I’m going to assume I’ll make it to the age of 80 (relatives on my mother’s side have made that and beyond, so I’ll be either cautiously optimistic or conservative – depending on how you look at it).
Mathematically, I’m at the 75% mark – I am an accountant by profession, after all. You are given three choices of where to look: back, forward, or up. I’m too old to enter the space program or volunteer for the ‘one-way trip to colonize Mars’ thing, so that leaves back or forward.
Two things drag your attention backward – either you like to revisit fond memories or take stock of your regrets. The former is a pleasure; the latter provides incentive to limit creating any new ones.
- I never served in the Navy.
- I didn’t become a marine biologist.
- I did become an accountant.
- I never told my first true love that I loved her – which gave me insight for writing character. (See page 34 once my still unpublished novel Alfheim comes out)
- I waited forty years before getting an MFA and writing books – not necessarily in that order.
- I didn’t get into more trouble when I was younger.
So, six. That’s not too bad.
I have lots and lots of good ones. Enough said.
Looking forward – you can wax philosophical, use metaphor, avoid thinking about death, or try to figure out how to extricate yourself from the mess you’ve made of your life.
- Extricate myself from the mess I’ve made of my life.
- Save the world through my novels and what I write in my blog.
- Become the President of the United States because I assure you that no one else can do the job that I would do.
- See both my sons through college and into doing something they love.
- Living out my life with Nancy – a big part of accomplishing #1.
- Moving to California (see #5) – they go hand-in-hand.
- Marrying Jennifer Lawrence – that would only happen if #5 doesn’t work out and I can best quantum physics and somehow shed 35 years off my life – or if Nancy winds up marrying Sean Connery (It could happen). Actually if I could shed years, then I could revisit regrets #1,2,3,5, and 6. Hmm.
- Not be an accountant anymore so I can write full time.
I heard someone say recently that 60 is the new 40, but I figure that had to be some other baby-boomer like me. Who cares, I appreciated the sentiment anyway. To use a cliché: It is what it is. Take what you’ve got, put the crap behind you, put your best assets into play, and go for it. It’s the only way to get ahead and avoid more regrets. One last cliché for the road: you snooze, you lose. Enough said there, too.