"A person's life can be compared quite nicely to the four seasons of the year. This blog is from someone in the Winter of Life enjoying the fruits of his "Summer and Fall" and looking forward to assisting the growth and nourishment for the next generation.

My Father and Grandfather passed on their wisdom through their actions and their stories. This is probably be the most impactful way to pass on wisdom. But the written word can have an affect on lives that extends beyond the memories of a couple of generations. This blog is an attempt to reflection on my life experiences and pass these reflections to future generations of my own family as well as any others who might come across these pages.

Friday, March 16

The Clock is Clicking

I went to bed last night and woke up 38 years later. No, this is not the plot for a science fiction movie. But, dang, it feels like it is. Time passes so fast. Before you know it, you no longer have all the time in the world to do what you want.

Unfortunately, when this realization becomes crystal clear, it is impossible to go back and take the time to do those things that have become so important now but were of little significance then. “If only” becomes one of the major laments of those who begin to understand that an opportunity once lost can not be recovered. Friendships lost through neglect are difficult to repair and polish to their once brilliance. Financial plans developed and conceived when the “time was right” can not be completed now because the time has run out. Career goals, travel adventures, sights and people to see all become part of the “if only” lists of lost opportunities.

To be fair, one must admit some plans were stalled by the unforeseen or underestimated; such as family expenses, illness, school expense, work load, and so on. Certainly one has to prioritize dreams and goals. But that’s not really what I am talking about. Perhaps a few examples will suffice.

My mother lived 20 minutes from me and I didn’t see her or call her, often for a week at a time. My grandfather died and I couldn’t be bothered to come home from college for his funeral. I knew the importance of funding an IRA but couldn’t find $10 a month to put into one. I wanted to earn my PhD in Political Science and teach on the college level but wanted a new car and a job more. My dad was in the VA hospital in my college town and I visited him once in two months. I lived less than two hours from my mother and father and didn’t see them for two years until my dad died.

Hopefully my point is made. It’s not just the major events in life where time has run out. Often it is the small events that seem so easy to postpone or forget about or allow to be swept away that become the major “if only’s” of life as you look back over life from the vantage point of time.

In my view from the Fall of Life, I would urge those still in the Spring and Summer of Life to consider that one day they too will be in the Fall and have the “if only’s”. Don’t neglect to do those things you know should be done. Connect with family, maintain relationships, start your financial plans now and, well you know what I am urging you to do. Quit reading this silly blog and call your mom and dad, hug your children, call Aunt Susie, write a note to Granddad Jenkins, buy your wife (or husband) a dozen roses; life is short and time is running out.

That’s my View From the Fall.

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