60 Thoughts on 60 Years!
By: Jim Strawn
Well, I did it. I hit 60 years of age.
Day 280 of year 2020. If I can survive this year, any year is survivable.
Day 21,915 for me.
I am so grateful. What a journey thus far.
60 reflections on turning 60.
- What a privilege to turn 60 and enter a 7th decade. People who do not like getting older are not doing it right.
- Be grateful for the gift of every. single. day.
- Friends are priceless. Boy, do have a bunch of ‘em. Thank you.
- Stretching everyday since I was a teenage Cross Country and Track member, has served me well.
- Being kind has a certain calming effect on me. It is just a better way to treat people.
- Attitude is Everything. It always has been and always will be.
- It is hard to grow if you do not step out of your comfort zone.
- Action and behavior say more than your words.
- Speaking of words, do what you say you are going to do.
- Love is easier and less strenuous than hate.
- Cherish memories. Take a lot of pictures.
- Be nice/kind/respectful to your parents. I am fortunate to still have my mother. My Dad just died in July. I miss him. Rest his Soul.
- Please do not chase the money. For work, align your soul with your authentic passion. Financial resources will find you.
- Speaking of financial tips, I am not much of a financial person, but I was smart enough to save 10% of my earnings.
- The most stressful thing you can do is spend more than you make. Do not do it. Just don’t. Trust me on this one.
- Listen to music you like, not what everyone else is listening to.
- I have learned there are 3 key features of emotional intelligence: adaptability, stress management and empathy. Exercise them all. It will behoove you in the long run.
- Every journey of a thousand miles begins with that first step. The best way to finish something is to start it. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do.
- I love social media, google, the internet. But boy, I am glad I did not have it as child or college student. My life would not have been the same. I have a sneaky feeling I might still be in trouble from some of my escapades.
- Take some mental health days. They are critical on the journey. So needed.
- Exercise. Even just a little. No one has ever said after a workout, ‘I wished I hadn’t done that’.
- Set goals. Have a vision. Work the vision. When a setback hits, take another route. As Yogi said, ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it’.
- Take a hike in the woods. Getting back to nature is amazingly replenishing.
- Play on a team. Any team. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts. You never know how famous you are going to be. Your legacy may be easier to explain if you leave behind documentation. Thus, this list. Ha!
- Try not to worry. It really hurts your heart. Makes your body ache. Not worth it. From department of, do as I say, not as I do.
- Be loyal. To your team, your spouse, your company, your friends. What a high-quality character trait loyalty is.
- Make your ‘dash’ count. Life is really brief is grand scheme of things. Enjoy it. You only get one shot at this. It is not a dress rehearsal. I love Mae West, I believe, ‘You only live once, but once is enough if you do it right’.
- Do not be part of the All-Po team. All the Po-tential team. All the Potential in the world, but just did not get off your keister and use your God-given talent. Find your calling. Understand your cause. Follow your destiny. It is a sad summary to be describe as ‘could have’, ‘might have’, or ‘should have’.
- Respect others. Not rocket-science. Been around for centuries. Been around because it is always true. THINK before you speak. Is it True Helpful. Inspiring. Necessary. Kind.
- Live as though you will be around forever, yet prepare yourself not to be. We all have a hard time imagining HOW LONG eternity is. It is long. Choose and prepare wisely.
- Sometimes you are just not sure of the moment until later on, it becomes a wonderful memory. Many times they are unexpected.
- Do not smoke. I know we all have our vices. But this one, I just do not get. And I even had a few cigarettes in my younger days. What the heck was that about.
- Be yourself. I no longer try to be someone I am not and I am much happier. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
- You are the sum of the people you hang out with the most. Choose wisely. Toxic people are not for me. I simply do not have time for drama. I will empathize and provide guidance, but if you want to waller and soak up your energy with negativity, vindictiveness, resentment, and drama…I’m out. No time. Invest in solutions, creativity, kindness, bettering your community, helping less fortunate, meaningful goals and purpose for the future. Remember gang, we get one shot at this. I am going to focus on good, purposeful, and positive living.
- Know that there is more to learn. I have learned so much as an adult. Learning is constant. Change is constant. Keep up with it, at least as best you can. I may live another 30 years, who knows. Learning does not stop… ever.
