Restless to Renewed

Thriving Beyond Seventy with Wisdom and Connection

April 26, 2024 Janice Neely Season 2 Episode 5
Thriving Beyond Seventy with Wisdom and Connection
Restless to Renewed
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Restless to Renewed
Thriving Beyond Seventy with Wisdom and Connection
Apr 26, 2024 Season 2 Episode 5
Janice Neely

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We often avoid discussing aging, a topic that is uncomfortable to many. Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole, authors of 70Candles: Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade, turn that avoidance into a rally cry of celebration. They bring to life tales of their shared past, from the spirited days of high school to reflections of their adult lives. 

This episode isn't just a walk down memory lane; it's a forward march into uncharted territories, particularly through the 70Candles project. The project, developed by Jane and Ellen, provides women worldwide with a forum to share their experiences and stories about growing older.

Unwrapping the gift of longevity, this conversation responds to many myths of aging and highlights positive truths of later life.   

Thank you for listening.

Be sure to visit the Restless to Renewed website for pictures and more information about episode guests at

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

We often avoid discussing aging, a topic that is uncomfortable to many. Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole, authors of 70Candles: Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade, turn that avoidance into a rally cry of celebration. They bring to life tales of their shared past, from the spirited days of high school to reflections of their adult lives. 

This episode isn't just a walk down memory lane; it's a forward march into uncharted territories, particularly through the 70Candles project. The project, developed by Jane and Ellen, provides women worldwide with a forum to share their experiences and stories about growing older.

Unwrapping the gift of longevity, this conversation responds to many myths of aging and highlights positive truths of later life.   

Thank you for listening.

Be sure to visit the Restless to Renewed website for pictures and more information about episode guests at

JaniceHost 00:40

Welcome to Restless, to Renewed Women Redefining Midlife and Beyond. I'm your host, Janice Neely, and today my guests are Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole. Jane and Ellen are co-authors of the book Seventy Candles: Women Thriving in the 8th Decade. Last year, I found Jane and Ellen on the Internet and I purchased their book. I have to say that it's an excellent read because it covers so many issues that we face as we age, and it provides insights that I found quite helpful. One reviewer wrote, "it may be strange to say this about a practical guidebook on women and aging, but this one is pure delight and, as a reader, I agree wholeheartedly. So welcome Jane and Ellen, and I just want to say good job. It's been a while since we last talked with each other, so how have you both been?

JaneGuest 01:30

Well, generally doing well, all things considered for me, Jane.

JaniceHost 01:36

What about you, Ellen? How are things going?

EllenGuest 01:40

Great. Actually, I live in upstate New York and I'm enjoying the return of the sun.

JaniceHost 01:46

Yes, well, it's raining here today, so let's go ahead and dive on in. You have been friends since childhood, and how have you maintained that friendship for so many years?

JaneGuest 02:00

Janice. It's a great story because it all began in high school. I was in eighth grade when friends of Ellen's from her neighborhood told me Ellen Strauss is coming to Hunter next year and you're going to like her. I thought, well, come on. But I have no idea how they knew that because, sure enough, we became fast friends. We were a lively and very adventuresome duo and New York was our playground. We rode the subways to spend time in each other's home. We got to know each other's family and even fixed up her younger brother with my sister for a date.


Ellen switched back to her local high school two years later, but our friendship endured. I still remember her phone number, Jamaica 61695, because, telephone we did, on our princess phones beyond graduation. We never lived in the same city but we stayed connected the old-fashioned way by writing letters through summer camp, college, then marriage and parenting, then early careers, and we both moved around the country. I recently found a stash of her old letters and sent them to her.

JaniceHost 03:20

Oh, that's so sweet.

JaneGuest 03:23

I led a tour through Europe after our sophomore year in college, and Ellen was there with me. What a memorable experience that was, 20-year-olds on the loose. We still smile when we look at those old photos together. Several times on our moves across the country, Ellen would stop by to visit. We just picked up right where we had. During one of our conversations, when I had an opportunity to visit her in Anchorage, the first question she asked me was, are you ready for an adventure? And of course, I said yes and off we flew to pristine Halibut Bay, which was just magnificent. Then, as we were about to turn 70, she stopped in Dallas on her emotional transition from Anchorage to Albany.


