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“Seven Thoughts of Gratitude on Turning 70″ by Bev Scott


I just celebrated a major milestone birthday…70!  Since my birthday comes at the end of the year, I have the added impetus to reflect on the past and prepare for the future with the beginning of a new year.  I find myself very appreciative and filled with gratitude as I think about my seven decades.  Seven decades!  It sounds much longer than my life feels.  Maybe time has played tricks on me and skipped a decade or two.  But as I think about each decade I do remember the highlights and some of the lows as well.  So as many have suggested, time is just speeding up and 70 years have gone past very quickly!

Here are 7 thoughts of gratitude:

  1. Good Health:    Perhaps some of my good health is from good genes, but both of my parents died in their early sixties when I was in my mid-twenties.  So I have my doubts about the contribution of genes.   When my parents died, I began to pay close attention to what I ate and to exercise.  At 70, I find myself without any of the usual afflictions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, over-weight or heart disease.  I am grateful everyday as I take my walks, stretch and lift weights.
  2. Fulfilling Life:   I have a beautiful daughter who has brought a charming son-in-law and two delightful grandsons into my life.  For 35 years I loved my work, finding purpose and opportunity to contribute in my practice as an organization and management consultant.  I have made many good friends who are still active, caring supporters in my life.  I found a life-partner who delights me and offers me love, companionship and comfort. 
  3. Planning makes a difference:  I planned both financially and emotionally for retirement.  I gradually slowed down my consulting practice and transitioning my skills and expertise to create the program we call The 3rd Act.  Launching an entrepreneurial project turned out to be more work than I anticipated; but I am proud of our website, blogs, newsletter and offerings of coaching and workshops for individuals and couples over 50 who want to plan for this time traditionally called retirement.   I have been busy, content and fulfilled in the last decade. 
  4. Giving Back:  Most of life, I have followed my father’s teaching about giving back to those less fortunate.  I have given my time and financial resources to individuals, organizations and causes that I cared about.  My current passion is the Horizons Foundation Board which is focused on expanding the resources for the LGBT community.  I have met many wonderful friends, learned and grown within myself and gotten much more in return than I ever imagined.   I have found that giving to someone or something beyond myself has offered me meaning and focus. 
  5. Writing:  I have begun to think of myself as a writer.  I entered my 60’s with a successful professional  book , “Consulting on the Inside” and ended the decade co-authoring a second edition with my good friend and colleague, Kim Barnes.  I also enjoy writing the blogs for The 3rd Act.  Last year, I began learning about writing fiction and doing some historical research.  Now, I have finally dedicated this year for a major writing project…writing an historical novel based on the lives of my grandparents.
  6. Precious Time:  I am aware that I don’t have the energy nor am I as strong as I used to be.  My body is clearly aging and I need more sleep and more down time.   I recently had a frozen shoulder I needed to attend to.  And although I bragged above about my good health, my eyes and my teeth are aging too.   I am more selective in how and with whom I spend my time.  I am conscious that my life is finite and I want to choose well how I use the remaining precious moments.
  7. 4 Generations:   I cherish the experiences of life and wisdom with four generations of family in my life.  My daughter, son-in-law and grandsons bring the perspectives and experiences of two younger generations and help keep me young in outlook and in spirit.  My baby-boomer partner, who is nine years younger, adds another view from my own “traditionalist” generation; and I love the role model my 90 year-old  mother-in-law provides with her delightful sense of humor and her continued interest in life around her. 

 Many people tell me that I don’t look 70.  Although intended as a compliment, I am a bit disturbed by these comments.  It is as if there is something wrong with being 70, so I am being reassured that I since I don’t look 70, I am acceptable and don’t need to worry.  I remember a comment by Gloria Steinem several years ago, when someone suggested she didn’t look her age.  She responded by saying, “This is what xx looks like.”  And that is how I feel about 70. The image of 70 from thirty or forty years ago no longer fits for us today.  We need to re-think and over turn that old view; take off the blinders and recognize the glorious change that has occurred for us.  We look younger and have more vitality today, thanks to good nutrition, medical care and exercise.  So I say, this is how 70 looks and I am grateful and celebrating!   

