Kalyn's Kitchen

Entering a New Decade, and Ten More Things I’ve Learned

Today’s my birthday, and it’s a very significant birthday indeed! Multiply the candles on the cake times ten, and that’s the decade I’m entering. I know, I can’t believe it either!

Entering a New Decade on KalynsKitchen.com

I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I wrote a light-hearted little post about Sixty Things I’ve Learned in Sixty Years! But time keeps marching on doesn’t it, and today I’m having another milestone birthday. So far it’s really been pretty great because my 39 nieces and nephews and 75+ great nieces and nephews have been sending me birthday cards for days, with lots of sweet messages that have really touched my heart. And today I’m going out for a very carb-indulgent birthday lunch with all my siblings who live close enough to come to Salt Lake. And for sure having amazing parents who created a wonderful family is one of the things I’ve always been grateful for during the entire 70 years I’ve been alive.

However, it did take some processing time for me to get used to the idea of announcing to the internet that I’m turning 70! How did that possibly happen? But as any older person can confirm, celebrating your age is really the only alternative that makes sense, no matter how old or young you are.

And the one thing many people seem to be asking me when they find out I’m going to be 70 is, “Are you going to stop blogging?” The answer to that is an emphatic NO, although I can’t promise I won’t slow down a bit and take more time to travel and enjoy life. But when I think about not working on Kalyn’s Kitchen I honestly wonder what I’d do all day if I didn’t have this blog. And hopefully the constant changes in blogging are keeping me mentally younger, even if they annoy me and I’m not quite keeping up with them all!

And even though I’m now undeniably in my senior citizen years I’m not going to stop watching my carbs, exercising with my trainers, and speaking my mind either! I hope I’m at least somewhat of an example to younger women that you can take care of yourself and still be active and involved no matter how old you are. I’ve been continuing to learn life lessons over the last ten years since I wrote that first list, so as the milestone birthday was approaching, I’ve been  making a mental list of Ten More Things I’ve Learned. Hope you enjoy reading it!

  • Don’t be too quick to decide what you want, because when you’re young you have absolutely no idea how your life will turn out! I say that with total and complete gratitude in my heart for some of the things the last ten years have brought me, things I could have never imagined when I was younger.
  • It’s never too late to realize and admit you made a mistake! I’ve made (and admitted to) plenty of mistakes in my personal life. But after spending more than a year dealing with the editing and updating involved in switching Kalyn’s Kitchen to WordPress, I’m definitely admitting I should have made that change about 10 years earlier! But I’m happy to have done it now, even if the editing of older posts is still going to be happening for quite a few more months.
  • One of the most crucial parts of good self care is learning to set limits on what you can do! I’ve gone through some mental wrangling the last few years as younger and more tech-savvy bloggers have passed me up in blog features and social media participation. And a few years ago I decided to be okay with just doing it my way. There are some things I’ll never add to my blog or do on social media, and that’s fine. And there are some features I’d like to add to this blog eventually but can’t do until I’m through editing the WordPress changes I talked about above. (And that includes calculating nutritional information for the more than 2,000 recipes that are on this blog. I know people want it, but I just can’t do it right now!)
  • For almost all the little decisions you could stress over every day, however you do it is probably fine! For me this lesson is related to setting limits on what I try to do, but also about realizing that so many of the little choices I worried about when I was younger didn’t really matter at all. And these days I’m trying to be more relaxed about the details (something that isn’t easy for a controlling personality type like mine.)
  • The older you get, the more fun and important it is to spend time with young kids. Kids see the world in a pure and simple way that’s easy to forget when you’re older and possibly a bit jaded about some things (like maybe politics, you think?) I feel lucky to have spent 30 years working with kids, and now that I’m not doing that any more I’m grateful to my nieces and nephews and younger friends who let me spend time with their kids so I can enjoy the young energy that kids bring.
  • If you want to stay healthy and relatively thin as you age, exercise is definitely as important as eating well. I’m a carb-conscious recipe blogger and not an exercise blogger, and that will never change! But a few years ago I started working out several times a week with a personal trainer, and it’s been positively life-changing. I love that my trainers help me keep all my muscles equally strong and working together (in a way I never managed to achieve when I worked out on my own.) But any kind of exercise is always better than no exercise at all!
  • Nothing is more satisfying than spending time with like-minded friends! And I would add to that and say that people who aren’t compatible with your values or way of seeing the world will never be worth spending much time with. I feel so lucky to have great like-minded friends to hang out with, both on the web and in real life.
  • The older you get, the less it matters what you look like. I know there are hundreds of older women in public life who wouldn’t agree with this statement. But for me, there was a time during the aging process when I realized, “This is as good as I’m ever going to look.” And thankfully that felt okay. And to all the young women worrying about their looks, let me just say I wish I could get back some of the time I wasted in my younger days worrying about how I looked!
  • No matter what age you are, following your inner voice is the only way to be comfortable with yourself. This was something that got reinforced for me after I started blogging, and making early decisions about things I wouldn’t want to do for the blog has saved me a lot of mental aggravation through the years.
  • Not everything about getting older is enjoyable, but it beats the heck out of the alternative! This was actually #27 on my list of Sixty Things I’ve Learned in Sixty Years, but it’s well worth repeating. And I’m grateful and feel lucky to be enjoying my later years so much.