We paused, sitting at my dining room table over a glass of wine to assess that moment in life. We felt energetic, still lively and adventuresome, and we were happily productive in our respective careers. But we were both relocating with our dear husbands to new cities and happily closer to family. We looked at each other and wondered what lay ahead, what the heck. We thought we had no role models to inspire us. And here we were, becoming old ladies and we didn't know what being that age was going to be all about. This is when we decided to go forth and learn as much as we could. So we started to study. Academics that we were, we spent a year reading, learning all we could about aging and this stage of life. Remember what those readings told us? Ellen the old lady, old granny stories.

EllenGuest 05:14

Look at all the pills on granny's nightstand. All of the literature was about. Ain't it awful?

JaneGuest 05:20

Yeah, and we thought this can't be the whole story. So Ellen went to the University of Pennsylvania to study positive aging and earned an additional master's degree in positive psychology. Then we started our 70 Candles blog because we thought we've got to ask people who are this age what it's all about. She brought with her one of her much younger, tech savvy classmates to set up our website and we began assembling and conducting our really wonderfully heartwarming 70 Candles gatherings. Then, a few months ago now, at age 82 and 83, we spent a wonderful day together in New York City. It was really fun, wasn't it?

EllenGuest 06:07

Fabulous. Can I just add a few couple of memories of our childhood, because I think it says so much about who we are. We were Brooklyn Dodger fans at the time and we used to go to oh, I'm still so mad at them for moving to Los Angeles. We went to many, many games and I hope we're not going to get arrested for this, but these are the days that girls didn't wear pants, you know, like trousers, so we wore skirts with shorts underneath them. We bought cheap seats in the back and we climbed over the seats and we wound up with good seats.


The other thing we were not bad girls, but we were adventurous girls and I think that started for me such an important part of my life. It started with you, Jane, with our friendship, and I think I have been an adventurous person, also a scaredy cat in many ways, but an adventurous person throughout my life, and I credit you for that and our friendship, and it was fun, so special.

JaniceHost 07:15

I envy you for this long relationship. That is such a wonderful story. So right now, would you tell us about your most recent career?

EllenGuest 07:25

Yeah, so I'll start this one. So my most recent career is still my career. I'm a psychologist and I've had a specialty in women's issues, women's mental health my entire career, and it's still how I identify and still what I do. So I've been a college professor and a therapist. I still teach, although I'm officially retired. I'm a professor emerita, but I now teach one course a year, but I still stay in touch with my students and I still write and I still do research. So I think my career really hasn't changed.

JaniceHost 08:08

So, Jane, what are you up to these days?

JaneGuest 09:17

I learned from our 70 Candles women’s groups that there are lots of ways to approach retirement, so I retired in stages. I tapered down from being a professor of psychiatry at a medical college to a more typical clinical practice as a speech language pathologist.  And then my husband and I officially retired from our university affiliated roles, we pulled up roots from the midwest and moved to be near our children and grandchildren in Texas! Here I signed on part-time with a pediatric home therapy company and over several years I gradually reduced my work schedule. The less I worked the more I wrote, studied Spanish, took art classes, played the ukulele, learned to play pickle tennis, found book groups, and finally made new friends, which is a big job when you move to a new place, and it took a long time. Then, as we were turning 70, my newest career became 70 Candles. I conducted a lot of book groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at newcomers clubs, assisted living communities, temples, senior citizen centers and places like that, and these book groups actually morphed into discussions that were similar to our 70 Candles gatherings. turns out, women this age are eager to talk about themselves and their lives, and they rarely have this opportunity. So I continue to curate the blog, and I'm amazed at its longevity. It's been alive and well since 2010. Also over the past five years, an unanticipated new career evolved for me. That was the caretaking of my husband who was declining An unexpected turn of events that had me mastering yet a whole new set of skills. Who knew that would happen? He recently passed away and I've suddenly been thrust into widowhood. Another new era, and I wonder what now?

