TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY - 1010 Park Place
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TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY

BRENDA COFFEE, Early 20's. Photo by Philip Ray. ©1010ParkPlace
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Today is my birthday. I’m 25,550 days old, although many days I don’t feel a day over 9,125. This week I received a sweet birthday note from Lee Moczygemba. You may remember I interviewed her last year, “Here’s What 94 Looks Like.” Lee is my role model for aging. What an amazing woman! In her note Lee said, “I want to congratulate you for achieving the babyhood of the second part of your wonderful life.

When you speak of this upcoming birthday, and thereafter, always insert the word “JUST” before you say 70.”

The fact that I’m “just” 70 has been weighing on me in surprising ways. I’m not depressed about it at all. It’s just hard to believe I’m really this age; that so many loved ones are no longer here and how many different lives I’ve been privileged to live. 

When I look in the mirror, in many ways, I see a younger Brenda. The 24-year-old, young woman, dressed in green hot pants, who donned a helmet and strapped herself in a handbuilt, 3.2 liter, 2,000 pound, rear-engine, silver Porsche and raced at Texas World Speedway, Mid-America Raceway in St. Louis and Green Valley north of Ft. Worth. I liked that the men respected me as a driver, but I found it funny—and sexist—when they protested with officials because they didn’t want me driving in the same class they were in, because I beat them. 

The fragility of the male ego is an astounding thing! They can handle getting beaten by a better driver as long as it’s another male.

A few years ago I told that story to my young friend, Daniel, and he and another friend and I went to a Go Kart track that’s a third of a mile long with some fun turns. So much for thinking I was going to show the young kids how it’s done. When the light turned green, Daniel floored his car and I was a distant memory in his rearview mirror. So embarrassing! I wanted to say, “Honest! I had a room full of first place racing trophies!” Now that made me feel old.

Over the last few months I’ve been writing a memoir, and it’s been an interesting opportunity to look back at my life.

In the process I fell in love, all over again, with my first husband until I remembered why I slammed my fist into his closed casket and said, “Damn you!”

If you’re looking for closure on something, writing a book about your life may not be the way to achieve it. I’ve decided closure is a term invented by a California therapist designed to make us feel as good as we possibly can about a bad situation, but I don’t think real closure happens until we take our last breath. Those situations will always be opened-ended in some way.

The startup screen on my computer, made by a friend when I was 38.                   RamborellaⓇ Brenda Coffee

A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with a dear friend who asked if I missed being Ramborella, the adventurous woman who lived on adrenaline and sought out guys named Chico and Chewy who superglued people’s eyelids shut. My answer was no. At some point I realized “You can’t step on Superman’s cape. You can’t spit in the wind. You can’t pull the mask off the Lone Ranger,” and if you want to see your next birthday, you need to find another lifestyle. I was 47.

My best, hard-earned advice about aging is to love one another; let the small stuff go and the big stuff? Give it to God and ask Him to help you. Then get up the next morning and do it all over again.

How are you handling aging?

Love, Brenda

59 Comments

  • Reply Rosemary June 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Happy birthday! My birthday was Friday. I’m still celebrating. I’ve decided to not even think about age. I’m just gonna be … and continue to carefully pick my battles. Heck, the aren’t even battles at this point. I’ve learned to let it go and let it be.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROSEMARY! Yes, battles about almost everything should be things in our rearview mirrors! Enjoy today and cherish the time we have. Thank you! Brenda

  • Reply Nina June 11, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Happy Birthday, Brenda. It was such an honor to meet you in person earlier this year. I will be turning Just Sixty in a few weeks. I decided I’ve spent enough time looking back and driving with my foot on the break. I’m embracing my inner Ramborella. Well. Probably not. I’ve never been the adventurer you are. I think I’ll stick to my goal of traveling the world, enjoying my life with Roger and thanking my lucky stars I have the worlds most wonderful daughter. Hugs, Nina

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you, darling Nina! I still laugh when I think about when we first met and I pointed to a man at another table and asked if anyone knew him because he was taking photos of us. LOL! It was Roger! Being Ramborella is relevant to you and your life as well. It’s basically living outside our comfort zone and challenging ourselves so we don’t get stuck in a rut. I took things to extremes, so don’t follow me! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Wilma Kempinas June 11, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Happy birthday! From your admirer from Brazil. XOXO Wilma

