I turned 69 a week ago, the last year of my 60's and prelude to my 70's. My 60's have been the decade of great adventures: moved to Antigua and then Italy, retired from my nursing profession, started running with a marathon and five half marathons so far, started writing with this blog, traveled around Italy and Europe with my Honey and spent my birthdays in Trinidad with my daughter, her husband and the grands celebrating with a hike to a place I haven't yet been. Great adventures brought expansion of my world view from international living, the satisfaction of successfully cleared hurdles from growing to love a new sport, the inspiration of exposure to the writers of world-wide blogs, the fun of doing writing I like, thought I couldn't do and improving at it, the awe of exposure to astounding works of art, architecture and more of the world's natural beauty and the exhilaration of tackling and overcoming long-held fears from challenging hikes (including the above plunge off an 8-10 foot ledge last Sunday which felt like 20!).
There's no way, of course, to know what awaits me in my 70's but I've made some decisions that will tilt towards what I hope for. We're selling our house in Italy to move back to the states to be closer to family, I'll join a running group that includes elders who love to run, keep writing this blog but with a new perspective from being further along the journey and dive into the life of the diverse community I hope to move to. In this first decade I've stepped into elderhood and found my footing as an elder. In the next decade I'd like to take all that I've received and use it to be of service to my tribe. I can't know how but it will become apparent if I pay attention.
If the 60's are the youth of elderhood where we make the transition, try out new ways of being, keep what fits and discard what doesn't, then the the 70's are the middle years where we can use who we've become to serve the needs of family and community but with the added wisdom accrued. I'm eager to close this decade gracefully and plunge into the next.