Tomorrow (February 27th) I turn 60 years old. I’m told that is a milestone. A milestone tells you where you are in relation to where you want to be or where you have come from. At the age of 20 (just prior to another milestone, which I’m told is age 21) I had already spent 3 years in the military and had no clue what I would do with my life. I never expected, based on how my life was at the time, to reach the next milestone—that being the age of 30.
Obviously I reach the 30 year mark and must say the span of the 30 years between then and now went way too fast. Given the facts I know now I would have to admit I have wasted much of my 60 years on things that were important at the time, but now mean little if anything. It’s a shame we are not born with wisdom.
A few days ago I was at a restaurant and learned our waitress had just turned 18 years old. I complemented her (and envied her) that her adventure was just beginning. Her response was, “yea, that’s what I’ve been told” and her tone led me to believe her attitude toward my comment was dubious at best. I thought of trying to enlighten her with the wisdom I had learned that life as a high school teenager is no comparison to what life will be and what your life will be is based on what you do and how you go about doing it—truly her adventure is just beginning. I decided to keep quiet as I recall as a teenager other super old people telling me the same thing and it did nothing but irritate me—how could they possibly know anything about it. I’m not so sure wisdom can be shared. You can try and share it and perhaps some take root, but I think it depends on the recipient. The vast majority of acquired wisdom comes from experience. What’s that old saying” “Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment” or something like that.
Mistakes, regrets, errors and missed opportunities plague my past. All these infractions are what gives us wisdom—so long as we realize our mistake and learn from them so that the next time the opportunity presents itself you do not add to your list of regrets.
Tomorrow I turn 60. Not sure what that means because it is not like there is a significant change in who I am. However, if, on the day I turn 60 I am able to adequately apply some of the wisdom I have gained over the past 59 years then it will be a good day.