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Wilma!!! Bless you for reading and leaving me a comment! Thank you so much my Brazilian friend. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Pamela M Lutrell June 11, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Happy Birthday, Brenda! Hope it has been super special.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Dear Pam, Hi Sweet Lady! Thanks for the well wishes! I appreciate it. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply debra @ 5th and atate June 11, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    we are kindred spirits Brenda.
    at 63 I keep wondering how I got here so fast, it seems like yesterday when I was a professional sky diver, in other ways vastly long ago.
    happiest of birthdays
    See you in England my adrenaline buddy!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Debra, I didn’t know that about you!!! A professional skydiver! In some ways, we’re both a little crazy for living on the edge and mainlining adrenaline, don’t you think? Yes, here’s to England this fall. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Cindy Riggs June 11, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Happy Birthday! You look wonderful and age is just a number. My dear Mother lived one week shy of her 101st birthday and she never stopped doing or saying what brought her joy!
    She enjoyed every day the Lord gave her.
    Many happy more to you

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      Cindy, Thank you for the sweet note. 101 is an amazing accomplishment. I can’t imagine that, but then I couldn’t imagine 70 either. It’s all up to the Lord, that’s for sure, and I’m grateful for everything He gives me. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Sandra Hart June 11, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    On my 80th birthday, I didn’t feel any different than the day before I slipped into another decade. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. I have never defined myself by a number, so there has never been any big celebrations when I cross over and start another year. Perhaps it is due to the fact that my birthday is so close to Christmas and the New Year. Everyone was always partied out by the time my day rolled around. In the end I have discovered that’s a good thing. I have learned to celebrate myself and life everyday. Each new day is my new birth day to get it right and continue the journey through fresh eyes. Happy Birthday, Brenda.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      I love your wise words, Sandra, and I do believe age is a state of mind, not a number. Birthdays have never been big celebrations for me, but having all of you leave me such sweet comments is really special. Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Michelle June 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Happy Birthday! I embrace my age and look forward to new adventures!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Michelle, Like you, I embrace my age as well because it means I’m still here to have more adventures. Thank you so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Sheila-Merle Johnson June 11, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Dear Brenda, I wish you the happiest of birthdays and a peaceful and creative life to come. I am 74 and a half and happier than I’ve ever been. Something shifted this year. The negative self-talk disappeared and I feel good. I got an inner message to research my current values and to adjust my activities to honor them. A top value was fun and I dove into Improv Theater which has brought me pleasure, a new community and lots of fun and creativity! I also spend 8-10 hours a week working out or doing Pilates plus some deep tissue massage for my physical health; therapy, coaching and meditation for my mental, spiritual and emotional health; and mosaics, home staging and creating outfits (@sheilamerle1) for my creativity. Life is good!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 2:59 pm

      Sheila, You’re now officially on my short list of role models. I love how involved and active and how much you work at staying mentally, emotionally and physically healthy! There aren’t many people who do that and it shows in your face and the way you carry yourself. I also love your IG page and count me as one of your new admirers! Thank you, sweet lady. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Shawnee June 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Ohhhh Happy Happy Birthday Brenda. I love your posts because it just goes to show us that we’re all more alike than different. I’m no Ramborella but did drive a dune buggy off a 10 foot dune and landed on all four tires LoL. Scuba dived down 28 ft into a cave ( never again) !!! Drove a snow mobile at 90 mph. Various goofy stuff !! Three more years and I’ll be JUST 70 so glad to know it didn’t bother you and will keep that thought !! And yes I would drive a dune buggy again just not off a cliff Lol. Hugs xo

    • Reply Brenda Coffee June 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm

      Hello Sweet Shawnee! Stay out of caves!!! Yes! Thank goodness you learned that one! Oh the horror stories I could tell you. Driving off a 10 foot dune… cliff! Those are all things that will definitely get your blood pumping! I would love to drive a dune buggy! Maybe we can do that together. A number of years ago my friend and model, Dovanna Pagowsksi, said she wanted “to be in control of her spine.” I hadn’t heard it phrased that way, but yes… As long as we keep ourselves limber and in good health, age is a frame of mind so don’t let it scare you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Cindy White June 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Happy Birthday Brenda! I will be turning 72 this summer. Hard to believe because I really just think of myself as in my 50’s. I have been blessed with a wonderful life filled with great opportunities and experiences and am grateful for the family and friends and helpful people that have always surrounded me. I’m not ready to kick back and do nothing but am looking for a new challenge – something where I can grow and learn and create. I’m ready for the next chapter! I’ll fill you in when I find it.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Cindy, I’m with you! I think of myself as in my 50’s. There’s so much about life I still want to explore and experience. I know some people who retire and do nothing, which really makes you old before your time. No thanks! If you find something fun and interesting, please let me know! Thank you for the birthday wishes, and I wish Happy Birthday right back to you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Nancy D June 11, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Brenda. I will be 64 this summer and not handling it too well actually; however reading your post and the comments helps me re-frame. Cheers.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Nancy, Is this my Supermodel yoga friend with the fabulous body? If so, you’re doing better than most 18-year-olds. Regardless, let’s not focus on age or that we don’t look like we did when we were younger, because truly we are the person. Not age or youth. And I’d venture to say we’re a better person, all around, than we were when we were younger. My mother always said, “Thoughts are things,” and she’s right. We are what we focus on and how we behave and who we hang around with. I love Clint Eastwood’s line about “I don’t let the old man in.” Clint is “just” 89 last month, and he’s amazing, starting to direct and produce yet another film. So… Don’t let the old woman in.” xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Donna June 11, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Happy Birthday! Looking forward to reading your book. At almost 72 (in July), I intend to make the time I have left on this earth the best.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      Happy Almost Birthday Donna!! It’s our only go round here, so yes… Let’s make the most of it. MAKE LIFE COUNT!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Pam M. June 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Pam, Thank you, sweet lady, for reading and wishing me a Happy Birthday! I appreciate you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Jamie June 11, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    You’ll never be as young as you are today!
    Wishing you a beautiful day today and every day. Happy birthday

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      I love that line, Jamie! Thank you so much! I appreciate that you took the time to read my blog and wish me a Happy Birthday. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Linda June 11, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Happy happy Birthday, Brenda! I thought it was the 15th! I’m thankful you aren’t dreading this move into another decade, but celebrating it. Enjoy it all month !! Hugs ❣️❤️‼️

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Linda, LOL! It is the 15th but the backend of my website was updated over the weekend and things have changed. Before I could stop myself, I’d clicked on a button… by rote… that used to give me the choice of “publishing now” or “setting future publish date.” This time is published instantly, and I couldn’t stop it. You’re sweet! Thanks so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Karen June 12, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Happy birthday …thanks for sharing your life and insight…cheers to many more birthdays, Rock on Brenda….can’t wait for the book!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 4:54 pm

      Karen! Thank you! I hope to keep rocking for several more decades! I appreciate you and that you read my blog and took the time to leave me a comment. Thanks so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Beckye June 12, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Happy just 70th birthday, dear Brenda! You are a delight, and I pray you have a year full of delight and blessing. I’m glad you are having time to reflect. Sending love and best wishes for a joyous, extended celebration!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      You’re awesome Beckye! I appreciate your birthday wish so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Barbara June 12, 2019 at 9:07 am

    You cannot be older than me! You look so much younger! But, I do feel it’s just a number. I will embrace my ‘youthfulness’ as long as I’m able. The old saying…you’re only as old as you feel. Some days I feel 100 but, most days I’m still youthful. So are YOU!!
    xob

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Barbara, I’m glad my age fooled you! I’m going to Vegas this weekend. Wish you were coming with me!! I remember when we all had fun with our limo driver taking us around the city. Let’s vow to be youthful in mind, body and spirit… clothes help… LOL! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Laureen June 12, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Happy Birthday sweet friend!! In 46 days I will be “just 71!!” and can’t believe it!! Oh, there are some days I feel every bit of it but most, I do not. I’m happy, healthy and enjoying life. I don’t wish for things that will never be but I do enjoy the things that are!! I find that a very satisfying life style. I can still yearn for more but not chastise myself for not always getting “there.” We all have a set time on this old earth and I’ve learned to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy every bit we have. Regrets and recriminations are time wasters and not where I want to spend my energy. Have a beautiful birthday and celebrate your glorious life!!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Laureen, You have a lot of wisdom packed into your sweet comment. A couple of sentences need to be on a pillow! I know that you are grateful for and enjoy your life and you’re a role model for me, sweet friend. Love you, Brenda

  • Reply LA CONTESSA June 12, 2019 at 10:32 am

    HAPPY YESTERDAY AND TODAY AND ALL WEEK!
    CELEBRATE ALL MONTH!WITH GUSTO!!!!!!!!!!
    WHAT DID ANNIE DO TO SURPRISE YOU?
    XOXO

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks so much, Elizabeth! Annie brought me her beloved pink elephant and placed it in my lap, and then walked away. She wanted me to keep it for a while. It was really sweet. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Rena June 12, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Every time I open this blog I learn a new fascinating fact about you! I cannot wait to read your memoir I’m sure it will be amazing! Happy Birthday sweet lady!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you, Rena! I’m happy you hung in there with our website issues and left me a comment. I appreciate you so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Dovanna June 12, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Happiest birthday oh June baby!!!
    An exquisite time of year for an exquisite woman!!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      I appreciate your birthday wishes Dovanna! I would loved to have walked the Met with you and seen the “Play it Loud.” Hope your summer’s off to a great start. Thanks so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Christina Daggett June 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    A very Happy Birthday to you, Brenda. I must say you look fantastic!