JaniceHost 10:34

So I identify with what you said about women wanting to tell their stories, and I love both of you telling us about your careers, because it's fascinating—highly educated women who have decided to help others, and not just through academics, but in reaching out to people with your blog and so forth in your book. I think that's really wonderful and that's what we're kind of doing with Restless to Renewed, just connecting people and letting them talk about their lives and their stories. So you talked about the website, and your website encourages women to tell their stories. How many women have responded to you by sending in their personal experience with aging?

JaneGuest 11:17

Well, this is about the website. It's been active, as I said, for 13 years. What fascinates me is that, as our original cohort is now in their 80s, women just becoming 70 are coming aboard the new crop of subscribers who have discovered the site and are actually wondering about very similar issues. So there's no way really to determine how many different women have contributed to the blog, but this is what I know. We have archived nearly 1,900 discrete entries. There are more than 574 subscribers who receive email notice when a new story is posted and, of course, there's no charge for any of this and we've sent out more than 16,000 emails to the subscribers. But in addition to the subscribers, there are people who simply come aboard at will, who are not signed on as subscribers, so we don't know the actual number.


We do know that the range of responses is wide. They've arrIved from France and Italy and Glasgow, Scotland, North Wales and Mexico. So it's quite a nice mix. And what's lovely about the blog is that, when a topic comes up, women talk to each other and they're very supportive and very positive and interesting. These are very articulate discussions that go on. It's quite wonderful to read, and they're archived by topic, so anybody coming on the website can choose the topic and find all the associated entries.

JaniceHost 13:06

It's been fun. I'm learning that from what I'm doing here in Tennessee. We've got listeners now from Bangladesh and from Norway and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I was so surprised at how many women are interested in talking with each other, like you said. You feel like sometimes as you grow older, that you're not being disrespected but ignored maybe, and you're in the room, but you're just in the room. So this is a great forum for people to connect, like I said, and be able to share their experiences and uplift each other. I really appreciate that. So your book, titled 70 Candles Women Thriving in their 8th Decade, is published through the Taos Institute as part of their Tempe Series. And what is the Taos Institute and what is your affiliation with them?

EllenGuest 14:02

The Taos Institute is an organization that was founded by Mary and Ken Gergen. They have a theoretical framework, which is social reconstruction, and I just looked it up this morning because I couldn't exactly recall the wording that they use to describe social reconstruction, ways of approaching life with a focus on meaning. So they do many things, writing and research and one of their projects is this publishing company, the Taos Institute. They also published for many years something called the Positive Aging Newsletter, which influenced my life tremendously. It was such a wonderful background backdrop for 70 Candles.


Mary Gergen actually became one of my best friends. We were both psychologists, we worked together on many, many projects and she passed away in 2020, I think it was and so at that point, the Positive Aging newsletter stopped, but we published our book. What year was our book published, jane? Do you remember? 2015. It was well before that, and their goal for their publishing is distillating current scientific research on aging. Their mission is sustaining life fulfillment and life engagement, and our book was perfect for them, so it was just such a good fit.

JaniceHost 15:35

That's so fascinating, and in your book and on your website you encourage women to start book groups in their communities. So how and where are these groups facilitated, and have you attended any of them?  And what are they like?

JaneGuest 15:56

Well, the book groups I've led here in recent years have been participatory and turned out to be similar to our 70 Candle gathering groups. So this is what we did to learn what women thought about this age. Ellen and I hosted gatherings across the country asking women in or near their 70s what their lives were like, what they thought about this age, their joys, their challenges. And this is how we organized it. About a dozen women would sit in a circle and really open their hearts. It was evident that no one had ever asked them to talk about themselves in this way. They were really eager to share and they responded to each other. They were two-hour sessions, they flew by so quickly were filled with really honest introspection and sharing. In our book, Chapter 2 is devoted to the gatherings and what we learned through them.


