INSPIRATION FROM WOMEN OVER 70 - 1010 Park Place
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INSPIRATION FROM WOMEN OVER 70

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Perhaps it’s because I have a big birthday coming up in June, but I find myself drawn to strong women over 70 who are still rock’n and blowin’ the house down in style. In February I went to see Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, who’ll be 71 in May. I have a ticket to Diana Ross’s 75th Diamond Jubilee Birthday concert, and I’m going to see Cherilyn Sarkisian, the “I Got You Babe,” who will be 73 in May. It’s not like I’ve always loved them, “the way I do the Rolling Stones,” so why am I going?

Simply put… Women over 70 inspire me.

Perhaps it’s because Stevie, Cher and Miss Ross have “made it” in every sense of the word yet they’re still out there, living life out loud. They haven’t given up in any area of their lives. They take care of themselves, physically and mentally, and they haven’t stopped trying new things. Yes, they’ve been on world concert tours before—and have lots of help—but they’ve never geared up for a world tour at this age. I think it’s amazing!

I’m inspired to know Cher watches her diet and works out to keep her butt in shape, and she can hold a plank position for over two minutes. I like knowing these are single women who are embracing life with or without a mate. I don’t have anyone in my life, and I’m not going on a world tour, but I still want to stay in shape. I still want to experience new things… just for me, even if I do them alone.

There’s another group of women over 70 who inspire me, and I fear they’re the silent majority. The women who are depressed and alone without a social network; struggling with a debilitating or terminal illness; a distant or abusive spouse; estranged from their children; caring for aging parents; homeless or wondering if they’ll have enough money to last the rest of their lives? They’re proud women who, daily, rise to the occasion, determined to survive with their dignity intact. Those are the REAL INSPIRING WOMEN.

Then there are the women I wish I could inspire. Women, closer to 70 than 50, who lack self-confidence; are afraid to state their opinions, and don’t have anything in life that motivates them.

I wrote a post about Women Over 50’s Unspoken Health Risk… it’s not breast cancer or heart disease but lack of purpose. Not having a reason to get up in the morning. There are as many solutions to this problem as there are women who need solutions, but how do we find a new purpose? I don’t pretend to have a solution for this crucial problem, but if you need a new purpose in life, I can encourage you to take it seriously. Think about it. Dip your toe in the water repeatedly, if necessary, to find something that’s a good fit for you.

Just tossing out ideas… What if you start with the online event’s calendar in your area and go to a festival, a farmer’s market or an event that peaks your interest? You never know who you might meet and where it could lead. You could look for a job, even part-time, that suits your skills… or lack thereof; volunteer or mentor at a women’s shelter; be a docent at a museum; get involved with a charity; learn to play an instrument; take dance lessons or enroll in a class at a university.

It’s never too late to begin, again, and don’t say you’re too old because none of us know how long we’ll be here. We could be 35 and our life could end tomorrow.

 


32 Comments

  • Reply Beckye April 6, 2019 at 7:03 am

    I list you as an inspiring woman, Brenda! I love that you’re looking ahead and finding those that inspire you, and are sharing them with others and encouraging us to find inspiration and purpose. Thank you!

    I would LOVE to see Diana Ross! Excited for you that you get to go to all these concerts and see these amazing women!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 6, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you, Becky! I always appreciate when you take the time to leave me a message. It hadn’t occurred to me to see Diana Ross until I saw the documentary about her concert in Central Park… eons ago! She inspired me the way she stayed calm during a terrible lightening and rain storm and stayed on stage until over 850,000 people calmly left the park. She sang and talked to them and told them she would stay there until everyone had safely left. The great “Miss Ross” didn’t have to do that, but she did. Then I realized how much I’ve enjoyed her music over the years and I wanted to see her perform, live, while I still had the chance. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Bayne Kathleen April 6, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Excellent!!! This is welcome advice and not a bit judgmental. We all need to take care of ourselves and helping others is a wonderful way to start. You gave some great suggestions and I would add your church, local schools and senior centers.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Kathleen, Thanks for adding church, schools and senior centers. How could I have forgotten them? Brenda

  • Reply Victoria April 6, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Brenda your posts always speak to me. We put my husband in hospice on Thursday and I terrified of what the future holds. I am clinging to my faith by my fingernails. I know I will have lots of friends and activities if I choose to participate but I worry I won’t have a purpose. You always inspire me to keep putting one foot forward and living a good life.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 6, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Oh, Victoria! You are walking with him through the valley of the shadow of death. I’ve done that. It’s hard for both of you. Don’t be afraid to talk to him about dying, to ask him if he’s afraid, to reassure him that God has both of you by the hand and will never let go. God, your church and your friends will lift you up and do not hesitate to ask them for prayers and for help. I’m including you both in my prayers. Tell me what else I can do … Love, Brenda

      • Reply Victoria April 6, 2019 at 9:57 pm

        Thank you so much Brenda prayers are the best.

        • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 10:52 am

          Victoria, You and your husband will continue to be in my prayers, asking Him for strength and peace and clarity to know this is not the end but the beginning of the next phase for both of you. Love, Brenda

  • Reply holly April 6, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Great post Brenda –

  • Reply Debbie April 6, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Great Write! ❤️

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 6, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you, Debbie. I appreciate you. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Pat April 6, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Brenda you are on my list of most inspiring women. Your words are spot on and reading them makes me feel more confident about navigating the tricky transition that is part of aging. Your post makes me want to stand up and sing, “I am woman, hear me roar!” Look out world world, we still got a whole lot of living to do.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Yes, m’am, Pat! Just because we’re getting older, reaching birthday milestones we never envisioned, doesn’t mean we should back off from life and doing the things we want to do. Back in the day many of us thought the term “young at heart” was corny, and we didn’t understand what it meant… No really. Regardless of our age we need to continue to seize life… with both hands… and ROAR! We’re still here, and yes sweet friend, we have a whole lot of living to do! Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Christina Daggett April 6, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I love this post and the very unselfish motivation behind it, in wanting to help other women. Great suggestions. Thank you Brenda.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      I appreciate your comment. Thank you Christina! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Laura Lee Carter April 6, 2019 at 11:38 am

    YES BRENDA! This is the midlife dilemma that we all must face sooner or later: “Not having a reason to get up in the morning… how do we find a new purpose?” That is the purpose of my book: Find Your Reason To Be Here… Most women spend most of their lives living for others. Most aren’t comfortable taking care of number one, but sometimes in midlife they finally begin. The primary question is: “What do I need to do before I die?” As the Midlife Crisis Queen for a decade I finally discovered the hard way that THERE ARE DO-OVERS BEFORE IT’S ALL OVER!!! You do girl!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Laura, “There are do-overs before it’s all over!” That needs to be stitched on a pillow! If we’re lucky, we’ll all find ourselves in the position of needing to restructure and rebalance our lives or we’ll slowly curl inward and die. The hardest part is finding something that gives us life and purpose. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Kathy April 6, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Brenda,
    This is a very thought provoking piece. I especially liked that you spoke about the silent majority who may not have a reason to get up in the morning and have no sense of purpose. I lost a son in a car accident when he was 17 and I still grieve (about him as well as what I missed — college, marriage, children) twenty years later. However, I had a wonderful career as an art teacher. Now that I am retired my days are filled with creating, volunteering, and substitute teaching.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      You are a strong woman, Kathy! I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child. A dear girlfriend lost her 17-year-old daughter in a car accident and she has your same feelings… she and her daughter missing out on college, marriage and children… so I know at times it’s unbearable. Brava for gathering all of your strength and continuing on, even after you’ve retired. You are a great role model for so many women. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Alana April 6, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    People older than I are my role models (for good or bad) for aging, dealing with illness, and much more. You are so right – not just the famous ones. Perhaps our next door neighbor. Perhaps our ex-coworker.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      Alana, You’ve said something so profound… for good or bad. My mother was a role model for me for the woman I didn’t want to become. For some reason she liked being the victim or at least was comfortable there and didn’t do much to pull herself out of that hole. She would have been horrified to know that, but I learned how to be strong and keep on going, keep looking for the light. Awesome comment! Thank you, Brenda

  • Reply TJ April 6, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Brenda, so many women of a certain age feel invisible, voiceless and useless. If only they knew that this is their time to shine and share their wisdom as the wise women of the village used to do with the younger ones in the ancient days when life was more collective. I know your article was not meant to be about the 3 particular women that you headlined, but seeing as you brought up Stevie Nicks, can I please give a shout out to Christine McVie, an amazing woman who is still active, wrote some of the biggest hits for FleetwoodMac and is actually 5 years older than Stevie. Largely in the background, she was actually as valuable in her creative contribution as the keyboardist, vocalist and writer as Stevie was.