    • Reply Brenda Coffee June 12, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you, Christina! Are you still traveling in Europe? I checked your blog but didn’t see anything recent. Hope all is well with you. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Sally Leonard June 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Many thoughts.. You look wayyy younger than 70!! I’m amazed and find it refreshing that you’ve had so many big adventures.
    I’m 68 having a wonderful life. Saying that, I’m a big worrier so it’s not the carefree older life I would like. I believe your faith contributes to your contentment. I would love to have such faith but I don’t.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you, Sally. I appreciate the compliment. When I married my second husband, I loved him so much, I became a big worrier. I always asked God to keep him safe and bring him home safely to the ranch. When he died, unexpectedly on the ranch, for a while I thought I should have also prayed for God to keep him safe and well while he was on the ranch. Then I read a passage in the Bible that said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Since then I’ve let go of almost all of my worries because I realize it’s pointless. There’s nothing I can do about them. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Lauren June 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Happy birthday! This was a lovely read. You look amazing! #goals

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace June 12, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you, Lauren. You realize that first photo was when I was in my 20’s? The second photo down by my bio was taken two years ago. LOL! Just to be clear! Next week I’m having some new photos taken, so stay tuned! I’ll be posting them next week as well. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply D.A. Wolf June 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    A very happy (belated) birthday to you!

    Your definition of “closer“ gave me a good chuckle. Thank you for that.

    • Reply Brenda Coffee June 13, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you, DA! Chuckles are good for our health! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply D.A. Wolf June 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    That was “closure.” (Voice recognition is terrific when it works, isn’t it?)

  • Reply Anissa June 13, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Happy Birthday! So I love reading your blog and you always give me much to think about. I love your approach to life and aging, as well as the hardships we endure along the way. Your words have brought strength on some really rough days.

    I had to share that I grew up only a mile from Green Valley Raceway. My parents were time keepers and I wore my STP race jacket with pride. I still have it! I remember the excitement of the race weekends and loved hearing the engines late into the night. Sadly, Green Valley is now a housing development and no one would ever believe that a raceway once sat where thousands of houses are now. You have brought back some great memories! Long live Green Valley and race weekends!

    • Reply Brenda Coffee June 18, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Anissa!! You have a rich history with Green Valley. It doesn’t surprise me that it’s no longer there, but it’s kind of sad, don’t you think? I bet not many of the people who live in that subdivision know about the history they’re living on. You brought up the sounds of the engines. That gets in your blood and stays with you. The only “hot” cars I see on the roads today are driven by young guys who’re trying to compensate for having a LBD. Do guys even find a sleepy country road and drag race anymore? Like you, racing played a big part of my life, and I loved every minute of it. I’m happy you enjoy my blog and that it’s been of help to you. Thanks so much for letting me know. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply jeannette June 17, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday Brenda! I always enjoy coming for a visit here. You certainly have lived a very interesting and full life.

    I’ve never really spent time thinking about “the number”. However, its getting more difficult as we age because there seems to be so much sickness all around. I have to work on accepting was is I suppose. I’m thankful every day for my health and that of my husband’s and know it could change on a dime.
    By the way, June 16th was my grand daughter’s 4th birthday. We don’t live close by and I’m thankful for facetime and Skype!

    • Reply Brenda Coffee June 18, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Jeannette, I always love seeing your name and knowing that you’re still reading and enjoying my blogs. Thank you so much!! That’s a gift to me! When my second husband died, unexpectedly, the suddenness of it all was as traumatic as losing him. At least with my first husband, I knew he had advanced cancer, and I had a chance to get used to losing him, but even the timing of his death came unexpectedly. Yes, cherish every minute and every person in your life. Skype and FaceTime are such a blessing for staying in touch. How great you got to be a part of your granddaughter’s BD even though you weren’t there. xoxox, Brenda

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