Many thought the group should continue the gatherings and what we learned through them. We agreed to that and we facilitated that by adding a gatherings page to our blog so people could sign on there if they wanted to have a gathering. And then we wrote and published another booklet called 70 Candles Gatherings a Leader's Guide for those who wanted to host such groups, and I did it in large print so it's really easy to hold on your lap. It's a very handy guide. Currently, on that gatherings page on the blog, there are 37 contact names and emails. These are women from far and near who are seeking connections.


Unfortunately, there's no way to track how this progressed, so we don't know how many of these succeeded. I think that the pandemic probably thwarted some of those efforts, but a few have sent word, and this is really interesting. This is a response from someone who was into her third session of her group, and she said, "though topics were serious, I cannot begin to tell you how good everyone felt as the meeting ended. It was like we were all uplifted, and we all uplifted each other. I said to myself that this was more than just a social get together, and it wasn't therapy either. It was something magically in between a meaningful sharing of our life experiences, of wisdom learned and the questions we still face as we grow older. And, yes, it was a wonderful way for all of us to come to know one another more. And then, later in her note, she says this group, as it is coming together, truly is offering the participants a place where they can feel supported, embraced and then in all capitals, KNOWN, where they can be known, and I think she really captured that beautifully.

EllenGuest 18:56

Yeah, that's beautiful, Jane. That where you're known seems so powerful to me. I want to add something to that Also. I think one of the things that stood out for me about the groups that we led then and I continue to lead groups now in my own community and sometimes far afield is the power of meeting with like-minded people. I'm a huge believer in equity and knowing people not like yourself. And what's the word for that? Diversity, diversity, thank you. I'm a big diversity champion, but one of the things that we found so powerful in our groups was the opposite of that. So, for example, in my living room I had 10 African-American women who were all in their 70s and a friend of mine organized them. Her African-American daughter actually came along and she took notes. It was so powerful, not only for me, but for them to be with people like them. They talked about growing up in the Jim Crow era, for example. They talked about the impact of racism. I asked them about ageism and they said you know, that's not our issue, ageism. Our issue is racism. And it was just so honest and powerful.


And then Jane and I led a group of all women who identified as American women of Mexican descent, and this was in Texas. This was something Jane arranged, and I'll never forget that as long as I live. I think we wrote about this in the book. One of the things they said, one of their disappointments, was their children's names were Spanish names, like Esmeralda and Lucinda, and their grandchildren were named, I don't know, Betsy and Susie or something like that, or no, Amber. I don't remember what they said, but they got to commiserate with each other, laugh with each other, cry with each other, because they had similar experiences and that was very powerful for me.

JaniceHost 21:01

That's nice that you all have made an effort to reach out to all different groups of women.

EllenGuest 21:06

Yeah, I met with a group of Jewish women in a synagogue. Jane, didn't we meet in New York City with graduates of Hunter College High School?

JaneGuest 21:14

It was a mixture of my high school friends and my college friends. Yes, they were all New Yorkers.

JaniceHost 21:22

So I wanted to ask you also about the format for a meeting, because I didn't think about that prior, but I really would like to know if you have given people a format.

JaneGuest 21:33

Yes, we have, and it's called 70 Candles Gathering: A Leader's Guide, and it's very specific: what to do, how to gather people, how to set up a room, how to introduce the topic, how to involve the group in the discussion, how to shape it, and it's really a play by play. So, yes, and that's available on Amazon for anybody.

EllenGuest 22:00

Basically, what we wanted to ask people is what brings you joy, what are your challenges? What advice might you have for succeeding generations? But I think it was very important to have a facilitator, because we wanted to make sure that every person got to talk, and so I think that facilitation piece was really key.

JaniceHost 22:27

Yeah. I think I can imagine, because especially there are people that have been ignored or feel invisible for so many years. I imagine they need some prompting to talk, and there's people like me who are very open. I'm an open book, so I might tend to take over the conversation. So I think that's wonderful that you thought of that.

JaneGuest 23:05

And when leading it is to allow people to say things that are really very personal. I mean, this stuff is all about one's life and your feeling about your life at this point, and it involves your spouse, your children, your family, your neighborhood, your sense of yourself, and it isn't therapy, but it's very personal and to allow people to share that is really quite a unique situation.

