A Room Full of Love

How Do You “Look” 70?

I hadn’t talked about my age much, except maybe among friends and family. But I’ve decided that at 70, I’m ready to flaunt it. 

I started with Kelly, who has been cutting my hair for more than 15 years. She’s about 40 now. “NO,” she exclaimed. “It can’t be true!” Next my personal trainer (if you call someone you see four times a year a personal trainer). She sent me a birthday card after I told her my secret. At the bottom she wrote, “No one would believe you are turning 70.” Finally, I told a few people at work. Twenty-five year old Erin’s eyes widened. “You can’t be 70, she said.” Paulina, a 50-something colleague responded by “demanding” my exercise program.  Her thought: If it works for her it's worth trying. Even my kids’ friends reportedly were genuinely surprised to hear that I was in my eighth decade (just barely).

So I ask this question? Who looks 70 and what makes anyone “look” that age? I have friends in their 70’s, but I can’t describe any shared characteristic like X-number of wrinkles or gray hair or shuffling feet. I guess how one looks is more a reflection of attitude or behavior. Does my riding my bike to work or studying beginning Spanish make me look “not 70”?

A birthday card that I received several years ago sits on the bulletin board above my desk at work. Its message: “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” So there was my answer—just waiting for me to notice it.



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