64 things I learned before 65

1. Sleep is a most sought-after commodity. It’s ok to sleep in.

2. Senior discounts.

3. Freckles? They’re now called liver spots, age spots.

4. Girlfriends are your dear friends. They listen. And listen.

5. Bolder is better. I mean, attitude.

6. And not in make-up. Some can get away with it – Iris Arpel, Paloma Picasso. Emphasize the lips OR the eyes, if you insist.

7. Mini skirts look better on the young.

8. Do I have a signature? Geeky glasses. Parfum No. 19. 1932. Arm candies – bracelets, bangles, and bags. Red …

9. Solitary is not a frightening term. Again, it’s ok.

10. I forgive myself. More. I’m even nicer to myself. More and more.

11. A stress-free life is possible.

12. It’s best not to lose one’s child-like wonder.

13. A fuzzy brain is for real.

14. Sh*t still happens.

15. One can have breakfast for dinner – omelettes, anyone?

16. You decide how you want to start your day – with joy, with lovely, with pretty. Or with a morning stretch. Or …

17. Sometimes contentment means slow mornings sipping coffee.

18. Walking, whether briskly or leisurely, is exercise. For that matter, moving is exercise.

19. The tv remote is not a good friend.

20. Nor is the kitchen after 8pm.

21. Brain tease is better than brain freeze. Say No to Haagen Daz.

22. B is no longer just the second letter of the alphabet. It’s also beans, broccoli, bokchoy, brussel sprouts, blueberries, baby spinach, baby kale, baklava (delete that), bran, bbbbbbread.

23. Your address list includes health practitioners of different specialties, classes – from yoga to nutrition – you wonder where your friends are … or perhaps they are now your new-found friends.

24. Be passionate about something. Or someone. You can’t go through life without passion. It pushes the envelope. It motivates. It gets you up in the morning raring to go. It’s better than caffeine.

25. Stay in touch. With friends. Oh, and thank you, Facebook! “if my friends could see me now …”

26. If you remain hopeful, you might still meet your soul mate. Even Jack Nicholson “… would love that one last romance, … What I can’t deny is my yearning. I’m definitely still wild at heart but I’ve struck biogravity. I have had everything a man could ask for but no one could say I’m successful with affairs of the heart.”

27. If you’re wondering if he’s with his son or his boyfriend, he’s with his boyfriend, and so goes if he’s with his daughter ….

28. You don’t say yes when you really want to say no. Just say “no”.

29. If you want to play it safe, wear black. Always wear black. Then accessorize. Always accessorize. And, please, don’t give up heels!

30. Don’t wait to tick off items on your bucket list til you’re 64. Start early.

31. Keep up on your reading. And re-reading the classics.

32. No more regrets. No more frowning. And no more excuses.

33. Use your good china, silver and crystals more often.

34. And sleep on those hundred thread count bedsheets.

35. One word – silk.

36. Embrace 64. Not only gracefully but graciously.

37. Continue speaking well of others. They’ll continue to speak well of you when you’re long gone.

38. Be generous with oneself. With time. With words. Two words – give back. Time. Offerings. Listening. And caring.

39. Pearls are timeless. Pearls of wisdom too.

40. Mystery knows no age. No need to tell all.

41. Fall in love all over again. With yourself. For every squint, for every line is a wonderful memoir.

42. Repeat. Forgive yourself. Forgive your mother. And your mother’s mother.

43. Continue to have role models – even younger than you. And at the same time, mentor someone younger.

44. Celebrate ‘everyday’. With a bubbly. Everyday.

45. It is still ok to daydream.

46. There are no more dress rehearsals. It’s show time.

47. Learn to paint. To sketch. Buy adult coloring books.

48. Yes, I’m still evolving. Reinvent oneself.

49. Silence that internal chatter.

50. Only milk has an expiration date. Don’t accept a shelf life on your dreams.

51. One word – Manicure. Pedicure. Facials. Massage. Maintenance.

52. Say out loud – I deserve epic romance. Insist on it.

53. Get excited about life.

54. Another great romance is possible.

55. You can still run away from home. But this time, do it first class all the way.

56. The last chocolate in the box? Yes, it’s yours. Enjoy in all its deliciousness.

57. Show appreciation. Feel gratitude.

58. Get a dog.

59. When with Nona, it’s Nirvana!

60. Be at the moment. Focus and give up multi-tasking. Take baby steps.

61. Ask yourself. What of your childhood dream. I’m living it.

62. Ask yourself. What of tomorrow. …

63. More bubbly. Celebrate.

64. There’s life after 60 …


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Let’s get acquainted -

I’m Valérie. (I added that accent on the “e” to make it frenchy.)

French cards

Wannabe French. French no wannabe me.

Sleepless nights no longer a problem. I just roll with it. Down by 10p, up by 2a, reach out for my e-toys, or one of the books in bed with me, and out again in two. Yes, candles. Yes, Chanel No. 19.


It’s definitely coffee in the morning, and a slow, lingering one to start my day.

My early morning mantra – I am my dream. I write. I sketch. I paint. (I do not but I believe in my “vision”.)


My two shih tzus, Coco and Marcel, are my exercise pals. And the shore. And a lady named Amy. My goal is to live to 100.

Always with my phone or pad. Always.

My middle name is Manhattan. It used to be Manila. Came to this country 35 years ago.

Yearly jaunts to France.

Born with black straight Asian hair. Dying to have long tight curls. 
Grey is a problem. Color is a friend. Have gone bronze, copper, and red.

My nails are red. A signature.

My lips go red too.

Crazy for high heels. Used to be. Knees and cold weather – they don’t go together.

Love to wear cloche in winter. Nothing in the summer. Gotcha!


I cook. I bake. I eat. Am a food fan.

Started my bread biz last year, Bread and Passion. Re-energizing it this year – from bread dough to bread site.

Check in regularly.

Welcome to my world. …

Your turn.

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