Friday, July 31, 2009

Managed Maturity 7/31/09

If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.

Mickey Mantle
The door is open.
When I was a youngster. like most young ones, I paid little attention to the advice I was getting from my elders. I was repeatedly told to plan for the future. But I didn't want to waste time planning for the future. That would just take time away from living in the present. I wanted to live life to the fullest right then. And so I did, to the extent possible given financial and family limitations.

I figured that some day I would be 70 years old and decrepit. So it was necessary to get as much living done as I could while I was still young. My elders told me I should work hard and save as much money as I could so that I could retire comfortably in peace and security. But peace and security were not subjects that interested me at that tender age. Life was meant to be enjoyed, I said.

So I set about enjoying it. Once I came of age I began a career as an actor which continued for many decades. I went to many different places, worked with many different people and had many different and interesting experiences. None of which I regret. Of course I sometimes did scripts I wish I hadn't done, but there was always a good experience that came out of it in one way or another.

One of the benefits of choosing life as an actor is that the roles change as you grow, but there is always another role to come. I moved graciously from playing someone's son, to someone's lover, to somebody's Dad, to someone else's Grandpa, with no angst or effort. I was living life to the fullest.

Then I retired. My retirement is not peaceful or secure and certainly lacks a lot of comforts. I might have better heeded the advice of my elders at the time. But I didn't. I wanted to live my life to the fullest, the way I wanted to.

Now I'm 70 years old and decrepit and, guess what, I still live life to the fullest, even given the physical and financial limitations of a man who didn't take better care of himself. I am my own entertainment. I read as much as I can. I go outside to enjoy the sunshine, the flowers and birds. I write every day. I paint almost every day. I enjoy sharing thoughts and ideas with my Internet friends. And, in spite of everything that has come down on me to annoy me, grieve me and waste my time, I still have a sense of humor.

Please don't think I'm bragging. I wrote this entry simply to say that, if you're young do take better care of yourself, as Mickey advises, but however old you are, let nothing take away your zest for life.

DB - The Vagabond
When you get to the corner, go the other way.
This is not a contest.

A young man out west just took home 88 million dollars from the lottery.

Whether you play the lottery or not, if you suddenly had 88 million dollars, or the equivalent of whatever your currency is, what are the first three things you would do with it?

You have all summer to answer if you wish.

18 responses so far.




Janice said...

I so envy your painting talent. I've always wished I could paint. I used to take a sketch book and drawing pencils to the wildlife sanctuary and draw what I saw but it never turned out as I wanted it to. I could see what I wanted to draw on the blank page but when I put the lines there it was always wrong. When I was younger I used to send in the picture ads from the magazines that my mother got so I could go to art school. But then I figured they just wanted money. Now I take my camera wherever I go and while I take a lot of pictures of people and scenes, I also take pictures of things. I like to take pictures, it's a lot of fun. But, still, I'd like to be an artist like you.
Have a great weekend and if you put up a quiz this weekend, don't make it too hard cause I've been ill.

a corgi said...

it would be nice if the "young'uns" would listen to our advice, wouldn't it, DB?? But we never do, do we?? save for a rainy day, choose your career wisely, etc., but we recklessly enjoy picking our own path. But it sounds like, despite all your troubles and hardships, you are in a pretty good place now and that is good; lots of memories to remember, lots of good stories and paintings still to draw; as a friend whose journal I follow always says "life is good". I feel you might be saying something similar here :)


Arlene (AJ) said...

D, wish you could put your paintings on your site for all of us to see, we have several creative family members who are artistic and I'm so envious as I couldn't draw a circle that I'd be proud of. As long as you keep your sense of humor you can get through anything. I'm sure most of us which we'd have done something different while enjoying our daily life....but, we can't change things now, so just keep going forward and making the most of each day and be thankful for each new days to enjoy. Have a good weekend your way.

Beth said...

Great advice, and the older I get, the more I appreciate it. It seems that almost everything now evokes sharp, sometimes painful feelings. I get teary-eyed at the silliest things (I got choked up at the latest Star Trek movie, I shed a few tears when we toured Biltmore), but it's sheer happiness that I am able to enjoy the experience. Love, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The difference between being tactical and strategic. We are doing our best to be stratgic so I can retire before I hit 60 :o)

Maire said...

I am at the stage of my life where I'm taking stock, seeing where Ive been & realize that I need to combine the things I love, with the practical...not an easy task, but it gives me a whole new appreciation for being able to do that.
If I were to win $88 million in the lottery, I would: 1. pay off all my debts 2. secure some financial security for my children 3. buy a cottage in Ireland
Sorry fairly predictable!!
hugs, Maire