2016 was somewhat of a banner year for me, in that I reached my 80th. birthday. That is not something that happens every day of the week. In less than six weeks I will be 81, but somehow that is no big deal. The next big one for me will be my 90th. in 2026.
And that will be here soon enough, at the rate time flies when a person reaches my age. I now look back to my childhood and it all seems such a short time ago. Never once during my teen years, or even my twenties, did I consider, or even think about the fact that I might live into the next millennium.
Why not? I now ask myself. I was only 63 when I passed through New Year 2000. There was always a good possibility that I would. Why did it never even occur to me until somewhere around New Year 1999?
George Bernard Shaw said “Youth is wasted on the young.” Shaw was born in 1856, and died in 1950. I was 14 years old when he died, and for some reason I remember it well. Probably because my father was Irish like Shaw, and made a bid deal about it.
I wish now that I had paid more attention to scholars like George Bernard Shaw, because my youth was indeed wasted on me. Looking back, I had so many dreams, but that is all they were, just dreams. Never once did I take steps to make those dreams become even a remote possibility.
I did what most do, I stumbled aimlessly along. Rather than doing what I wanted to do, I did what was expected of me by others. In spite of this, I did have a few more successes than failures, and I should be at least grateful for that. And I am.
Today I am recycling my old dreams. Doing what I wanted to do back when I was wasting my youth. I am achieving moderate success, but I can’t expect much more. After all, time is running out for me.
Youth is a precious gift, because it is the gift of time, and all success needs is time. If anyone does anything long enough they will become good at it. That is practically guaranteed, but youth cannot see time in the future, youth wants instant success. When instant success doesn’t materialize, youth gives up.
I know this to be true, because I was young once, a short time ago.