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BillM

Turning 58

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Well, I turn 58 recently. Sixty is literally right around the corner. Woo-hoo! So I thought I would share a few thoughts of reflection with anyone who cares to read them.

I've had a good life. I've been blessed with a good wife, good children, a good family, good friends, and a good job. Everything's good! Ha ha! Seriously, I'm grateful. I'm thankful. But it is certainly true that life is like the roll of toilet paper: the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. It took forever for me to get through my teen years. Twenty to thirty went substantially faster, ending with me finding the love of my life - Penny McCracken. Thirty to now has, in many ways, been a blur. They say that time is a constant, but it is amazing how fast the years have sped up and gone by. And I'm sure that I don't have that much time left. Not a complaint, just the reality of things. So here is a bit of advice for those who are younger. A few things I've learned along the way that I wish I knew when I was younger.

1. Focus on things that bring you positive emotions. I'm not talking about hedonism. I'm just saying that life is way too short to be negative all the time. I know a few people who are almost constantly negative. You can't find well-being in negativity. Seek the positive. It will make you healthier, physically and psychologically.

2. Be fully engaged with your life. Don't let it pass you by. Don't be a passive by-stander who just watches from the sidelines or is a victim of circumstance. Actively participate in making your life what you want it to be. Be passionate about it.

3. Keep relationships the most important thing in your life. Relationships are not easy. They are complicated and costly. But they can offer you the most meaning and purpose that you can ever know.

4. And speaking of meaning and purpose, find it in something bigger than yourself. Find organizations and causes that strive to do things to better the human predicament and our world. Avoid those that are demeaning of humans and that don't seek to make the world a better place.

5. Lastly, seek to achieve things in your life. Set worthy goals and strive to reach them. These can be hobbies that you enjoy or relationships that you cherish. These things will take time and effort. But they are worth it. Don't waste your time and efforts on meaningless things or on people that just don't care about you or others.

My "old man" advice could probably be summed up in this: "Do no harm (or as little as possible), while maximizing freedom." Flourish. Grow. This is how I intend to spend my remaining years. Don't waste the one life that you have. It goes by way too quick.

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Good advice Bill, even for someone my age (70). My father had this advice to give in his final days and that was... "Drink plenty of water son, it's basic". Perhaps his advice was more like a parable with dual meaning. One literal and true and one on a deeper level for those who are able to see it.

Mine would be "Don't let the sun go down on your unforgiveness lest you find you have destined yourself to the same condemnation until you recognize the same fault in yourself and are able to forgive."

Joseph

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2 hours ago, JosephM said:

"Drink plenty of water son, it's basic".

Good advice, Joseph, on both levels. L'Chaim!

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I was asked recently what I believe. So I thought I would share a brief summation of my beliefs here.

I believe in our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that strive for the greater good of humanity.

I believe we should be guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience.

I believe that knowledge of our world is best derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.

I believe that we are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.

I believe our ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.  

I believe that life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. I believe in finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death.

I believe we are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Therefore, we should long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence.

I believe in working toward a progressive culture that can free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival, resulting in reduced suffering, improved society, and global community.

I believe in being concerned for the well-being of all, in celebrating diversity, and in respecting those of differing yet humane views. I believe in human rights and civil liberties. I believe in protecting nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

So I believe that the responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper and I don’t look to any deity to save us.

 

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Great advice Bill M,

                                  I am currently having some (not heaps) of trouble in my marriage and it's always great to have a reminder of whats important like does it really matter who has the remote hahaha, but seriously I'm about to turn 35 and I am although I'm still quite a bit younger I Understand what you mean about time going quick my oldest boy has just about finished his first year of kindergarten and it's a bit of a shall I say holey moley as well as my wife just completing an enrolled nursing course that took 18 months and seems like just a month ago that she started.

So Thankyou for your timely words of wisdom life is there to be enjoyed and it's about I jumped back on to the train and embrace life again for all its ups and downs. 

Paul            

 

 

 

 

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On 01/10/2017 at 8:40 PM, JosephM said:

Good advice Bill, even for someone my age (70). My father had this advice to give in his final days and that was... "Drink plenty of water son, it's basic". Perhaps his advice was more like a parable with dual meaning. One literal and true and one on a deeper level for those who are able to see it.

Mine would be "Don't let the sun go down on your unforgiveness lest you find you have destined yourself to the same condemnation until you recognize the same fault in yourself and are able to forgive."

Joseph

And always wear sunscreen!

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 Lol To true PaulS sunscreen is very important in this big brown land of ours. 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, PaulB. I, of course, certainly do not claim to have life all figured out. The more we know (or think we know), the more we discover that we don't know. My wife is probably a moderate Christian (not a Baptist, but definitely a Methodist). And that is okay with me. It's not my job to change her or to force her into my journey. Love doesn't do that. She still holds to much of Christianity orthodoxy, so there are some subjects that we don't discuss. But what we do try to focus on are the common values that we have. She very much agrees with my first post. I doubt she would agree with my "beliefs" post. Again, that's okay. We both acknowledge that we are on journeys and that the goal is to value the other and their journey, even if it is different from our own. Besides, in some ways I've been down the path she is on and it worked for me for many, many years. She can't quite go where I am, but she graciously allows me the freedom to be who I am, to ask questions that I couldn't before, and to say, "I don't know" without the threat of hellfire.

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