: June 5, 2022 Posted by: Maureen Comments: 0

By Maureen Santini © Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

This is Chapter 8 in Write Your Life Story for Posterity. You’ve just finished writing about your seventh decade of life. Just a few chapters to go!

Your eighth decade, ages 70 through 79, begins at your 70th birthday. If you were born in 1950, for example, your eighth decade began in 2020.

Typically, the eighth decade represents a turning point in lifestyle, activities, outlook and even happiness.

AARP says many people in their seventies are happier than ever, often still healthy, and enjoying retirement activities and friendship.

Research shows that some people, as they age, turn their attention to matters such as health, longevity, and life review. Others are immersed in multi-generational family care taking, earning a living full-time or part-time, traveling, or pursuing items on their “bucket list.”

Writing about this decade is an opportunity to share details about your daily routine as well as your perspective on the process of aging.

Basic Information

The best way to start writing about each decade is to capture the basics, such as the addresses of all your residences and the names of others in your household. Record the names of places that you frequented, such as churches, restaurants, museums, and parks.

Family and Friends

Describe your social life, such as activities with friends and family members. Name the people you spent the most time with.

A 2022 AARP survey found that 83 percent of those between 70 and 79 are retired, compared with 57 percent of those in their sixties. Seventy four percent have grandchildren. Regarding status, 67 percent of those 70-79 are married or living together, 16 percent are separated or divorced, and 12 percent are widowed.

One study discovered an interesting pattern regarding friendships: People reached out less and less during their late 50s and 60s, then made contact more often in their 70s and 80s, according to AARP.

Hobbies, Interests and Skills

Expound on your passions and interests during this decade. This is the point at which to regale your future readers with your accomplishments in any area you developed during your life, such as woodworking, golf, bowling, crafts, sewing, cooking, volunteering, poker, darts, hiking, chess, travel, or enjoying backyard barbecues. Feel free to go into depth on any topic in this category. Your level of expertise is irrelevant. It’s the enthusiasm that counts.

Many love the retirement lifestyle. There’s less stress and more opportunity for enjoyable pursuits, including getting together with family, hobbies and traveling. Overall, seniors spend almost three more hours per day on leisure pursuits, AARP found.

However, many people encounter challenges as they age. Organizations that study retirement say it often begins with a honeymoon phase followed by a recognition of reality during which some people return to the workforce. Building social connections, volunteering, and taking up hobbies tend to increase overall happiness.

Health and Welfare

Describe the state of your physical, mental, and emotional health during this decade. Compare it with previous decades. Document your health history, such as medical events. Explain your approach to diet, exercise, and aging. Note the health status of those close to you.

By our 70s, we’ve had decades to develop resilience. Many of us have learned that happiness is a skill and a choice. We don’t need to look at our horoscopes to know how our day will go. We know how to create a good day,” Dr. Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist, wrote in a New York Times opinion piece.

“We have learned to look every day for humor, love, and beauty. We’ve acquired an aptitude for appreciating life. Gratitude is not a virtue but a survival skill, and our capacity for it grows with our suffering. That is why it is the least privileged, not the most, who excel in appreciating the smallest of offerings,” she wrote.

State whether this describes your perspective. If not, explain your viewpoint.

Current Events

Describe the social and/or political environment in this decade of your life. Discuss issues and causes that you tracked or got involved with. State whether the decade, or portions of it, were caught up in challenging local, state, national or international events. Write about your perspective on your life and the world. Pass along your wisdom in the form of advice to your younger self or to others.

Conclusion

Feel free to improvise as you see fit. Add information about any issue, person or event that was meaningful to you during this time.

Next up: your ninth decade and beyond. If you haven’t reached this milestone yet, skip ahead to writing down your family history.

We hope you are enjoying this process. Comments on the website are appreciated. Please share these posts to encourage others to write their stories.

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Note: This past has been updated from the original.