65 Words on Turning 65

Will you join me and write, in 65 words, your views on turning 65? Collectively, whether you’re 65, 55 or 75, we can show the world that 65 is a powerful, passionate and productive time to make our world the world we want it to be. Regardless of your age, email us at 65on65@lnwm.com with your 65 words on turning 65.

“I see 65 on the road ahead and it’s all good. Like the famous lady in the poem who wears purple, I know who I am and can act with certainty. I am free to speak the awkward truths. Now, if I could just get my body to keep up with my mind – and my mind to keep up with technology – life would be sweet.”

Kaycee Krysty
President Emerita, Laird Norton Wealth Management

Community Responses:

“I’m 65, too young to be so old in years and technology. I need gray crayons to color your hair, Mima. I’m loved by the best husband and marvelous daughters. Had lovely homes, romantic dinners, travels, danced the mambo, taught piano, walked miles, strove for perfection and worried endlessly. Now, love indulging grandchildren, dressing stylishly, ageing gracefully while smelling roses, remembering everything will be alright.”

Ann Adler
Piano Teacher

“Life’s adventure continues at age 65 as in any other year with increasing urgency to turn pages, complete chapters, and accelerate into the wind sailing towards the windward mark in search of valuable life experiences and meaning to share with family and community. I aspire to be a contributing and relevant participant until the end of life to leave some small legacy for future generations.”

Calvin Bamford Jr.
Chairman, Globe Machine Manufacturing Co.

“I have just turned 70 years old, I have been Mayor of two Cities in the State of Washington, Bellevue, and Bremerton. I have been the Executive Director of the King County Boys and Girls Club and the Olympic College Foundation and I am currently the CEO of the Port of Bremerton. I can’t wait to see what challenge I take on next.”

Cary Bozeman
CEO, Port of Bremerton

Haiku on Age 65
Sixty-five, retired.
Too busy to read the books
I had planned to read.

Stanley Breitbard

“Having celebrated 85 and been advised to give up my precious motorcycle, I am forced to rely on what a 90 some old philosopher advised me…yes, doors will close for you, like handball and motorcycling, but you can use your enthusiasm to open some of the many doors that present themselves to be opened.”

Herb Bridge
Co-Chair, Ben Bridge Jeweler
Rear Admiral, USNR(ret)

“At thirty-five, I vowed either to outlive the bastards or die in the attempt. At sixty-five I realized I could accomplish both. Also, at sixty-five my wife and I took up sex. For years friends advised we’d be perfect for it, so we gave it a try. We joined a neighborhood club, took some lessons from the pro and now compete regularly in mixed doubles.”

Steven Clifford
Celebrated humorist and Ex CEO

Essay 1: “Sixty words as I turn 60. My challenge with aging echoes Linus from the Charlie Brown comic: “there is no heavier burden than a great potential”. I have balanced a great career and a great family. However, I have not achieved what I wanted to achieve. It is time to stop compromising and make a positive difference in the world.”

Essay 2: “Sixty words as I turn 60. Children, grandson, a wife who still loves me. Died once, temporarily. Thin, then fat, then thinner. Academic success, but just barely, career success the same. Now I know what I want to be. Now it is time to stop making compromises, stop buying lottery tickets and start making a positive difference in the world.”

K. Michael Dresel, Ph.D.

“C’mon, 65 is just the beginning! At 65, I started over… again. I had re-started at 45 following divorce, again at 55 following unemployment. I shifted to working for myself, writing. By 65, I had published the first of several books, bought my first house, and began to travel. Now at 81, with another book ready, I wake up wondering what took me so long.”

Val Dumond

“The Big Bang left me an Artist

Spent 65 years learning how to recognize the 1000 faces of god….and fashion a masterwork from a twig, some string and a stone…

And now, to bring a twinkle, a smile and a knowing stare of wonder to my fellow pilgrims, with the Magic of an Artist / Poet / Storyteller and Wizard, that is my Quest.

Time….. is my Dragon. “

Dennis Evans
The Wizard of Utopian Heights
Multimedia Artist, Utopian Heights Studios

“In the course of life, one might think that by age 65 you would have satisfied your curiosity and settled upon your opinions. Quite the contrary occurred for me. The mid-60s are a time of discovery, new ideas, exploration and renewed interest in developing relationships. The young may think it a time of completion; I find it to be a time of exploration and renewed energy.”

Anne Farrell
President Emerita, The Seattle Foundation

“The view from 65 is surprisingly good. It is the most satisfying time of my life. I tried to retire but that lasted three months. I started a new business. Yet, I have more freedom. Family is first. The grandchildren need plenty of chocolate ice cream. There is time for favorite activities. No fish is safe. Hawaii.

