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How Did I Get Here:
Talk About Transitions!

May 15, 2014

Talk About Transitions! 

Talk about transitions! Recently I turned seventy, and let me tell you, I am having a hard time with it. For some reason, seventy sounds old to me. Of course this has nothing to do with any actual physical illness or infirmity – I am actually very healthy – but with an emotional sense of impending doom. Approaching death.

Realistically, we are always approaching death, but somehow hitting this landmark age has made me feel as if that end was rapidly approaching. When I fall asleep and awaken, I remind myself that I could easily live another twenty years, many of them healthy ones given my family history, but that doesn’t help much. My kids and grandkids all drove out here for the actual event and a planned weekend party for them and all my local friends, complaining that I live in the middle of nowhere, which I do.

We walked together, cooked together, laughed a lot, and, I must say, had a great time at the party. My older daughter had made over forty cupcakes, my partner and I had driven an hour away to purchase wine at Trader Joe’s (we had to drive back to return a lot of it a few days ago), and all the guests had arrived carrying bowls of salads and main courses the evening of the party. I was able to let go of overseeing the event, adopting the attitude ‘come what may’, not an easy task for me, but nevertheless one I was able to accomplish. As a result, I had a great time.

Several of my friends knew everyone, except my kids, others knew very few of the celebrants, but everyone told me how much they enjoyed talking with those familiar and not, some even making potential new friends in the process. Still, I can’t believe I am seventy. When I took my Nia class yesterday my teacher, Allison, whom I adore,
put her arms around me and suggested that I represent the way the ‘new seventy’ should look, vital, healthy, and alive: all her words. I suppose it will take time to accept this new transition, and that in time, I will come to see myself as she does.

Not because I have no choice, although that’s certainly part of the reason, but more because I know it’s important to relish change, not fear it. Relish seems a long way off, but maybe, because of the party, and the love of family and friends, it’s at least on the horizon. First, though, I have to find acceptance.

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Nancy Alvarez began writing at Sarah Lawrence College and has written articles for the New York Times Magazine and Cosmopolitan. She has also written for several television shows and movies, including“The Waltons.” Her first novel, “Ladycat” was published by Crown in 1980 under the name Nancy Greenwald. She has taught screen writing at UCLA Extension, as well as in the Masters of Professional Writing at USC as well. She is currently working on a multi-generational novel set in Austria, Poland, New York and New Jersey. Her latest book, "The Girls and Me," along with "Little Nancy," can be found in the TTN Bookstore. Nancy can be reached at either or