Gazing into the Future

Gazing into the Future

In what is surely a sign of the times, rather than a Christmas card in mid-December, at year’s end I received an e-mail from an old friend. His wife passed away last April, and she likely handled the mailing duties.

He mentioned compiling a list last fall of 80 things he wanted to accomplish before turning 80. And, how, with only six weeks left before the grand day, he still had a number of items on his “haven’t done yet” list.

“I dare not take the time to write my historical account of 2014 nor a treatise on 2015,” he said. “Rather, I will simply borrow the words from the soon-to-be-famous (person) who once said, “It’s better to be rich and healthy than to be poor and sick.”

The Riches of Health

I would have to slighThe Riches of Healthtly amend that statement. In recent years, I suffered through three heart stents, double bypass surgery, and grinding back pain that dragged for months.

Now that the worst appears to be over, I would instead say: No amount of money can compensate for health problems that wreak havoc on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

A year ago I was still in physical therapy and so beat down from the experience that one day I wondered aloud about filing for early Social Security payments. I’m glad I didn’t, since my work soon turned around. Plus, over the long haul I consider it better to wait.

However, I understand people who deal with debilitating injuries or diseases and lose a positive outlook on life. Or, who simply get tired of the grind and want to rest.

Challenges Ahead

Naturally, after regaining my health, I am more optimistic than in early 2014. Yet, more challenges await. Particularly the idea of compiling a list of things I should do by the time I reach the next major milestone.

After all, I never wrote a list of 60 things I should do by 60. So the idea of doing an even longer one in the next few years leaves my head spinning. If there’s one thing that I struggle with, it’s to simply process all the “stuff” that flies at me every day through my computer.

E-mail may be passé to many people, but it’s still the #1 way I conduct business. And that is before checking Facebook or fielding Linked In messages. Add to that all the research and various story links I check, and it’s easy to get lost in the stack of ever-increasing stack of details.

Mastering Technology

Mastering TechnologyDealing with this flood may come second nature to young people, but not for someone who didn’t grow up with smart phones and an always-connected world.

While that used to drive me up the wall, I experienced a key breakthrough about three years ago. It happened when I drove to my alma mater (Ohio University) for a reunion of the college newspaper staff.

At one small workshop put on that day for alumni, I fretted about trying to keep up with everything. Afterwards, a guy in his mid-70s walked up to chat. He concluded, “You know what I think? I think you worry too much about what you can’t do.”

“Wow,” I thought. “That one remark was worth all the time and money it took to get here.”

Indeed, it changed my life. I no longer worry about what I can’t do when it comes to mastering oft-bewildering technology. After all, that’s why I have grandchildren.


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