75 Years Old Today


I’m 75 years old today! It’s a milestone birthday.

person holding clear martini glass
Celebrating 75 Years! photo courtesy of Amy Shambien on Unsplash

Last week, my sister-in-law sent a large box containing several albums of pictures of my family.  I looked at many photos of my mother taken in her 70s and 80s.  She smiled in almost every photo. What’s more, she looked radiant, vibrant, and engaged with life. I was in many of the photos, smiling back at her and having fun.

Thinking back to the times when the pictures were taken reminded me that I never thought of her as getting old. I don’t know if she considered herself an old lady as she modelled living life to its fullest. She spoke of ageing only in terms of losing close relatives and friends as so many died before her.

Am I an ‘old’ lady?

Some may regard me as an ‘old’ lady. I spend my time doing things that characterize older women in our culture.  I read extensively. Until the pandemic hit, I belonged to three book clubs.  I knit. Until the pandemic hit, I went to a regular knitting meetup group; now, I knit while watching the news on TV or watching Netflix. I play bridge.  Until the pandemic, I belonged to two bridge groups; now I play online although it’s not the same as a ‘real’ game.

The mirror reminds me of the passage of time. My level of energy is diminished although I’m not ready to admit that I’m declining! I sport reading glasses and wear them low on my nose which provides the opportunity for a negative glare to others when it’s deserved!

There are many ways in which I don’t think of myself as an ‘old’ lady.  Over the years I’ve maintained a routine of regular exercise including aquafit, swimming, yoga, strength training, and walking.  My exercise routine, coupled with a healthy diet,  has helped me to maintain a healthy weight and kept my body in trim shape.

I try not to think like an old person — whatever that means.  I check my attitudes for rigidity; try not to talk about the good old days. I try to stay abreast of current events and current culture. I try to stay open to new experiences.

I also write this blog.  Writing is not usually perceived as a hobby for older women.  Communicating through written output keeps my brain active and forces cognitive output. Although I’m not adept at technology, using my computer to write and publish a blog requires some capacity to keep up with digital media trends.

Am I Treated Differently?

Although I don’t expect it, people treat me differently. Negative age stereotyping exists — especially for older women.  Most of society has a dismal view of ageing.

My friends tell me that after age 75, car rental companies make it more difficult to rent a car as some car rental companies have age restrictions on rentals beginning at age 70.

I worry about health stereotyping and whether I am treated differently by doctors and other health professionals. Are recommendations based on age categorization? Are treatments withheld after a certain age?

The ageing population in Canada and the US means that fewer people will be working to propel economic growth.  Plus, older people usually receive some form of government income support. How will people in the workforce perceive those of us who are retired?

Feeling Like 75?

I don’t feel like 75, but, I’m not sure what 75 should feel like since I’ve never before experienced being 75 years old.  The younger age I feel inside is more important than the number of years I’ve lived. I’ve learned to love myself and to love life. Perhaps that’s why I treasure those pictures of my mother exhibiting such joy when she was this age.

This birthday reminds me (again) that time is precious.  I’ve lived most of my life.  While I hope to have many more years, I know that the ticking clock gets louder with each passing year. Long ago, I resolved to live with no regrets. Of course, I have hopes, fears, and challenges that have become friendly companions over the years.

Thankfully I enjoy a lifestyle that includes a loving husband, freedom from financial worry and general good health.

Because there’s a pandemic there will be no party.  We’ll have a family dinner with a celebration cake! Plus, glasses of champagne to toast years well-lived and aspirations for many more years of health and happiness.






12 Replies to “75 Years Old Today”

  1. That’s a special birthday, all right! I’m learning a lot from Doris Carnevali’s blog, Engaging with Aging. Doris (98) frequently comments about how the act of writing her blog — which details the way normal aging affects her daily life, and how she ingeniously adapts—has given her a new burst of life, enthusiasm, and excitement. I can relate to that, at 80. Happy birthday!

    1. I have learned much from reading the Engaging with Aging blog as well as Time Goes By. I wish we knew as much about the developmental stages of ageing as we know about the developmental phases of childhood and adolescence. I find that staying enthusiastic and positive about life takes practice. It can be easy to slip into thinking about what is impossible rather than imaging new ways to deal with the challenges we face.

      1. That’s an interesting insight. People do tend to think that optimism is due to luck or personality but you’re right, it takes practice.

        1. Gretchen Rubin is my happiness guru. She writes extensively about habits. In my book, it’s worthwhile to practise optimistic thinking.

  2. Happy Birthday! You have done many things to stay vibrant, and you are a good role model for many others. As I age, I don’t want aches and pains to be the topic of my conversations. And I don’t want to be negative or critical. I remember my Grandma in her nineties saying she felt 20 inside. She was always cheerful and positive. I hope you had a wonderful day, and may your years ahead be many and full of blessings!

    1. What a blessing to have experienced the modelling of your grandmother. I’m sure she had days when she did not feel 20 inside but never let those times bring her down. A positive attitude goes a long way!

  3. Happy Birthday Jeanette!!! I’m sure there’s a mistake and somebody mistakenly added many extra years to your total. Have a great birthday and many more.

    1. Thanks for your good wishes. Unfortunately, the years do add up to a total of 75. I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful journey!

  4. Happy Birthday! You are definitely NOT an old lady!

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. I’m working hard to stay young at heart and to keep a youthful perspective.

  5. Pauline Thornton says: Reply

    Happy ‘new year’, Jeanette.

    1. Thanks, Pauline — truly a new year for me!

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