WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport resident Susan Goldfein spent more than 25 years as a speech pathologist, but it wasn’t until she retired at about 70 that she found her own voice.
“I thought, what else could I do? I didn’t feel ready to really retire,” said the Brooklyn native, who specialized in acquired neurological problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
On a whim, Goldfein, also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, signed up for a writing class near her second home in Florida.
“It brought out a whole other side of me,” she said, her eyes brightening.
Encouraged by her teacher and inspired by the legendary Nora Ephron and Andy Rooney, Goldfein began exploring her easy sense of humor and looking for an audience for her work.
Thus was born “Unfiltered Wit,” Goldfein’s irreverent blog aimed at the funny foibles of women of a certain age. Started about five years ago with a modest mailing list culled from her friends and family, the blog has taken on a life of its own with, Goldfein estimates, about 1,000 regular followers.
In fact, it’s so successful, it spawned Goldfein’s self-published book of essays, “How Old Am I in Dog Years?”, which won a 2016 Independent Publisher Book Award and was honored at the 2016 Author’s Showcase sponsored by the Delray Beach Library in Florida.
You can also find her musings on Twitter .
“It’s become a business, which kind of tickles me,” she said relaxing with her dog, Sam, in her sunny home.
Goldfein’s recipe for success is simple: She considers turning 75 the start of her “third act” and, like many women her age, she intends to make the most of it — with a healthy dose of laughter.
One essay, “Outliving My Teeth,” considers the wisdom of costly dental surgery late in life. A timely blog post, “What Elephant? ”, addresses the shocking political leanings of old friends you thought were kindred spirits.
“And you thought you knew them so well,” Goldfein writes. “Now you have no choice but to ‘unlike’ them on Facebook.”
Departing from other blogs aimed at the over-50 set, Goldfein says she steers clear of makeup and fashion tips for the “mature” woman. She gets more enjoyment poking fun at her husband Larry’s remote control obsession or the wisdom of taking on a puppy in your 70s.
“I was able to further develop two of my essential talents: writing and complaining,” she wrote of her blogging life in the "Dog Years" prologue. “The pratfalls that life presents us on a daily basis have hardly been exhausted, and I intend to comment on all of them.”