Stop grumping and 15 other responses

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

March 25, 2022 eNewsletter #12

by Tom BlakeColumnist

Stop Grumping and 15 other responses

16 Champs comment about last week’s “Three things to avoid after age 70” article

Last week’s eNewsletter quoted a guy named Doug Armey who said that most people after age 70 act and talk old. I didn’t like what he said. Many of you felt the same way. As often happens, our Champs chimed in with concise and sage comments. Here are several of them:

Jacquie, “Today, the 25th of March, I turn 74. I don’t feel old. I’ve had two back surgeries and have bursitis and tendonitis, but I still walk 10,000 steps nearly every day. I also read lots of books and magazines. My brother and sister-in-law are four years and three years older respectively and are always traveling. They also walk often.

“I retired at 70 so I could do more of what I want. I won’t be reading Armey’s column anytime soon.”

Rosemarie, South Africa, “I’m 82 and manage my business and interact with clients every day. Health is 100%. Three times a week to the gym. I have lunch with my women friends. It’s best to keep busy.”

Kaitte, “I remember my mother telling me when I was 32 that I was no ‘spring-chicken’ and needed to settle down. At 44 I had cancer. I was dating a man five years younger. My grandmother told me she wished I’d find a man my age and settle down. I told Granny 40-year-olds now aren’t like they were when she was 40.

“I figured if I was going to die, I was going to live what was left of my life on my own terms and not in a hospital room.

“I’m 70 and feel the same—not living my life by some society rule that says I’ve got to act or be a certain way at a certain age.”

Pat, “I just celebrated the 41st anniversary of my 42nd birthday (83) and am still going strong. I don’t dress, act or think like an old lady. My significant other and I are in our 18th year together and it keeps getting better. It’s all about attitude.”

Tom’s comment: Pat’s story about how she met “Cowboy,” her significant other, a Harley rider, was so refreshing and inspirational, I included it in my 2009 book, “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50.” Her story’s title: “Love on the back of a Harley.” The printed lesson learned from Pat’s story: Open your mind to meeting people with different interests and backgrounds. Expand your horizons.

In Sarah’s email, she used a word of which I was not familiar. She emailed, “I wonder if Armey has found himself thinking/acting/feeling those things and not happy about it…thus, his grumping about it.”

She added, “I don’t see anything wrong with mentioning age…unless one is grumping about itOccasionally, I mention my age, but it’s because I am happy to have achieved it—a badge of honor—sort of like my gray hair. I am proud of that too.”

Tom’s comment: I had never heard the word grumping. It’s not listed in my older dictionaries, but it is listed in some online dictionaries. So, no more grumping from me!

Nigelle, Glastonbury, Somerset, UK, “Hurrah for you, Tom, for speaking up for all 70+ peeps that this Armey chappie has never come across.”

Carol, “Loved your article: it sure hit home. I’m almost 85 and all those things were me…I try to keep doing things, but I don’t ‘drive after dark.’ Your eNewsletters are always good for laughs, even when they hit home.”

Thyrza, “I am pleased you give us your take on the articles published. Who wants to read those unfounded negative reviews of people regardless of age? Armey, who wrote the piece, should learn basic philosophy or logic. One does not make sweeping statements that apply to most people, based only on one’s experiences.”

Diana, “I’m 64 and love every year. Being old and acting old is a choice! I choose to never do either. A fun Friday read.”

Teresa, “One thing never to avoid: if you disagree, speak your mind!”

Terri, 71 and counting, “This Armey guy is all wet and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Seventy years go by awfully fast. I’m lucky. I’ve got great kids, nice friends, a beautiful home, and men still find me attractive.

“I’m in a relatively new relationship with an accomplished, high-energy man, who is a great travel partner. Mercifully, none of us knows how long we have left. Life is and always has been, what we make of it.”

Larry, Florida, “At age 72, I still flip off inconsiderate dudes, like you described in last week’s column. My friend Liz bought a big-screen TV. We rocked and danced to videos of our favorite musical artists. There was a knock on her door. It was her neighbor politely asking to lower the sound because her teenage daughter was studying for a test.’ We considered her comment a badge of honor. We felt instantly younger. We turned the music down, and still ‘danced the night away.’”

Heather, “I turned 69 last week. I rewarded myself by purchasing three new bikini’s. I love being outdoors and getting Dana Point sunshine. No early-bird dinners for my partner Rueben and me. We love to cook and BBQ. Tricky meals are my favs. If they are Rueben approved, they get put into my “Momma Knott’s favorite binder.”

“Also, volunteering is such a pleasant thing to do; I enjoy doing that as well.”

Larry, California: Another thing to do: “Stay off of ladders.” 

Tom agrees: That’s for sure. It’s tempting when you need an item from that top shelf that can’t be reached without a ladder. But think twice before doing that.

Kathy, “Some of us who were active in our 30s, 40s, and 50s develop severe knee problems in our 60s and 70s. Even after knee replacements, we can’t engage in those activities we used to enjoy. So, Armey, unless you have walked a mile in those knees, zip it.”

Tom’s comment: My sister Pam recently had surgery on one knee. The rehab was painful and lengthy. But, she’s a trooper (and Champ) and has toughed it out and walking well. I admire her tenacity.

Susie, Virginia, “I’m 80. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to living in an age 62+ community. 80 is just a number to me. There is no one living here like me, I have been blessed with good health and good genes. I’m pretty lonely here.”

Thank you, Champs, for your warm, positive, and friendly responses. 

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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