Musing on the ‘most wonderful time of the year’

Happy holidays! ’Tis the season and we are jolly! The stores and parking lots are crowded with holiday shoppers. At certain times of the day, the traffic near any mall or shopping center is enough to make you late getting back to work after a quick trip to find “the perfect gift.” Almost every retail business is offering holiday specials and percent-off sales signs dot the landscape of all media advertising. If you go anywhere near a retail area, you’d certainly think all signs point to a very successful holiday shopping season.

I love December! Besides enjoying the good feelings spread around during the holiday season, December is my birthday month. This year, I have the great pleasure of celebrating my 80th year around the sun. Holy cow! Has it really been that long? According to my birth certificate, there’s no fooling anyone — it has! I have become a woman of a “certain age.”

Why, like some women, would I not want to hide the fact that I am what I am? Well, even though my brain tells me that I’m still one of the 40 Under 40, one look at the real me says I’m not. This doesn’t mean that I’m not still able to produce at that level. Even though sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, I can still find ways to make things happen. I wonder why some folks think that anyone over a certain age should just pack up their things and go away?

If I were a man, my gray hair would only make me look distinguished and knowledgeable. Why the double standard? Actors Diane Keaton and Jamie Lee Curtis are proudly showing off their beautiful silver gray hair.

I’m proud to be 80! I’m proud that I continue to be a valued contributor in the business and industry that I love. I’m proud that I continue to learn something new every day. I’m happy that I have the opportunity to share my experiences and what I’ve learned — and what I continue to learn. When asked when I’m going to retire, I say, “I’ll let you know as soon as I know.”

I don’t want to offend anyone but being older doesn’t mean we’re not still keeping up with the world. In fact, many of us “older but wiser” folks can still sing and dance with the best of them.



A recent article in Parade magazine featured 93-year-old (on Dec. 13) actor, singer, and dancer Dick Van Dyke (starring in “Mary Poppins Returns”), who said he has no intention of ever stopping work. He said, “Retirement is a very bad idea. If you’re doing something you like doing, why retire? It doesn’t make sense.”

As I grow “wiser,” I know that the best holiday memories include gifts from the heart. Things are only things. Love is everything! One of my favorite holiday memories is from when our four children were still in school. One year, after the evening holiday concert we, with our black Lab named Goliath and our three cats packed into our van along with all the gifts and a Christmas tree on the top, began our drive to be with family. Shortly after heading south on the interstate, it began to snow. One of our daughters started humming a Christmas carol and soon all of us, except Goliath and the cats, were singing at the top of our voices and enjoying the love.

I wish that kind of love for all of us this year! Happy holidays!

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