And if you’ve read my list clear to the end, thanks for making it all the way through this post that doesn’t even have a recipe! I’m grateful to everyone who visits here and I appreciate all the good thoughts readers send my way on a regular basis. And here’s looking forward to many, many more years of cooking, recipes, and healthy food coming up!

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    119 Comments on “Entering a New Decade, and Ten More Things I’ve Learned”

  1. Have a wonderful birthday and wishing you, many, many happy returns of the day.

  2. Happy happy birthday, dear Kalyn, and wish you many moooorrrrreeeee! I absolutely, positively cannot believe that you are 70. Thanks for the words of wisdom and sending you much love from Georgia.

  3. Lovely post Kalyn. Happy Birthday!


    Thank you for your wonderful recipes that help me to stay low carb….at 74!   Much appreciated.  

  5. Happy Bday! Thank you for your wise words. I enjoy your blog and your common sense.

  6. I love to see that you are proud of your age and still want to be a participant in life. I feel the same way. I passed the 70 mark 6 years ago in May and while I’m retired from my work life, I still strive to remain relevant and active and informed. As you point out, it’s certainly better than the alternative.
    Keep on doing what you do. Nutrition is important not only for the young, but as we get older too.

  7. Great words of wisdom. Happy Birthday!!

  8. Happy birthday! And thank you for sharing all your tips and advice. I love all the healthy recipes you share on Kalyn’s Kitchen and I often refer to it when deciding what to cook for dinner!

  9. Hi Kalyn!

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday as well as many more to come. Yes, I certainly do appreciate your “things I’ve learned” lists. I remember reading your 60th birthday list. Thank you for all that you do for us.

  10. Happy Birthday!  Hit the same milestone two months ago! I agree with all of your sentiments.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your recipes. 

  11. I hope you have a great celebration of your life. Thank you for your blog. It’s meant a lot to me for a lot of years.

  12. Oh, the wisdom that comes with the 70’s is so much better than the anxieties of youth. You hit the nail on the head with these comments about how to let go and let it be. Let go and let God is my way of looking at it. Keep up sending your blog as long as you feel like it’s satisfying, and we’ll keep reading and enjoying it.

  13. Kalyn thank you for sharing! Happy Happy Birthday!I have been enjoying your recipes for a few yers and have recently had a heart attack which forced me to make even more changes to my diet and exercise … your blog continues to inspire me and help m make wise and delicious food choices! I’m about 5 years behind you in age…and maybe I’ll look into that personal trainer! Carry on! 

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes Debbie. And I can’t say enough good things about how life-changing having a trainer has been for me!

  14. Happy birthday Kalyn! 🎂🎉 You are a truly amazing lady. I look forward to continuing to receive your blog emails everyday and trying your awesome new recipes often. Thanks for everything you do. You’re a blessing to us all. 

  15. Happy Birthday Kalyn and welcome to the 70’s.  I am 5 years older than you and enjoying every minute of my life. I too work with a trainer, watch what I eat, walk 3 miles a day, spend time with the young grandkids, hike in the mountains and play in the snow .  Interesting how ones outlook on life changes as one gets older.  Reading your “ten things you learned” was like reading about myself but I never reduced my thoughts to writing. .  Thank you for publishing yours..  They really resonate with me.   Love your recipes and love your outlook on life.   And again, Happy Special Birthday, so many more to come.

  16. Happy birthday beautiful Kalyn!!! I’m so glad to have found you. Your voice is a wise one, and I respect your advice!
    God bless you, truly! May this new decade bring you unbelievable joy and strength. May your creativity be amped even more than it already is!! May you and your family have great health and many wonderful times spent together  ! Thank you for all you do for all of us!! 

  17. Wishing you a blessed year ahead!

    And thanks for all you do.

    Sincere thanks,
    Marilyn Wright 
    Snellville, Ga 30078

  18. I am 72 years old. I would like to add one more thing to your list and its a BIG one! Learn to say..NO! I see my friends who are otherwise very sensible, red eyed and in much need of a nap because they have over booked themselves. Is exercise important? Yes! Is eating right important? Yes! So is peace of mind and honesty. Hamlet has said, “To Thine Own self Be True”. Hard to do but as my Daddy always said, You can say anything to anybody, its the way you say it. And to all you people out there that received a RSVP with “will NOT attend” checked off, don’t read anything into it. Could be just that we are older and tired. Happy Holidays!

    • Thanks Kathleen. That’s a great addition to my list. I’ve been working on saying NO for a few years now and I’m getting pretty good at it!

  19. Welcome to the 70’s!  I’m a year ahead of you and agree with all 10 of the things you’ve learned.  Have a wonderful birthday and year to follow!🎉

  20. Happiest birthday, kalyn! You’re catching up to me. Stay a child inside and you’ll be fine. Thanks for all your blogs. And remember to visit london! x

    • Thanks Janice! I need to go to London and eat at Ottolenghi’s restaurants! That’s on my bucket list for sure! Glad you’re enjoying the posts.