Some Life Reflections with Medicare Card in my wallet
Usually birthday cards are received but since I’ve hit a birthday milestone, I’ve been in a more reflective mood and thought I would share with my children (and anybody else who might be interested) some observations and reflections. I’m feeling fine so this is not some sort of “curtain call” speech (but with the pandemic re-surging because of the selfishness of persons who will not wear masks or practice social distancing…. it never hurts to have your affairs in order and your thoughts recorded).
That said, here are my reflections, observations and recommendations:
- Do what interests you and what you are passionate about. The money will follow. Not much money ever followed me but I still cherish the memories of the persons I have met and persons I have worked with during the course of the endeavors I have engaged in.
- The longer you live, the more distant and fuzzy the memories. At my age, you start to think in terms of decades. What seemed to be important back then becomes blurry and unimportant. For my kids who are in their 20’s, this means don’t get too hung up with the anxieties of the “hear-and-now”. Don’t be driven by anxiety about benchmarks implying that you must complete “X” before “Y” happens. Take your time and enjoy the ride because, like I said above “it all blurs together later on”. At my age, I have finally gained an appreciation of all the subjects I took in college and grad school. I got A’s and B’s but its only until now after 40+ years of work/life experiences that I really learned what I was taught. As a life-long suffer of math phobia, I finally have gained a rudimentary understanding of finance and economics. If the younger generation could come to this understanding while they are still young, just think of how much more successful they would be.
- I recommend identifying mentors and supporters in your respective careers (and you will probably engage in several careers over time). Without mentors and some semblance of a master plan, you run the risk of becoming a rudderless ship bobbing in the water.
- Cherish your friendships, keep building your friend base. Be aware that annoying traits and habits observed in others early in life tend to grow with time. Some people age gracefully like a good wine. However, many others grow increasingly sour and stale. Be cognizant of this when picking soul mates and long term relationships. Also don’t be surprised by friends who become essentially strangers after lots of “water under the bridge”. Sometimes you can pick right up where you left off in relationships but don’t be surprised if time, events, shifting priorities and changing philosophies re-set the relationship. Some doors will close while others will open. Just keep knocking.
- Be your own person, be your own agent standing up for yourself and what is right. On that note, the more confident and self-sufficient you can be, the better off you will be and the farther you will get in life. This applies to all facets of life: career, financial, inter-personal. Looking back, I can identify junctures in my life when I might have stepped up and made different decisions and commitments, if only I had more confidence and sense of direction. That said, do not dwell in the rear view mirror and the land of “what if”.