Live a Long-Life
Rather Than Get Old

In case you forget to attach several crisp, new one hundred dollar bills to your email wishing me a happy birthday a week ago, let me give you my email address again.  You might have tried but weren't using the correct address.  It is  I am a week into 74.  I write essays for my webpage.  I teach college classes.  I spend time with my children and grandchildren.  Additionally, Ginger and I play in the snow.  It is a happy time at my age.  Afterwards, she is exhausted.

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When Ginger and I aren't romping around outside, Ginger watches me sitting at my computer as I write and teach.  Ginger admires my drive, especially if I give her treats every once and awhile. 

When I was younger, much younger, I used to watch Andy Rooney on CBS's 60 Minutes.  Rooney fascinated me.  He was what I considered old with often pithy comments about all sorts of things facing America decades ago.  Even though he was old; he wasn't just some old man.  Therein lies a lesson that I didn't fully understand until I got older and danced with death a couple of times.  In fact, I try to tell Kelly, my beautician, not to cut my eyebrows.  When you get older, you are allowed to be different.  I realize that I am following in Rooney's footsteps as a life-long liberal.  As for Kelly's doing what I requested, she is as nearly as liberal as I am, but she still trims my eyebrows.    


Andy Rooney

Rooney wrote, "It's paradoxical that the idea of living a long-life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn't appeal to anyone."  Well into my plus seven decades, I get that truth, which I didn't truly understand years ago.  Rooney and I want the rest of Americans to enjoy long lives.  However, that will require acting...doing something important in life no matter where one is in his or her journey done the yellow brick road called life.  Add something to the world; leave the world a better place by helping others in our society.   

The alternative is to sit cringing in the corner of life waiting for the grim reaper to dance with you.  Regardless of your present age, many are living, but doing nothing much of meaning in their lives.  What a waste.  We aren't here for an eternity.  Act now...the clock is ticking.  In fact, time marches on at a faster cadence the older one gets.

Ben Franklin warned his readers, "Many people die at twenty-five and aren't buried until they are seventy-five."  Many of the so-called living have already died and resemble the dead by doing nothing.  Additionally, a critical point is that the younger generation watches the older generation, often silently, watch.  The way you live your lives is being observed for good or ill by others.  We are teaching those observers our modus operandi .  Be careful of your lack of actions or drive.

Steve Jobs, who danced with death, reflecting on life and our activity level had a message for all of us.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Interestingly, George Burns and I share the same birthday, January 20th.  He said, "You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old."  Burns would have been celebrating his birthday with me a week ago and would have been 121.  Nonetheless, he did live several weeks past his 100th birthday.  I plan to rival his long-life, which means you will be sending me crisp, new $100 bills attached to emails until at least 2043.   Thank you for your financial support in advance.