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12 comments to “Seven Thoughts of Gratitude on Turning 70″ by Bev Scott

  • Heather cline-odonovan

    Happy birthday Bev. You are an amazing individual who has touched my life as a student and now graduate. I learned a lot from you. I appreciate your help and interesting ideas in organizational analysis from a class I took from you years ago. I lIke that you think of yourself as a writer now. I consider myself a service provider for students and a tutor. I still want to get into green tech and a
    Taking classes for it but until then I am a tutor. I am glad you are of my parents generation as they are my best friends in this life along with my wife. Thanks again Bev for being a great professor and for being a service provider to our community too. See you later.

  • Bev Scott

    Hi Heather,
    Thank you for your kind coments. I like that you see yourself as a service provider. Such a nice way of connecting and meeting the needs of others. Your parents are lucky that you see them as best friends.

    Good luck to you in all your future endeavors. Thanks for writing!

  • paula osterbrink

    Happy Birthday, Bev! Your experience resonates with me, as usual. May the coming decade bring more of all you love into your life. It was great seeing you in November, hope the bath is complete! Thank you for this website, I love taking a break and reading where others are at in this time of our lives.
    love, Paula

  • Bev,
    Thank you for this. It mirrors my own feeling and experience (as a fellow Career and Executive Coach and Organizational Development Consultant, who also just turned 70 and who is filled with gratitude as well for my wonderful daughter and son, their super partners, and my own wonderful partner as well as dear friends) so well that I have to say, “Wish I had written this!” I feel grateful for you and the fact that you have written this! Congratulations on you new book. Warm Regards, Diane

  • Thank you Bev,

    You insight and generosity of spirit inform my activism and my resolve to do
    more, better and sooner — and to do it with appreciation and laughter.

    Thank you and Happy Belated Birthday,
    Mary

  • I am very touched by your comments. I think it is so important for all of us to have others out in front of us…that has been so helpful to me. It is an honor now to fill that role for those following me.

  • Bev,
    Thank you for your wonderful contribution to our 70candles.com blog. Your thoughts, so eloquently stated, are exactly to the point of our venture, and will be much appreciated by our readers.

    We wonder how your Esalen workshop went in January.
    Coincidentally, we are scheduled for a weekend there this summer, August 17-19, to Celebrate Seventy! It will be for women in their seventies, a we examine ways to flouish in this decade of our lives.

    We hope you will spread the word. We are all part of this longevity revolution, and have much of value to share with each other.

    Our best wishes,
    Jane and Ellen

  • Ted Scott

    Bev,
    A beautiful statement, at a lovely and meaningful time in your life. As someone who shares your decade, a nice twist for me was: “you don’t look 70″ paired with “what’s wrong with looking 70?”–as if it might be something to be apologized for if one did. I celebrate your richness of life and continued contributions to enriching those of others.
    Ted

  • Ted,
    As usual you capture the essence and the message.
    Thank you for your “toast” and celebration. Bev

  • [...] appreciate who we are, we begin to value our worth and contradict those ageist cultural views.  By acknowledging our age as vital, healthy and active seniors, we begin to counter the old negative images of decline, [...]

  • [...] not willing to hide my age.  Indeed, I have “come out” publicly as I turned seventy writing “Seven Thoughts of Gratitude on Turning 70” and publishing an essay “Writing My First Novel at 70” in the new book “Seventy Things to [...]

  • Tony Reilly

    Hi, Bev! I happened upon your 3RD Act web site and feel delighted to see how you’re continuing to unfold your gifts and talents.

    I have warm memories of the UA days; little did I realize at the time, how the small group movement would evolve into the kinds of OD interventions available to folks.

    I celebrated my 75th in May, and designated myself as “3Rd Base,” as in 25 years to get to 1St Base, 25 to 2Nd an now at 3Rd.

    I continue to work and am anticipating my next chapter, whatever that entails. I know for sure that I want the trip to Home Plate to be one wit meaning and fulfillment.

    I wish you all the best in your new venture!

    Warmly,

    Tony

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