Charles Deering by John Singer Sargent
I'll be 67 on Monday. Interesting, I've lived 18 years longer than my Dad and according to the actuarial tables I have 18 years left to live.
The question, how to spend those years? A good question, hard to answer in many ways, particularily if you are honest with yourself. Which most of us have a hard time doing!
Here are a few things I know for sure.
1. Don't stop working. The reason, every older guy I know has said "friends of mine who retired, turned into old men within 4 or 5 years and died within 10." We lived in Palm Beach Gardens and I know that's true from personal observation.
2. If you continue to work, put yourself into it, but play hard too. Take more time off than you did when you were young and do things you've never done before. I love going to work everyday, I like the school, I like the kids, I like the parents and I like the folks who work with me.
3. Stay active. I used to ride my bike 120-150 miles a week. I have to start again. This afternoon. The bike along with low wieght, high rep workouts can allow an old duffer to tie his shoes without blacking out.
4. Ouit smoking! I didn't smoke for almost 24 years and after I started to smoke cigars, I got hooked on nicotine again (Cigar Affectionado lies) and just for grins I bought a pack of Merits at 1 0'clock in the morning, the next thing I knew I was smoking close to a pack a day. I'm quitting right now, it will be a total bitch but I owe it to myself, Jan, my daughters and grandkids.
5. Lose weight. I've lost 11 pounds since April and knocked two inches off my waist. The goal is to weigh 205. That's 25 pounds heavier than when I was 18. At 205 I'll have a 34 inch waist and that means I have two inches to go. When I hit 34 and stick with it for a couple of months all the 36 and 38 inch pants are marching off to Goodwill.
6. Stay informed, curious and read books like you're going to die early next week.
7. Continue to question authority and don't listen to bullshit from people who don't know what they are talking about. Truth to power is very important. It is as simple as asking your Doctor questions for Christ's sake!
8. Get Zen, live in the moment, enjoy each one. When you get into a Zen space (it's not easy to do)
life tastes like chocolate or good wine or both at the same time.
9. Try new stuff, all the time and never stop!
10. Don't live in the past. We all have made huge, stupid mistakes. Don't relive them or second guess yourself. Its nice to remember good times and great success too, but today is today and you can't relive your life good or bad. Just freaking stop it, dammit!
Mt. Whitney is on my "To-Do" list, I am going to climb it with my grandsons. See number three above as a reference. When we finish Whitney we are going to the Bugaboos!
Jan and I are going to spend two weeks in Tuscany. My grand kid Sophia spent a month there and she is only 20!
Oh, I'm also going to change the way kids learn to drive, because I can!