    Blessings to all the strong women out there and let’s be a beacon of light for those young women coming up behind us. I make it my mission to encourage young women, whenever I come into contact with them, be it my beautician or a contractor with work. Young women are constantly bombarded with information that tells them they aren’t beautiful just as they are and many lack confidence in themselves, I believe due to the pressure of social media and the media in general. During my years as a young woman, I worked with a lot of older women who made my life a living hell with their bullying and over lording attitude that I vowed I would never be like that when I was a mature woman, and instead use my age and authority to encourage and nurture young women. Not sure how I digressed into that, but it just came out. Perhaps it will inspire some of your readers to be kind to young women and foster their self esteem and in so doing, reclaim their own. I know that is what it has done for me. Lots of love as always TJ Xxxxxx

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace April 7, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    TJ, You make two wonderful points: We used to revere our elders and seek them out for advice and guidance. Now we shun them. Shame on society for this poor shift in judgement. Secondly, Christine McVie is a superstar! Shame on me for excluding her! Thanks for the reminder of what a great talent she is. You’ve reminded me of an older woman at one of my first jobs. She was a bully and acted like she hated all of the young women who worked there. Now I know she felt threatened and sad because she could see things in all of us that she was missing. Instead of learning from us and vice versa and changing herself for the better as she mentored us, she was mean. We all missed out. Always love your thoughtful comments. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Sandra Sallin - Apart From My Art April 8, 2019 at 12:05 am

    You are the best. You shine a light where it needs to be shone. Before my last surgery I was doing 3 planks for 45 seconds each. I was just beginning. Now i need to start all over again. Just returned from NYC with my daughter and grand kids. Crossed off a bucket list item. Went to see the Statue of Liberty in person. Next Fall I will fly in the back seat of a British fighter plane from WWII, a spitfire. I feel this urge to do do what ever adventure comes my way NOW while I can.

    • Reply Brenda Coffee April 9, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Sandra, Thank God you’ve recovered and are feeling well enough to start resuming things. Your NYC trip looked like such fun. You have a great family. Starting all over… most of us do that with SOMETHING every day so don’t be discouraged. Did you see the DM I left you on Instagram on Feb 12? I don’t think you did. It’s a message for you and Bob? It’s responding to your flying in a spitfire and my link to my desire to fly in a special plane as well. I think you’d both like it. I watched Harry Smith’s interview with Cher. One of the reasons she’s doing this tour is because she still can and she knows there’s a day coming where she can’t. Yes! Let’s go out there and live while we can! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Laureen J Satabe April 9, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Brenda, what a profound article. It’s all too true that while some women shine as they age, others are feeling lost and forgotten. They are the ones we need to take by the hand and lead them back into the joy of living each day as it comes……good or bad. It’s the “living” part that counts. As for me, I refuse to sit on the sidelines…..there is just too much to still do, friends to share joy with, dogs to love, books to read, good wines to savor……I could go on and on!! Even if someone can’t take life by the horns,,,,,,they can certainly take it by the scruff of the neck and continue on!! Thanks as always for your amazing insights.

    • Reply Brenda Coffee April 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

      Laureen, Hi sweet friend! It is the living part that counts and one of my mantras is “What are you waiting for?” We need to make this all too short life count. “take it by the scruff of the neck… ” I LOVE that. Something you and I both do. Love seeing you here! Love, Brenda

  • Reply LA CONTESSA April 9, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    A GREAT TOPIC!
    THERE IS AN 89 years old on INSTAGRAM who just got a modeling contract!
    There is something OUT there for all of us!!!!!!
    XX

    • Reply Brenda Coffee April 11, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Elizabeth, 89-years-old and a new modeling contract? Way to go! There’s hope for me yet!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Rachel McAlpine April 25, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    I am part of your tribe and I’m egging you on. Clearly you are making a difference to women who are tempted to give up or despair. Keep it up please!

    • Reply Brenda Coffee April 26, 2019 at 11:10 am

      Hello Rachel! Delighted to meet you, and thanks for the sweet comment. I took a look at your blog. You’re “the dreamer.” Beautiful photo of you and your sisters. It seems as though we’re both offering encouragement to women over “a certain age.” When I began blogging I was encouraging women with breast cancer, and when I couldn’t bear to write about cancer anymore, I began talking to women over 50. But I’m finding as I age, the age group I reach is getting older as well. It’s great to see other women who want to live vital, healthy lives that have purpose and who want to go about their days looking their best. Thank you for your awesome comment! Brenda

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