Yes, the view from 65 is good. Very good.”

John Hough
CEO (ret.), The Rockey Company

“The threshold of 65 allows us to know most deeply that happiness does not depend on what happens to us. We embrace that the gift in living is to fully accept the opportunity in whatever the moment brings us. What I hope for you, for me and all of us is to have more gratefulness for each moment we are alive.”

Judith F. Kennedy
Ph.D. Psychologist, Marriage Therapist, Executive Coach

“Born in a relocation camp for Japanese Americans. Started life with little choices, able to overcome this with hard work and honoring my cultural guidelines. I have earned a great life to become strong and significant. Going forward, will share my experiences to empower Asian Americans to persevere to have unlimited life choices… and there’s still plenty of time to find the artist in me.”

Tomoko Moriguchi-Matsuno
CEO, President, Uwajimaya

“At 65, I had been retired for 13 years during which time I served eight years on the Seattle School Board, started two companies and began working on a book. At 72, I’m working full-time running a company, have never been busier and love life. Growing old is a bad idea. There’s no money in it and there’s no future in it— so why bother?”

Don Nielsen
Chairman and CEO, Light Doctor
Former Chairman, President and CEO
Hazleton Laboratories Corporation
Former President, Seattle School Board

“My greatest life pleasures have been from helping others as a volunteer, teacher, director, consultant and lawyer. Sesenta y cinco finds me absorbing a new culture and Spanish in Costa Rica. Technology allows me to continue helping others throughout the Americas. I came to find my muse in the world’s happiest country. Latin muses cannot be rushed. Mine is the masterpiece of manana. Pura Vida!”

Peter Parsons
Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

“Who said sixty five was an end number? Not me! Some formerly luddite legislators inserted it in life’s lexicon in 1933 with the Social Security Act. Sixty five now is a new number signifying new beginnings and jubilant journeys to new lands, new experiences, new progress for ourselves and others. Start today. Be involved in your community, become a mentor, and be sure to look for the best in those around you.”

Llewelyn Pritchard
Partner, Helsell Fetterman LLP

“A pathway to the beauty of every sound, sight and experience we encounter each day. The amazing discovery of what our bodies and mind really are and how we can enjoy the adventure that aging presents to the journey towards enjoyment of new chapters of our lives. We awake with the time and ability to enjoy our love and smile at the innocence of youth.”

Donna Quaife

“Beginning at 65, and ending who knows when, is the happiest time of life, the reward for all one has done up to now. It’s the time to enjoy friends and family, to travel, to take up fishing or knitting, to be a little wicked. The secret to doing what one has always wanted to do is contained in the words ‘ending who knows when’.”

Doug and Kathie Raff
Community Volunteers

“Born in December 1945 the holidays provide a rite of retrospect to look at my life in wonder, gratitude and grace. This annual custom is a celebration and critical vehicle to discovery, wisdom and peace. Blessed with health and family, plus both a right and left sided brain; I enjoy the company of my 25-year-old daughter as much as people my age. Life is good!”

Billie-Gwen Russell

“65 turned out to be not much different than any other age except that suddenly I was qualified for a health insurance plan that wasn’t looking to disqualify me at every turn and raise my premiums every year. I also discovered a government agency capable of efficiency, courtesy, and general overall helpfulness, despite everything I’d always been told by Republicans and the health insurance industry.”

John Saul
Bestselling Author

“After dashing through an exciting career with only the occasional, impatient stop to smell the roses, somewhere around 65 I experienced a marvelous transition to planting, nurturing, pruning, and picking the larger rose bed of life. What a surprise!  Now I let the kid in me out to play, disguised in grown-up clothes and body, to explore, enjoy and share life’s myriad wonders. What a joy!”

Gary R. Severson

“I am seventy-one. Having retired at sixty after fifteen years as a university president, I wanted more control over my time. Since retiring I have been consulting, serving on boards and two national commissions, and been a Founding Board Member of five foundations, two institutes and one university. Life is good and I am not sure I even noticed when I turned sixty-five.”

Sam Smith
President Emeritus, Washington State University

“Reinvention has defined my life, so 65 is an arbitrary divide for me and not much more than a number. Between that birthday and today, however, I’ve written a book, helped raise millions for university scholarships, published a successful newsletter and welcomed five grandchildren to the world. I’m gearing up for new, thrilling post-75 adventures which are certain to be as rewarding.”

John Wilcox
Retired Business Executive

“I once thought that turning 65 would signal a time of leisure and a slower pace. But the 5 years leading to this age have been among the most energizing and broadening ones. I have been surrounded by inspirational people who have mentored me. I hope the next many years will be more of the same: there is so much more to learn and do.”

Phyllis Wise
Interim President, University of Washington