As part of the WOW blog tour for Barbara Barth’s book “The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later”, Barbara has agreed to share with us how she was able to start over at age seventy.
As someone who has had to start over after divorce and then to remarry at 50. Barbara’s book has inspired me to see that having a purpose and making more of one’s life can be done at any age – and should be!
Starting Over at Seventy by Barbara Barth
Who am I? Even those strong at the core, like I think I am, ask this question at some point. Of course, the other question I always ask myself is what do I want to be when I grow up? For me, the two go hand in hand, especially as a single woman of a certain age without kids. I didn’t worry so much when my husband was alive, but as a new widow at sixty, I needed purpose. And purpose for me is creating and doing. I created a grand world for myself between sixty and soon to be seventy in the home I’d lived in for thirty years in a Metro-Atlanta suburb, one of the hottest areas around. But I wanted more, something different.
For as long as I remember I’ve dreamed of old houses, wanting to live in a Victorian cottage or a farmhouse, maybe run a B & B. I hoarded my best old painted pieces as an antique dealer for my future home. My Zillow list was long. My Pinterest boards growing daily. Would there be cows along my drive? I finally found the one and the universe moved me quickly and smoothly to a historic community about forty miles outside of Atlanta. It was a dream come true until I realized all my basic support systems had changed and I was indeed starting over.
The who am I question hit me hard. Thirty years in one house, everything was familiar. My friendships included women from when I worked for the federal government, my antique dealer buddies, people who knew me when I was married, and so many wonderful people I’d met along the way as a widow. We had a history that only time can give. Because of all my activities, I ran into someone I knew everywhere I went. Then there were my favorite little pubs and independent book shops. I would be leaving all that. While the mileage between my old home and new was not terrible, the drive in Atlanta traffic makes it hard to just pop in and out for a visit. And all my friends have busy lives, grandchildren, some still work, others already moved to the mountains, and a bestie got married. We are only a phone call away, but that grounding face to face chatting about our lives over dinner dramatically changed.
Doubts crept in, not about the move, but about me. Would I suddenly be that older woman on a cane that everyone called ma’am? No one had a clue as to what I’d done in the past, except, of course, I tossed the author word around to help my mental self-image. Sometimes the drama queen crown fits me well.
Social Circle, the sweet town where I bought my house is fifteen minutes from Monroe, Georgia, where I used to have antique booths in 2012. I knew people there, so a quick drive (passing all those wonderful cows in pastures) put me back onto familiar turf where I could pop in for a quick chat until I got my bearings on my new life.
My move was the best thing I could have done for myself. I could have stayed where I was, life was good there, the town full of things to do. But that was not what I wanted. If I were going to make a move, I felt it was now or never. I didn’t downsize, didn’t give up all the things I love to live with, brought five dogs with me, and managed it all while still recovering from hip replacement surgery that went badly the past spring. My 1906 historic cottage is a dream come true. I love to stare at my twelve-foot ceilings, snuggle with my dogs, and wonder how I got so lucky.
The best news of all, I found my new creative place at the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts, where I can do all that I love pulling together a writing community. Starting over at seventy? You bet. I’m not getting older I’m sprouting new growth!
Thank you so much Barbara for your reflections!
Author, blogger, sometimes antique dealer, dog hoarder, bedazzled by life. Widowed eleven years ago, Barth writes about finding a creative path back to happiness. Her recent move to a 1906 historic cottage brought many surprises, including discovering the Monroe–Walton Center for the Arts where she started the monthly Walton Writers group and is on the MWCA Board as Literary Arts Chair. Barth is a contributor to Walton Living Magazine and a former blogger for The Balancing Act, Lifetime Television’s morning show for women. Currently she lives with six dogs, rescue dogs that rescued her. Visit her web at https://www.barbarabarthwriter.com/ Her books are available on Amazon and Kindle. Amazon author page:
Be sure to read her book:
and check out all the stops for her blog tour :
November 12th @ All Things Audry
Author Barbara Barth is a guest writer over at Audry’s blog today and will be talking about women friendships.
November 13th @ Words from the Heart
Stop by Linda’s blog and you can read a guest post by Barbara Barth about publishing anthologies.
November 14th @ Thoughts in Progress
Visit Mason’s blog today and you can read Barbara’s guest post about starting a writing group. Don’t miss it!
November 15th @ The World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole’s blog and read her review of Barbara Barth’s book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
November 16th @ Lori Duff Writes
Stop by Lori’s blog today where you can read her interview with Barbara Barth and read her review of Barbara’s book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
November 16th @ Jill Sheets Blog
Visit Jill’s blog today and you can read Barbara Barth’s guest post about self-publishing.
November 17th @ A Storybook World
Be sure to stop by Deirdra’s blog today and check out her spotlight of the book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later and enter to win a copy of the book!
November 18th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Be sure you visit Bev’s blog and read Barbara Barth’s guest post about starting over at 70. You won’t want to miss this!
November 19th @ Look to the Western Sky
Be sure to visit Margo’s blog and read her interview with author Barbara Barth. Don’t miss it!
November 20th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog
Make sure you visit Anthony’s blog today and read Barbara Barth’s guest post about publishing anthologies.
November 21st @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Stop by Cassandra’s blog today and read her review of The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!
November 22nd @ Karen Brown Tyson’s Blog
Join us at Karen Brown Tyson’s blog where you can read a guest post about self-publishing by author Barbara Barth. Don’t miss it!
November 23rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog again and you can read her review of Barbara Barth’s book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
November 24th @ Choices
Be sure to stop by Madeline’s blog and read Barbara Barth’s guest post that will be talking about women friendships.
November 25th @ Wild Woman Writer
Visit Anne’s blog today and you can read Barbara Barth’s blog guest post about starting over at 70.
November 26th @ Life Like A Galaxy Girl
Stop by Alanna’s blog today and you can read her review of Barbara Barth’s memoir The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
November 27th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa’s blog today and you can read her interview with author Barbara Barth and find out more about this incredible author!
November 28th @ Bibliotica
Stop by Melissa’s blog and make sure you read Barbara Barth’s guest post about grief over the years and finding happiness again.
November 29th @ Stranded in Chaos
Visit Sara’s blog and you can read her review of Barbara Barth’s book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
November 30th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog again and read his review of Barbara Barth’s book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
December 1st @ Words from the Heart
Visit Linda’s blog and read her review of Barbara Barth’s book The Unfaithful Widow Ten Years Later.
December 2nd @ Women’s Writing Circle
Stop by the blog Women’s Writing Circle and you can read a guest post by Barbara Barth about adopting dogs while all her friends are having grandkids. Don’t miss this one!