I’ll be 78 in a couple of months. I think that’s close enough to be qualified to provide some insight.
For starters, my first 78 years are exactly like yours in one respect – it has been an ongoing series of choices and continues to be. I am where and what I am as the result of the accumulated choices I have made over the course of my life. And it will end up based on the choices I make going forward.
so I wasn’t encumbered with any physical or mental limitations. Nor did I have a “silver spoon” growing up.
I guess you could say my life has been a low-drama adventure – probably like most lives. Lot’s of twists and turns mixing tranquility with chaos and considerable unpredictability with more than my share of attempts to control the uncontrollable.
and a town of 800 with a high-school graduating class of 12. I’ve spent more time steering a Farmall tractor in circles, snuck into more drive-in theaters, raided more gardens, killed more rabbits for spending money, and driven more cars that didn’t have turn-signals and seat belts than most.
all paid for on my own by working 2–3 jobs. My wife of 49 years liked the way I served her food as a hasher at her sorority house and that I was an entertainer/guitar player on the weekends, that I wore sport coats to class and didn’t buy the phony frat boy bit. So I fooled her into a marriage fully aware that I was marrying way over my head.
Our early married life experienced a hiccup – our first son was born severely brain-damaged from an undetermined pre-natal event and succumbed 16 months later, 11 days before our daughter was born. It was a major factor in helping us both build resilience that sustains us today.
getta degree, getta job, getta wife, getta mortgage, getta fenced- yard, getta family (2.5 kids), getta golden retriever, getta mini-van, getta title, getta 401K.
i.e. the 20–40–20 life-cycle model that most still succumb to – 20 years of education, 40 years of work building someone else’s dream followed by 20 years (hopefully) of “nirvana” called retirement.
I had begun to question the concept of retirement in my 40’s, as I immersed myself more in the self-development world where I discovered that retirement was never a consideration for most high-achievers. It appeared to me that most of the longest-living humans remained in the creative process rather than retire – a word derived from the French verb “retirer” which means “withdraw.”
as long as I can. I’ve set the goal of living to 112 1/2 (yes, it’s possible and happening every day) knowing that my chances of getting there are pretty slim because of early marginal health habits. But I know that by setting the goal I have a much better chance of getting there than if I just settle for living out the average lifespan of the American male which is 78.9.
Yikes – I’m there!
and started my own business as an executive recruiter after 32 years of wandering through the desert of corporate employment. I learned, by starting a business that I knew nothing about and was under-prepared to start, that I’m not the entrepreneur I thought I would be and that it’s not the glamorous world people think it is.
enlightening, and gratifying part of the 78-year journey and the part of the journey from which I can draw advice worthy of consideration for a 40-year old.
Here are the cliff notes from the last 18 years:
acknowledgment of innate ability, some victories, and a modicum of acquired wisdom from all of the above. I can honestly say that I experience “eudaimonic happiness” (see this article) and am at the happiest and healthiest point in my life having been able to apply some of the voluminous knowledge and experiences that I have accumulated through my life.
Lerne von unsere Erfahrungen!