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.
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:
- Start wearing glasses at 6-years-old, not 12.
- Don’t talk your parents out of braces. They’ll suck all through high school, but you’ll thank me later.
- Brush your teeth and floss twice every day.
- Leave your sister alone.
- Shut up. Seriously, shut up.
- Study, study, study.
- Learn to like vegetables.
- Don’t ever let soft drinks touch your lips.
- In 6th grade do not romantically pursue you-know-who.
- 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!)
- 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.
- Save every paystub that you ever get.
- Save as much money as you can. Invest it when the number gets big enough, but don’t invest everything you have.
- “Live like no one else so when you’re older you can live like no one else.”
- Pay yourself first.
- One word: Tithe.
- Stand up straight.
- Stop using filler words.
- Stop looking down all the time.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Be friendly to everyone you meet, but choose your friends wisely.
- Read. Read some more. Then read some more. And then more.
I’ll try to add more as I think of them.