Hugh Deadwyler column: Suddenly 60 and what I've learned over the years

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2006

By Hugh Deadwyler

For the Salisbury Post

Sometimes I still think of myself as a free-spirit, love-child generation, baby boomer. I’m a 1946 model — the first birth year of manufacture for us ’46 to 1964 baby boomers.

Father Time, how dare you turn me 60 years of age! But I’ve got a lot of company. There are nearly 3 million of us, including even Cher, who turned 60 this year.

If the WWII’s were the “Greatest Generation,” the baby boomers are pretty much the “Hated-est” Generation. I’m sorry, younger generations: I’m sorry we’re going to break Social Security and Medicare before you get there; I’m sorry we’re sending you off to fight endless wars in the middle east; and I’m sorry that some of us hit on you, our generational children and grandchildren.

What have I learned in 60 years? Well, not much, when you go to write it down. But if you bear with me, I’m going to give it a shot.

* Listen to all of what people have to say, instead of letting them get just halfway through and letting yourself become distracted by thinking of what you’re going to say back to them. (I still have trouble with this.)

* Let people out of elevators, before you try to get on yourself.

* If you run off the road, onto the shoulder, don’t immediately jerk the wheel back on the pavement but drive on the shoulder until you slow down enough to get the car under control.

* Household chores? Do the worst things first.

* There’s a very prevalent, under diagnosed, sex-linked mental condition. It’s Female Gender Insanity. FGI can be diagnosed, but not treated.

* Don’t worry about things you shouldn’t worry about.

* Your attitude is portable.

* Don’t bet on the worst case scenario.

* People always have the option of doing something stupid.

* If you want to be a better person, think better thoughts.

* There are cows and bees in heaven.

* Don’t talk fast if you think slow.

* You can make a statement by allowing it to be an answer.

* If life is not a trial, you’ve jumped bail.

* When I was young, I thought of exceptions to everything. Now that I’m older, order rules the day.

* Neither run from fate, nor run into it.

* The past is not a problem; it’s a resource.

* Endeavor to have as much time as anyone seems to need.

* Don’t envy those whose life hasn’t rolled into combat.

* Empathy is taking someone else’s hurt and putting it where yours is.

* And finally, what you feel in your heart do with your hands. We all work God’s plan. Invest in it.