- Be mindful of your health. I have always tried to be healthy. Not to live forever, but to feel good while I am alive. I mentioned goals earlier. One of my goals is to compete in the National Croquet Championship while in my 90s. Think about how cool that will be!
- Do not wish you were young again. You are as young as you feel. Live Fully, right Linda Arnold?
- Laugh a lot. I think I do. I am around some funny people. Klebs is the funniest person I know personally. Seinfeld is the funniest person I have not met yet.
- Listen more. Hey, I love to talk, but with age comes wisdom. Listen to what people are saying. Truly listen. Not hearing. If you listen well enough, people will tell you who they are.
- Curiosity is a good thing. It helps us learn. Ask those silly questions. Take that elective. Go to Citizen’s Police Academy (did that). Watch that webinar. Genuine curiosity keeps us learning. Keeps things fresh. I always did love Curious George.
- Save your change. It adds up. I bought my house in 2001 with change I had saved from 1989 – 2001. I had $1342 in a jar that I used as earnest money down on the only house I looked at.
- Garden. What a wonderful hobby. So therapeutic. As I refer to it as ‘dirt therapy’, it always calms me down.
- Travel. So fun. You can learn so much. One thing you learn, the world is large. And you are really small. I have enjoyed my trips. Take as many as you can.
- Read to a group of children. Wow, what enjoyment. Watching kids eyes light up. Listening to their questions. Or their answers. As Art Linkletter said, ‘Kids say the darndest things’.
- Remember people names, or at least try. I have done a surprisingly good job at this one. I am not 100%, but better than average. My secret? I write their name on an imaginary chalkboard above their head/face. Also use their name in a sentence at least 3 times before you exit the conversation.
- Call your loved ones. Reach out to them. Your tomorrows may end before tomorrow arrives. The problem is people think they have time.
- Enjoy the discounts that come for the 50+ crowd. Embrace it. Savor that extra money. Save it. Refer to #42 if you need reminded of how quickly extra money can add up.
- Do your job. If you are being compensated, do the job you are being paid to do. Be job conscientious. Have pride in your work. Go the extra mile. Over deliver and under promise. A good work ethic is still in style even if it is fleeting.
- Volunteer. Always a big part of my life. ‘Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve’, MLK. I loved Martin Luther King and all he stood for.
- Extension of #50. Help others. Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness and to extend the helping hand. Learned this one as a Theta Chi member in the late 70’s. ‘Extend a helping hand to all who seek it’.
- Wave to people you pass. Whether on a bike, in a car, walking, or on a horse. Doesn’t matter, wave back or initiate the wave. Why would you NOT do this. Come on people. Gheez, it’s a wave.
- The older I have gotten, the more grateful that I am that my birth year ends in a zero. So easy to quickly figure out how old I am. Thank you mom & dad.
- Age is no barrier to success. I have always been inspired by Colonel Sanders who started KFC at age 66 after jumping from job to job for years. Sold it in his 70s and lived comfortably for another 20 years or so.
- Take care of yourself. I feel like a lot of people count on me. I am nobody special, but I do have a lot of responsibility. One thing I learned early on was, I am no good to anyone if I cannot answer the bell. So, be good to yourself. Get your sleep, nutrition, exercise, time alone, religion etc. People are counting on you.
- Keep the faith. Have faith. Believe in your higher power. Talk to Him and pray every day.
- If you love someone, TELL EM. Spouses, Moms, Dads, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, Friends, and really all peeps. Also, kiss your beautiful spouse every single day. Some days many times.
- Create something that leaves ripples in the water of your life. You are etching your legacy every single day with your actions and interactions with people.
- Your stuff is not worth as much as you think it is. Also, know that your stuff will be used by someone else after you are gone. It is just stuff. Don’t fret over stuff.
- Last one I saved purposely. The most important thing I have learned in 60 years. Find your life partner. I am fortunate. I reconnected with my soulmate. We met is 1981 as co-eds at WV Wesleyan College, yet life took us down different paths until 2009. After that reconnection, we knew. Let me tell ya, life is better with your best friend beside you. I look forward to my golden years with her. Love you Lisa, with all my heart & soul.
Well, there you have it. The first 60 reflections at age 60 that popped in my head. Looking forward to adding 10 additional ones (all new) at age 70.
If you are in my life, thank you. I love you all.
You can reach out to me at JamesWStrawn@Gmail.com