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“When people ask me why I seem so happy and find it so easy to laugh, I tell them my INNER CHILD is working overtime. That belief has been with me my entire adult life. Many times throughout the years different friends and relatives have remarked, ‘Lee, you’re the biggest kid I know. Aren’t you ever going to grow up?’”

They’re all dead now.

Today’s Brenda’s Blog was written by my amazing friend, Lee Moczygemba. In a few weeks Lee will be “just” 95-years-young and that kid, or inner child as she calls it, has influenced her thinking and perception of life for the better. Lee started her fourth career when she was just 89. She is a role model for us all. In celebration of Lee’s wise wonderful outlook on life, please read and share with your friends. xoxox, Brenda

Photography by Jennifer Denton

“I cannot believe I’ve been here so long. I cannot believe I have had such a great life! When people started asking me how I’ve managed to live this long, I tried to explain my way of thinking. First of all, my INNER CHILD has always been alive and active. I was blessed with a loving, optimistic father who introduced me to humor and storytelling. He taught me to love my life, love God, love people and to BELIEVE IN MYSELF. 

‘My mother, a good woman—pronounced herself old at 60 and lived to age 98—was a total pessimist. I was not what she had in mind for a daughter. She did not know what to do with this child who was too loud, too full of fun, too optimistic. We had 75 years of conflict. I think she is responsible for me being so hard headed and determined.

“I was lucky to have a wonderful mentor from age 34 until my seventies. She taught me to “pick myself up, brush myself off, and get on with my life,” even when I was hurting deeply. “Mama” Dodge was a perfect role model for thinking young and never growing old. She lived to be 100 years young! She’s a testament to loving people, being a good, ACTIVE friend and that maintaining the “Attitude of Gratitude” is paramount for happiness. 

My mantra is keep your mind on what you want and OFF of what you don’t want. 

“Keep your INNER CHILD alive—always—with curiosity, inspiration, laughter, and learning. Most people don’t know they have 65% control of everything that happens to them in life and 100% control over how they choose to react. Therefore older people—who have learned to keep their sense of humor, think positively, remain ACTIVE and who GENUINELY care about other people—continue to learn and are interested in life in general. They’re truly “young at heart” forever and die young, even at 110!

“I was a late bloomer and didn’t blossom until I was (just) 50. My INNER CHILD was very much alive and clicking. I changed careers and became a professional speaker and trainer, traveling the world, motivating, inspiring, and making audiences laugh. Then at (just) 68, I retired… at my husband’s insistence. 


“Within two years I created a speakers’ bureau. Once again I learned a whole new skill set… reading, studying and educating myself about this new business. Even though I was no longer performing, I derived great pride and pleasure when one of my speakers awed the client and received a standing ovation. Then melanoma cancer struck and for a year and a half, I underwent nine surgeries to remove and rebuild a new nose. Afterwards I was (just) 89, but I’d lost the momentum and the zest to return to the fast pace and pressure required by the bureau. So I retired a third time.

“Being in the speakers’ bureau business brought a lot of “wannabe” speakers into my life, and I began coaching people who wanted to become professional speakers and discovered a huge thrill in my new profession. Three years ago I had a hip replacement and since then my beautiful career has gone from a gushing river to a gentle trickle. Occasionally I am asked to speak, usually on “Confidence,” and I still get a tremendous thrill! 

My advice: Find what you LOVE to do, and keep doing it… as long as you possibly can.

“I now spend a lot of time with my young (40’s – 80’s) friends going out to lunch, the movies, and theatre. I use a walker, but I’m still driving. I haven’t knocked down any mailboxes yet! I’m writing a book and am gradually getting my affairs in order… just in case I have an address change! My husband is now retired and life is more manageable and enjoyable than ever before. Compared to those seniors who are alert and active at 103 plus, I’m just a novice at this “mature” stage of my life!”

Love, Brenda


  • Rena August 17, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Wow, what an amazing woman! Life is to short to be unhappy for long. There are to many exciting adventures to be had even if it’s just going to lunch or the library.

    • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Rena, Isn’t Lee amazing? Her zest for life is contagious! She’s an example and a role model for all of us. xoxox, Brenda

  • Sandra sallin - Apart From My Art August 17, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Right on‼️ Love your get up and go attitude. I think we’d be great friends. You have written how I live. We need more of you. Would love to read more of your thoughts. I’m right with you. Ask Brenda.

    • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Sandy, You and Lee are definitely cut from the same mold, and to think I know TWO such women!! I am blessed with you both. Love, Brenda

  • Shannon August 17, 2019 at 11:29 am

    As I face some life changing issues, I really needed to read this and strive to get my inner child back! Thank you Brenda for sharing Lee’s story. It was just the kick in the pants I needed!

    • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Shannon, I’m grateful Lee’s words came at a good time for you, and I know she feels the same way. We all need a kick in the pants, but we’re not all fortunate enough to get one when we’re in the midst of needing one! xoxox, Brenda

  • Colleen Fuller August 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    The photo shows a very attractive and stylish older woman. It’s inspiring how she lives her life. Let us know when Lee’s book is published.

    • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2019 at 11:47 am

      Hi Colleen, Lee is indeed very stylish and attractive and welcomes you into her heart with open arms. She’s one of the best cheerleaders I’ve ever had and so wise and willing to share and lift others up… not just when they need it but always. Thank you for reading and leaving us a comment. xoxox, Brenda

  • Sally Leonard August 17, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    You remind me of my wonderful mother.
    She was always looking for something positive in even sad circumstances. She also taught me the most valuable of traits , gratitude.
    Wish you lived in Houston. I’d love to be your friend!

    • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Sally, Lee lives in Austin, and I’m in San Antonio, so location doesn’t stop us from supporting and drawing strength from one another. Like Lee, you’re a great cheerleader to me as well. Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Taste of France August 18, 2019 at 4:08 am

    This is a great reminder. My mother would sometimes talk about memories from when she was a child–they felt like yesterday, she would say. We too often treat people who are older as if they always were that way, and we ignore their experiences of being young.

    • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2019 at 11:52 am

      TOF, Sad, but true. I have so many friends who are much older than I am. Wise men and women who’ve strengthened me and been there for me after James died, and their words always ring true. I just hope I’m one of those people, like Lee, who’s still in the game and living their life out loud and contenting to be relevant to the world around them. xoxox, Brenda

  • Christina Daggett August 18, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    What an inspiring story for us mid lifers. In the future, every time I think of giving up, I will think of Lee and her can-do attitude. Thank you for sharing Lee’s story, Brenda.

    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you for reading, Christina, and taking it to heart. Lee’s words are so true and important for us to hear and think about. Other than whether our retirement account will see us into our 80’s and 90’s… should we live that long… I suspect most of us don’t think about what kind of woman we want to be at that age, or how we’ll stay engaged with life. BRAVA, dear Lee, for inspiring all of us! xoxox, Brenda

  • Dr. Margaret Rutherford August 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    I was lucky enough Brenda to have my own “Lee” and she was a powerful force in my life. How inspiring to all of us. Thanks for offering us a little bit of her wisdom.

    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      You and I are lucky to have women like Lee in our lives! Thank you for reading and sharing. Both of us appreciate that. xoxox, Brenda

  • Jae Hermann August 18, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    How wonderful!

    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      Isn’t it though? Thank you, Jae, for reading and leaving me… and Lee… a comment! I hope you have a wonderful week and that you make life count! xoxox, Brenda

  • Jennifer Mowrer August 19, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Thank you! This gives me inspiration. I changed careers in my mid 50s and may do so again. Never too old to learn!

    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      Brava to you, Jennifer! As Lee as shown us, we’re never to old to put ourselves out there and grab ahold of life. Gone are the days where you had one career. Regardless of whether you liked it or not, you just didn’t up and decide to do something more satisfying, but that’s not the case anymore. I’m so happy Lee’s story has resonated with women! Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing your thoughts. xoxox, Brenda

  • Bonnie K. Aldinger August 19, 2019 at 11:30 am


    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      Isn’t she though? Thank you, Bonnie, because you are as well!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Diane August 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Lee, you are my hero!
    I was going to say ‘I’ll be on the sidelines, cheering you on’. But instead, I’m going to say: I want to be in the game! Count me in!

    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 9:42 pm

      I love the way you think, Diane! I believe everyone who reads Lee’s post is in the game. Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA August 19, 2019 at 2:27 pm


    • 1010ParkPlace August 19, 2019 at 9:46 pm

      Elizabeth, As you go through life I have no doubt you’ll be dancing and gardening and finding ways to inspire women! And I’ll be doing the same thing! xoxox, Brenda

  • Lauren August 19, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Oh how I love this!!!! I love her attitude! I am young at heart too. Glad to learn I never have to grow up!

    • 1010ParkPlace August 20, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      Lauren, I love your joyful response to Lee’s post! We’ve all heard someone say, “Why don’t you grow up?” But I think those of us who understand what Lee’s saying have grown up in all the best ways. We’re responsible to ourselves and to others; we’re also wise enough to know we can follow our joy. We can be responsible while doing something we dislike, or we can be responsible in every sense of the word and love what we’re doing while we’re sharing our joy with others. xoxox, Brenda

  • Sheila-Merle Johnson August 19, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Oh, what an inspiring post! I’ve just discovered this ‘joie de vivre’ at 74, so she gives me hope for many more years of living it. I changed careers in my 50’s from traveling 3-4 months in Europe and North America a year teaching Trager Movement Education (trager.com), to staying at home as an Image Consultant and Home Stager. That, too, was fulfilling, but now in retirement, Improv Theater brings me my joy and I’m doing it as much and for as long as I can. Thanks for your wonderful blog! Sheila-Merle

    • 1010ParkPlace August 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm

      Sheila! I do believe you’re cut from a similar cloth as Lee!! How wonderful for you and those around you! Yes! “Keep doing it for as long as you can!” Yay for you!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Kim Alexis August 21, 2019 at 9:02 am

    What a refreshing, positive article. It is so nice to read about people who chose to live positively and who want to help others. What a great role model. She never played the victim, even though life probably “kicked her” a couple of times. We can all learn to focus on the good and let the bad NOT be the center to our thoughts! Bravo!

    • Brenda Coffee August 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      You’re so right, Kim! We all get kicked in the stomach a few times, but we can still focus on the good things in our lives. Positivity has a domino effect in our lives whether it’s reflected in our health, jobs, marriages, family and friends. I’m so happy everyone liked Lee’s post! Thanks for reading and letting us know. xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara at Mantel and Table August 25, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Wow – what a wonderful woman! I’m still so “young” but totally inspired! Thanks Lee and Brenda! I’ll always remember this!

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