EllenGuest 23:33

There's certainly in the groups that I've led or the groups that I've heard about, you can always count on the fact that there are tears, there's lots and lots of laughter. There's lots of compassion.


I think compassion is really one of the things that develops with these groups and people are always so surprised when they realize they're not the only one that feels that way. I have a funny story about that, Jane.


So Jane is an expert on memory and she's taught me a lot about memory. And you just gave me a word recently. I don't even remember what the word was now, but you gave me a word. So one of the things that I tend to ask now when I'm leading groups for women in their eighties and nineties, but even with the 70 year olds, I would ask how many of you think your memory is worse than every other woman's memory? How many of you think you're heading into dementia? Every hand goes up, every single hand goes up, and what a comfort to find out that you're not alone, and this is a normal part of aging.

JaneGuest 24:39

Remember the device, Ellen. Remember the device we give the signal tone, two, three.

EllenGuest 24:46

Duh, Jane, I use it every single day. Okay, tell us about it. Okay, I give full credit to Jane. She taught me this and I've taught it to everyone that I know pretty much. Okay, if you can't remember something you say to yourself, you give it a one, two or three. One means give me a second, I'll remember it in one second. Two means it might take a little while, but you know, be patient with yourself and with others. Three means forget it. I'll never remember it, and it's so reassuring and I call it a hack.

JaniceHost 25:20

That's really helpful. Actually, I have found that I'm starting to have difficulty remembering names, people that I've known for years. I look at them and I think, oh my gosh.

EllenGuest 25:35

Proper nouns are the first to go. I learned from Jane also.

JaniceHost 25:36

Interesting. I can’t remember names, yet things are starting to pop into my head, like I can remember a movie star from the 1960s. And I think where does that come from?

JaneGuest 25:50

Long-term memory stays way beyond recent memory.

JaniceHost 25:55

Well, I remember when I was working. I was so busy that I couldn't remember yesterday and my long-term memory wasn't there at all. And now that I've been home more I'm starting to remember things. but like you said, I can look at somebody in the grocery store and think, oh my gosh , I can't even think and I've worked with them or I've done something with them.

EllenGuest 26:17

So it's a strange thing. I've had a lot of women look at their cell phones. Can you see my cell phone? Point to their cell phones and say this is my new brain.

JaniceHost 26:29

Well, I just like to tell myself just think how much has gone into my brain over the years. It's getting crowded there. Something's got to go. some truth to that.

JaneGuest 26:39

There’s some truth to that.

JaniceHost 27:12

That's that. So the work you do with that is fascinating. We might even have to have a program on that. But what are your future plans for your work with aging women?

EllenGuest 27:23

Well, I'll start with that one. I've published several things since our 70 Candles In 2021, I published a book called Older Women Who Work: Resilience, Choice and Change. The American Psychological Association published it, and I do want to say that when Jane and I started our work, there was very little published looking at aging through a positive lens. There's still a huge dearth in that regard, but it's increasing tremendously. So, for example, this book Older Women Who Work won a Choice Award from the American Association of Libraries, being one of the best academic books of 2021. And so academic libraries have that book in stock and it's so cool because it's acknowledging that older women still are alive and still functioning and older is considered to be 65 and older by the US Census. So that's the definition we used, and there are all kinds of reasons that women continue to work.


WhatI finished is another just an article that's being published by a journal called Women in Therapy and it's about women thriving in their 80s and 90s. So that's kind of what I've moved on to now that I'm 83, women in their 80s and 90s and I give talks to senior centers. I've given, oh, dozens of talks to senior centers and, it's exactly the same results as the groups that we led. It's been so much fun for me to be able to facilitate and so I think I get such great feedback, not because of my facilitation skills, but because of the joy of being with agemates and being able to talk.

JaniceHost 29:25

I like the word agemates. I'll have to remember that one.

