On turning 62

I am sixty-two beginning today.


I have to let that sink in.

I have been alive 62 years. 744 months. 22,645 days. 32,608,800 minutes. I have made 62 revolutions around the sun at about 1,037 mph.

When I was born there was no Internet. Man hadn’t yet walked on the Moon. There was one telephone per house and it was connected by a cable. Videos played on these things called “televisions” and there was one per household, the video was black & white, and everything was live as it happened.

Eisenhower was president. A gallon of gas was $0.31 and it contained lead in it. Adjusted for inflation that’d be about $2.97/gallon. Disneyland in California didn’t exist, much less the various DisneyWorlds that exist today. Probably no one you had ever known had taken a flight in a commercial airplane. Schools were still segregated. You could not buy beer or any alcohol on a Sunday in most jurisdictions. I’ve held 14 different jobs.

It’s been a long, crazy life. I even applied for Social Security early.

I’m old.

You never think of yourself as getting this old. Like in the Matrix, you see yourself as your residual self, usually in your mid-twenties. That’d be 3 lifetimes ago for me now.

And I cannot honestly say that my life is the way that I would have liked, but it’s the result of my choices along the way.

To that, I give you xxx things I’d explain to my 6-year-old self:

  1. Start wearing glasses at 6-years-old, not 12.
  2. Don’t talk your parents out of braces. They’ll suck all through high school, but you’ll thank me later.
  3. Brush your teeth and floss twice every day.
  4. Leave your sister alone.
  5. Shut up. Seriously, shut up.
  6. Study, study, study.
  7. Learn to like vegetables.
  8. Don’t ever let soft drinks touch your lips.
  9. In 6th grade do not romantically pursue you-know-who.
  10. Instead, maybe pursue the little girl your parents used to bathe together. Even today she’s cute and sharp as a tack. (And married and you’d argue politics with her a lot, but hey! I’m talking to my 6-year-old me, leave me alone!)
  11. Architecture is not for you. Maybe try computer programming when they come on the scene. Either that or business. Or history, and get a doctorate in that.
  12. Save every paystub that you ever get.
  13. Save as much money as you can. Invest it when the number gets big enough, but don’t invest everything you have.
  14. “Live like no one else so when you’re older you can live like no one else.”
  15. Pay yourself first.
  16. One word: Tithe.
  17. Stand up straight.
  18. Stop using filler words.
  19. Stop looking down all the time.
  20. Listen more than you talk.
  21. Be friendly to everyone you meet, but choose your friends wisely.
  22. Read. Read some more. Then read some more. And then more.

I’ll try to add more as I think of them.