long way toward defining at what age people will perceive you.  For those of us on the other side of 70, sometimes it can seem like the best is behind us.

On the flip side, there are certain advantages to having reached this milestone.  I look upon those life lessons as earned credits so we can appreciate the coming years even more.

70 and Counting

You woke up today and realized “I’ve made it this far!”  Be grateful you are still standing.  Try and remember when you were in your 30s, thinking 70 was forever and a day away.  Well, here we are.

I’m sure you can look back on a situation or two (or three), had you zigged instead of zagged, the path you would have set yourself on would be entirely different today.  Breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re not having to deal with what could have been.

You Can See It Coming

You have a far better chance of knowing what’s right from what’s wrong.  We’ve all made good, even great decisions as well as bad (and really bad) decisions.  I will tell you the bad ones taught me far more than the good ones.  Those poor choices tend to stick in your craw, inspiring you to not to do a repeat.

The great thing about being 70 is, by this time in your life, you’ve been hit with about any surprise life is capable of throwing at you. You’ve felt the joy and satisfaction as well as the heartaches and headaches. You now are in a much better position to fully comprehend the consequences which will result from whatever actions you take going forward.

Down on the Farm 

In the 40s, 50s and 60s, home cooked meals were the order of the day.  There was no concern about processed foods, pesticides, fast foods or GMOs (although I have a good friend who passionately defends GMOs as a positive – do your own research).  No diet drinks existed, so no aspartame, which is an extremely bad actor.  Our worst ‘enemy’ was sugar laden Kool-Aid.

I can argue our pre 20 year old bodies, the formative years biologically, developed more healthily without today’s negative influences.  We were eating organic before organic was cool.

You Can’t Prove a Thing

Today’s culture embraces Facebook, periscope, selfies and twitter.  Hourly reports of one’s activities, whether they are noteworthy or mundane are recorded ad nauseam.  Pictures of vacations, parties, hikes, food preparation and doing goofy stuff are downloaded by the 10s of millions every hour.  We baby boomers are not only fascinated by the ease with which a person can record their lives instantaneously but are acutely aware of the potential long term challenges  purposely being laid out by you future parents and job seekers.

Be very aware!  Potential employers are routinely reviewing your electronic history.  And think about when your kids become tech savvy.  Be prepared to explain all (yes all) of those embarrassing moments, comments and pronouncements you had so proudly deposited in the cloud back in your youth.  From my perspective, I am happy to report, no matter what you might have heard happened in ’74….or ’76….or even ’77 for that matter, you can’t prove a darn thing!

The Way It Was

The new millennium has brought with it technologies, making the ‘Buck Rodgers of the 25th Century’ comic strip seen almost laughable.  Today’s generation has a hard time envisioning getting up to change the tv channel or needing a slide rule to do rough calculations.  When I went to college the calculators were chained to the counter because they cost hundreds of dollars.  (No, I don’t know how to use an abacus!)

What about having only 3 stations to watch or maybe 4 if you could pick up the elusive UHF channel (aluminum foil optional).  Bonus information:  I was reminded broadcasting stopped after midnight, replaced by a test pattern and regular programing didn’t resume until 7AM.  My generation has a true appreciation of all the modern conveniences which have evolved in the past several decades.                                      

Always on the Move

My entertainment environment growing up was, relative to today, very limited.  Our fun required, for the most part, some kind of physical interaction – climbing trees, baseball, building forts, kickball (baseball style) or damming up the local creek.  We would play outside til the sun went down.  School recess (twice a day) consisted of tag, dodgeball and Red Rover (which I understand are now outlawed in some schools for their negative influence – give me a break!).

The real significance was our generation had zero issues with type 2 diabetes or obesity.  Just as it could be argued our nutrition gave us a head start in life health wise, so do did our activity level set us up better physically as we entered our 20s.

 Simpler Things in Life

Having grown up in a quieter, gentler time when life was not so fast paced, my generation can draw on that period when the present day gets hectic.  While I have a Facebook, I admit I haven’t eyeballed it in quite a while.  Responding to a text in less than 30 seconds is not a priority.  Back in the day, the only way you communicated when you were away from home would be to search for a pay phone.  And when is the last time you actually wrote a thank you and sent it snail mail?

We allow ourselves to constantly be in a hurry.  I too have gotten caught up in life’s frenetic tempo from time to time.  Fortunately, I can harken back to my childhood and know what it feels like to just relax.  It’s a gift.  For those of you who remember the Twilight Zone episode ‘Kick the Can’, there is definitely something to say for the simpler things in life.

Glad to be a Baby Boomer

From time to time I remind my clients being ‘experienced’ has this or that advantage.  And the vast majority agree we’re glad we grew up when we did.  Use this perspective to point out to your older clients they possess definite positives.  It’s another form of encouragement in their journey to regain their health.  Plus, you will learn things along the way as well.

Good Luck and Good Health!

Rick Almand

ACE and AFAA Certified

1st Dan 2nd Stripe Tae Kwon Do

 “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”

 Henry Ford (1863 – 1947) Founder of the Ford Motor Company


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