Living Your Best Life at Any Age

Archive for October, 2018

The Time Machine Question

”What would you tell your younger self?  Ah, the time machine question.

I was recently challenged to write about what I would tell my younger self.  Obviously:  “Keep writing!”

I wrote as a young girl. When did that stop?  Probably when my mother read my biographical journal and made fun of it.  So younger self:


I was so excited to take journalism in high school.  I learned Who, What, Why for the first paragraph.  I learned a little about typesetting.  (How quaint) but I did not stay with it.  Why?  The teacher did no like some mannerism and suggested journalism was not for me.  So younger self:


Marriage, teaching, motherhood, divorce, mid life.  When did I stop writing?  Why?  Then  at last — law school.  Law school is all about writing.  Difficult, challenging, REAL writing.  I even wrote a law review article. Great practice even if it was not published.  Actually it was quite prescient and I took a stand. As I recall, it was something about what defines “close relationship” and could that include an unmarried partner.  Not bad for 1995, is it?   So, younger self:


Passed the bar, opened a law practice.  Passed another bar, opened another law practice in a different state. Even though bar exams involved a lot of writing, it is not the creative writing I craved.  That budding writer was still dormant.

One day as I was building my new business, I received a sales call from a local newspaper.  You know — the one you would get at the bank or the car wash?  They offered me the opportunity to write a column – an advertorial I learned.  I  jumped at the chance.  That column jump started my writing.  I wrote a monthly column.  I got a lot of business.  People came into my office with the column in hand.  But also, I was getting great feedback about my writing.

After a few years that newspaper folded —literally.  By then everyone had websites and my columns easily transferred to a blog on my website.  That lead to joining a reticent bloggers group which was the start of many writing classes, retreats and ongoing groups. I officially considered myself a writer. I even published a book.   Younger self:  Why did you have to be 60 before you started writing?


I continued the blogs relevant to my business and at 70 I started this blog — Not Your Grandmother’s 70.  Actually I started it a few months before as I wrote about my grand adventure through the Grand Canyon.  Here it is seven years later.  I am still writing and I have committed to writing another book.  I invite you to take the journey with me.  And the note to younger self is the tag line of this blog, later book:


I am told blogs must have pictures. So I will add some photos of said younger self.

Now it is your turn:



In Defense of Football and Homage to Mrs. McLaughlin

”You really need to understand football, all of you” was a command from Mrs. McLaughlin.  (The same Mrs. McLaughlin that I credit with making me take college prep classes which changed my life)

So we learned the basics of football.  First and Ten — do it again.  What does that mean?  Scoring, offense, defense quarterbacks.  All the basics. We learned it because it would make us more rounded.  I am not sure if any of this sank in at the time but today, more than sixty years later I pay homage to Mrs. McLaughlin.

Football was not important at in my young marriage years.  I married a scholar who eschewed team sports.  Or individual sports, or most anything other than backpacking and hiking.  His favorite gambit was to walk into a room where people were watching football and ask “What inning is it?”  No.  Football was not a part of our life.  Expect for one game and tha game has become my often repeated family story.  (Number 14, I believe).

I had to look up the year.  Thanks, Wikipedia!

The expansion Seattle Seahawks of the NFL played their first game ever on August 1, 1976, a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Kingdome.


Yes!  Seattle had a new stadium and a NFL team.  My husband’s boss invited us as their first guests to share their season tickets.  Husband, of course, realized it was a command performance and an honor to be invited.  He did not do his what inning is it bit.  Of course, thanks to Mrs. McLaughlin I could be somewhat conversant.  The Kingdome is gone.  The husband is gone.  Football and the Seahawks remain. And, I have a good story to tell.

If you are not from Seattle, you may not know that the Seahawks are a big deal.  Fans are known as 12s.  Every Friday starting in late summer you will find bank tellers, baristas and folks on the street wearing their 12 shirts.  Those in the know where players numbers and hope your number doesn’t get traded too early.

Yes, I know, head concussions, injuries and all that.  Football may be losing favor.  There is also the flack about a certain player kneeling for the national anthem but in Seattle, and many other cities the local team still sparks enthusiasm.  And let me come to football’s defense

It builds community and interaction.  In these days of only digital communication it is fun to gather with others in a common endeavor — cheering our team on.  Most people have their local favorite place to gather.  I have had “ladies watching Seahawks and eating and drinking groups” at my house. We gather in our local favoriate hang outs.  My personal local establishment refused to have a television for many years.  They do now.  Business is booming on Sunday afternoon.  When watching the Seahawks politics takes a back seat. The only politics is the local interloper with a Cubs or Steelers shirt.

When the Seahawks won the the championship and were on their way to the Super Bowl the town was jubilant.  Police and pedestrians were hugging each other and sending high fives.  We are Seattle.  We are polite.  We do not riot.  Not the football folks anyway.

I am not one to normally wear sports caps but when traveling it is amazing the people you meet if you are wearing a Seahawks hat.  I got high fived in Amsterdam.  As I said — community.

A friend of mine is a sports announcer and she has a presentation called “Talk Sporty to Me” and she makes the point that you don’t have to know a lot to engage in conversation wherever you go.  Just be able to talk about that amazing last second field goal that won the game or some other memorable play.  She even publishes talking points for us weekly.

So once again I am thankful to Mrs. McLaughlin.  Along with English composition she taught me something I could carry into my late years. One of my friends, a lovely person in her 80s, is the Seahawks number one fan.  She remembers that first game in the Kingdome.


And of course I have to add this all time favorite.  Grandson’s first super bowl.


And here he is now.


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