It’s not easy for me to admit (It’s an ego thing), but I’m the last person in the world someone would want to seek advice from about living life to the fullest.
Much like the image, I’m an old cowboy who’s get up and go done got up and went. I’ve seen a lot, witnessed a lot of years as they whizzed by, seen technology go from gigantic wonders to fantastic miniatures.
Yes, I’ve lived a lot of life, but it doesn’t mean I can help you with yours.
I seriously doubt I can.
I’m still trying to figure out how to manage mine.
How can I offer you advice on methods for saving money when I never did? It’s only now, in my advanced years I have the opportunity of setting a little money aside for retirement. A retirement I will probably never experience. Golden years my tookus.
No gold, no Golden years.
Do you really want to hear parenting tips from me when I helped raise four daughters in a completely different social atmosphere?
There were fewer distractions in the eighties than today. Besides, my wife and I are long-time empty nesters, and we like it that way. Bring the grandbabies when you come over. Take ’em with you when you go.
Yeah, I’m that kind of grandpa.
I’m confident you would love to hear me offer tricks and tidbits on the best way to adventure around the world. Places to go, food to try, and people to get to know.
Well, that ain’t going to happen.
Never been a world traveler.
Yes, I’ve hit all fifty states in the US and a couple of cities in France and Germany, but I not once, and I mean not a single time, traveled to any of those locations for the joy or adventure of travel.
My trips were always work-related.
Fly in, do the job and fly the heck out. No time for sightseeing or enjoying the local culinary delights.
Sistine Chapel, nope.
Notre Dame De Paris, nope.
La Brea Tar Pits, close, but no cigar.
Can I offer advice on how to buy the perfect home or the best car for your money?
I’ve owned three homes in my life, two of which I ended up having to sell at break-even just to get out from under the mortgage. The one I’m living in is okay, but at our age, the missus and I hate walking up and down the stairs.
Should have thought about that.
I haven’t done much better with cars either.
I’ve had a Ford Taurus repoed. It was picked up while I was in a regional meeting. I had to suffer the embarrassment of having my boss drive me home. I’ve had a cash car die a quick death on me after buying some groceries with food stamps and had to walk the five miles back to a rental house I was soon to be evicted from.
I cursed God that night. I’m ashamed to admit that. I’ve spent the rest of my days attempting to make amends.
You certainly don’t want to hear advice from me on how to survive office politics either.
I was fired from a job for standing up to a CEO because he promoted one of his buddies over a fully qualified and extremely competent woman, and I refused to work for the prick.
Christmas for the children that year consisted of a lot of cheap stuff from Dollar General.
At one job I worked for seven years, I was called the terminator. For so long, I was proud of that moniker. I got it because I would fly into a particular town where my company was running a project, wine and dine the project manager, learn all I needed to know about the project then terminate the project manager and take over.
My company loved it because I always found a way to make the projects profitable.
When I think of those days and the people’s lives I ruined, I again feel ashamed I could have been so pompous and arrogant.
See what I mean?
It’s one thing to live your life, but it’s an entirely different kettle of fish to learning to live life to the fullest and be able to share these experiences and knowledge with others.
Even at this age, I don’t feel qualified to offer any suggestions or life hacks on how to enjoy stopping and smelling the roses.
I just don’t.
I’m really not the go-to person who can teach you how to savor the beautiful feelings you get just by taking a walk or gazing at a glorious sunset.
It will be tough, if not downright impossible, for me to help you truly understand the wonders of breathing in the fresh air of a crisp winter morning and feeling at peace, so alive, so vibrant, your entire body trembles.
At this age, I’ve got more don’t than do(s).
I don’t remember those times I was humbled and awestruck (I’m sure I was, but there’s only so much left in the memory bank these days) by a sunset.
These days, breathing in crisp winter air does nothing except make me cough, and though my body trembles, it’s because of my busted up knees. When I stop to think about it, my entire body doesn’t do cold weather very well anymore.
What I can tell you is that nowadays, my body aches all the time, I get irascible a lot more frequently, and my tolerance for stupid people doing stupid things has reached an all-time low.
Here’s one last thought for you folks.
This piece was predicated on the fact that someone, anyone, would ever tag me for advice in the first place. I’d say the chances of this happening are extremely slim.
We all know that advice is something very few of us ask for, and many more of us don’t listen to anyway.
Even my own daughters don’t ask me for help when they need to make a life choice.
So it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll spin off this mortal coil before anyone feels compelled to ask an old codger like me for advice on how to live life to the fullest.
Not that I could help them much if they did.
I’ve spent the last sixty-six years of my life trying to figure out how to just live.
Let’s keep in touch: email@example.com
© P.G. Barnett, 2019. All Rights Reserved.