Beginning life at 80

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I woke up this morning with great anticipation wondering what the day will bring. When I was a young child, I remember watching a television show called “Life begins at Eighty.” I use to say, “They are old, what can they do, and how could their life begin at 80?” Well, on Sunday I became one of the seniors who says life begins at 80 and I’m here to tell you why.

At 80, my husband and I have already raised our children and now it’s time for us to enjoy ourselves. We can join groups and visit museums, continue our educations, take up hobbies and fall in love with each other all over again. We now have the time to do all the things we always wanted to do but were unable to do for one reason or other.

About 30 years ago on a Sunday afternoon a few friends were gathered at my home and we discussed a book titled “Who Moved My Cheese”? The book was about two little people who were afraid to venture out. One day one of the individuals decided to venture out to see what was on the other side, but his friend refused to leave. While discussing this my friend said, “Mary, you do not live up to your potential; you are afraid of everything!” I became angry and thought, “How dare she say that to me.” After I got over my indignation, I realized she was right. Although her words hurt, she actually did me a favor because I was afraid to speak my truth in front of people. I vowed to make changes in my life and stop being so afraid. Today I speak before crowds, take a leadership role and I implement programs for my church. I was the devotional leader and secretary for an assisted living home until my husband and I recently retired.

My hair is gray and my style is my own. I like to wear orange and red together. I love high heels and hate wearing flats. I love singing even though I don’t have a good voice, but since I enjoy it I do it. I dance to music and get plenty of exercise. I love a good game of Bid Whiz and Spades and when I play with a great partner we are the champions.

At age 80, I am learning to write and I am writing my stories on a weekly basis. My life has just begun and there are many things that I want to experience. At the ripe age of 80 you are free to live your life as you choose without worrying about what everyone else thinks. In other words, you have freedom. So as the 1950s television show stated, “Life begins at Eighty,” and you know what, I agree.

Be blessed in Jesus’ name.

Mary Simmons is a columnist for The K-V Dispatch. She can be reached at