My father’s face

My recent post on retiring (or not) produced a fairly high number of replies. It is interesting to note that all of them were from older readers. The youth segment was conspicuously unrepresented.

While this might bear out the theory that we woodworkers are a vanishing or at least endangered species, it could also serve as an illustration of why the older generations are not as respected or as valued as we might like.

Growing older is kind of like watching paint drying. You don’t really see it happening. The changes from day to day are unnoticeable. But, one day, you suddenly realize that you are older. For me, it happened as I was shaving and suddenly I saw in the mirror, not the face I was accustomed to seeing, but the face of my father.

Youth and wisdom are rarely seen walking hand in hand or even side by side. As one who now speaks from the other side of the hill, I could share a couple of things with you younger guys that you might find to be of value. In fact, I could fill a book.

But this is a blog post, so I will limit it to one thing. If there is something you really want to do, do it now. Don’t wait thinking that you will find time one of these days because time cannot be found. And don’t think you will make time either because time cannot be made. The only way to get time is to take time. It goes by faster than we realize and it can be a bit of a rude awakening.



  • Keith Rowe says:

    All I can add is if I had known I was going to be this old, I would have taken better card of myself. šŸ™‚ Too soon old, too late smart! The real scare was finding myself, several years ago, giving y kids the exact same advice my old man gave me. And they didn’t listen either.

  • Chuck R says:

    Absolute masterpiece column!

  • Doug Darter says:

    You are absolutely right on this one. I have worked all of my life and saved for a retirement where I could travel and do the things I’ve always wanted to do just like every financial planner says you’re supposed to.

    Two months ago at the age of 50 I had a stroke. Thankfully I have almost fully recovered and am told there should be no permanent damage. Here’s the thing though, I wonder now what my odds are of actually living until retirement age are.

    I wish now that I had ignored the popular wisdom and not worked 12-14 hours a day six days a week for the last 35 years. I wish I had taken the time to do some of those things and enjoyed more time with my family and friends. That money saved up is worth nothing unless you get some joy from using some of it.

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