JaneGuest 29:30

I want to just pop in about my future plans. You asked about future work, but I wouldn't call this work. I see around me opportunities to connect and support those I know who are facing difficult times, many who are caregiving, many who are widows, and I have recently started to say that this end of life can be a treacherous place because there's sickness I'm sorry to say, but I'm facing it myself. So I realize that this kind of an epidemic among the spouses of my old pals, this is really a new stage of life to be reckoned with. So I have finally emerged from my pandemic cocoon and I have begun to reunite with old friends from my old book group and we look forward to a monthly brunch together. I've reentered art classes. I'm back, and that's been a big shift for me because I have been confined for the last five years in many ways. But now to talk about the most fulfilling things at this stage. I live near my children and grandchildren and, oh my goodness, my grandchildren are now young adults and what an exciting time it is, with graduations and engagements and a wedding coming up. My son and daughter are nearby and they're a wonderful support for me. I'm making new friends. I'm a big advocate of that and I'm the oldest one in this community but I think everyone knows me. But most of my new friends are much younger than I am and that has really been a positive thing because they bring me the common culture. They're interested in me and I'm interested in what they're all doing. So I have a bunch of younger friends who come by. We had tea yesterday. A friend walking her dog came in and visited. Also, I'm busy painting again.


Nostalgia is something I'm enjoying. It got triggered by a book written by a person I didn't think I knew but turned out to be my upstairs neighbor as a kid and it was all as a memoir about New York City. And after I spoke with him a flood of memories came pouring forth about my neighborhood in Manhattan when I was a kid and I started painting a nostalgic series of scenes from 77th Street. It's been really delightful. So enjoying memories of past times is really pleasant. And then, strangely, even though I've retired from my speech language pathology career in this diverse community, I frequently engage with non-native speakers. Sooner or later I find myself helping them with their efforts to speak English and they seem quite appreciative.

EllenGuest 32:37

My life in some ways really is just a continuation of how it's always been. Again. although I'm officially retired, I still teach on an admissions committee for the University of Pennsylvania program in positive psychology, which is a program that I absolutely adored. I'm on the board of the Albany Symphony, I'm in two book groups, a women's group that's really special to me and so these are things that I've valued and done for a long time.


I think the new piece for me and part of this I really learned from Jane's experience is that I'm fortunate enough to have a husband who is still alive and well, and, Jane, I'm so sorry for your loss. But one of the things it's done for me is help me to appreciate every minute that I still have with Doug, because it's not going to be forever. I still do athletic stuff, I love doing that, I love hiking, and I have a Fitbit and I count my steps every day. That hasn't changed, but I do appreciate life more than I used to, and there's absolutely no doubt about that. So, yeah, that's a beautiful thing for me.

JaniceHost 33:51

Well, I think that would be beautiful for all of us. Like you said, spending time with your spouse, making every moment count.

EllenGuest 33:58

I also have to say I don't live near my four children or grandchildren, but having adult grandchildren is a kick. I love watching them. We have this little Wordle group. We share our Wordle every day and we're a little bit competitive and sometimes the grandkids win and sometimes Doug and I or I win and we do things like that. But I also learn a lot from them and I'm very grateful that I have one granddaughter who's African-American and I can actually talk to her if I have questions about her culture that I wouldn't know on my own. My grandkids in some ways they're my go-to people now for questions I might have and I learn from them. That's really fun, yeah.

JaneGuest 34:46

I agree that, for me, the best advice is to keep making younger friends, and I guess your family becomes your younger friends in terms of sharing their culture. Find joy in something each day. I try to stay upbeat. We learned from our groups that the cup half full is a better way to approach your life. So I enjoy the routines that I engage in each day. I stay as healthy as I can, eat sensibly, sleep regularly, exercise reasonably, and socialize with others. We learned how important socialization is, which is a big problem in the senior population, which is growing faster than any other people. Over 85 is the fastest growing part of our population, and loneliness is one of the big problems there. So isn't it? Loneliness is worse for your health than smoking, right?

EllenGuest 35:47

Than smoking, than diabetes, than overweight and many other things as well.

JaneGuest 35:55

And the main thing is to find a purpose that provides something to look forward to each day. That's what gets me out of bed in the morning.

EllenGuest 36:03

I have to add something really important that we haven't talked about yet. You talked about it a little bit, Janice. You talked about being invisible. What I want to talk about, though, is ageism, and I think one of the things that keeps me going in it. I'm a very cheery person. My parents used to say to me cheer down, cheer down. I'm sort of a natural optimist, which isn't always a good thing, but there's one thing that really gets my goat and makes me furious every day.


Aside from politics, that's a whole other issue, but it's ageism, and I think that we have to change the discourse on aging, and I noticed more and more people are talking about that now. It used to be totally silenced. I'm a Harvard graduate, I went to graduate school at Harvard, and so every single day, I get a Harvard Gazette, but it's on many, many topics. Well I want to share this with you and with listeners in general. Today's main topic in the Harvard Gazette April 26, 2024, A Re-examination of Aging, Living Longer, Happier and Healthier and this, among many other new research articles and editorials, is about again changing the discourse. We have to just not focus on what goes wrong, so, if I may, I'd like to read a few things from this. It's not just the young with the attitude problem.


Some of the biggest perpetuators of negative stereotypes are those growing older themselves. Like us, Jane, we do a lot of internalized ageism with self-talk like, oh, I feel so old today, I can't do that, I'm too old for that. I can't stay up late. I know I do that. Sometimes it's good. I say, oh, I'm too old to ride a bicycle. Guess what? I don't want to ride a bicycle anymore. So that's a good thing. But we have to change the societal narrative.


So my big thing now is if you see something that's ageist, speak up about it, and there's so many examples. I probably experience something every single day. Someone might call me honey. You know, oh, sweetie, honey, something they would do to talk to their dog or small child or something. And then watching out for the medicalization of aging. I just read a fabulous new book called Elderhood which is sort of an expose, particularly looking at the medical profession, of how old people are mistreated and how they ought to be treated. And then I have just one funny story to tell. So I got this Harvard thing today called the Re-examination of Aging, and it's very positive and I love it. And then I see right under it something from Harvard Medical School and it's called Soulful Aging. This is a funny story, this just happened this morning. Soulful Aging and I think what a beautiful term, soulful aging. And I read the article and it's foot problems.

JaniceHost 39:00


JaniceHost 39:02

They got you, didn't they?

EllenGuest 39:03

That's my story.

JaniceHost 39.18

I like that one that is really really good. Well, when we talk about your groups, I want to encourage people to start a group and to get the books, and that way they'll know how to do it.

EllenGuest 39:22

Email Jane and me and we'll come and facilitate the group.

JaniceHost 39:27

Oh, oh, that's even better.

EllenGuest 39:30

We'll probably charge something for like airfare.

JaniceHost 39:33

Yeah, but that is great. Okay, so we're running out of time, but I want to encourage our listeners to visit the 70 Candles website. It's at and also on the website you can purchase the book, and the website includes a broad range of topics and discussion questions. In addition, the website, as we mentioned before, hosts a multitude of personal stories written by women who are 70 plus. And finally, I want to read one comment on the site written by a reader. She wrote, “Please keep 70 candles going. I feel so comforted and excited knowing you gals are there and looking out for us. It's like the Red Hat Society, only purple for wisdom and grace and fun.”


So thank you, Ellen and Jane, for joining us today. You have inspired me and I know you've inspired our listeners. And finally, I hope our listeners will visit the Restless to Renewed website. There you will find information about all the podcast guests, recommended reading, and some fun t-shirts now and hats and totes. We've added that. So I'm going to leave you all today with this quote. “Getting old is like climbing a mountain. You get a little out of breath, but the view is much better.”  And that was by Ingrid Bergman, which we at our age remember. So thanks, ladies, and I appreciate you both and hope to talk to you again soon.

EllenGuest 41:04

That is a beautiful quote. Thank you so much. Thank you.

JaneGuest 41:07

Janice, we appreciate you. 

Growing Old Together
Women's Career Transition and Connection
Facilitating Conversation on Aging Women
Thriving in Later Life
Inspiring Online Resources for Women