79 is the New 60Feb 02, 2023 11:14AM ● By Joe Dunne
This month I was blessed to have reached a milestone in my life—a 79th birthday. It was hard for me to look in a mirror at 70 and accept that number, and today it’s not that much easier. I know that acceptance is a key to running a smoother life and a contributing corner stone of a well-balanced personality, but 79! I still feel 30-something.
Years ago, a favorite college course on “Interpersonal Communications” introduced me to Looking Out, Looking In, a self-discovery view of how to develop and fit into a moral society. I’m happy to report to myself that at 79, looking out at the world, I still feel like a kid. I’ve had to learn a lot the hard way and I’ll always be a work in progress—working on the inside and caring about the outside. But the gratitude I feel to have reached this milestone is enormous. Life has been good to me, and I hope that continues for a long time. With good health, hitting 100 sounds terrific.
Along the way, I’ve become aware of a few things. I wish I could have known these things 55 years ago, for my sake, as well as for my children (ages 53 to 20), but I needed life to teach me what is really important. Here is only a small sample of what I discovered when I started paying attention.
Smile often, society needs it | Believe in yourself, and take good care of you | Don’t judge others; you do not have that right | Be real, be you, be honest | Treat all people with respect | Risk Love | Always take Full Responsibility for yourself | Accept life as it is delivered to you | Be humble | Question what needs to be questioned | Remember being right is, not always that important | Make mistakes | Take risks | Develop integrity | Help others | Be grateful; every day is a gift | Stand for something | Hug a lot of people, especially your family | Know your human rights | Have empathy | Watch what you eat, I still believe it is key to good health | Learn to meditate | Make a difference in the world | Live with passion | Nurture your soul |Be a lifelong learner, saver, and memory maker for yourself, and your family | Chill out. Worry will never put another day on your life | Remember “It is not what you know in life that is important; It is what you do with what you know that matters.”
Learning that I was responsible for my own happiness has been one of my life’s great lessons. I was always looking for someone to fix me, to make me feel better, happier. I wanted someone else to make life softer, easier but that was just a dream. I should have been looking in rather than looking out. Today I know that “I am responsible for me,” for my thoughts, behaviors, actions, and decisions. Once I finally learned that, I realized that I wouldn’t have it any other way because it also means that you are responsible for you, and I do not have to shoulder that responsibility.
So I’m glad that 79 is the new 60. I still have time to develop, learn and grow, and make progress in my life’s wonderful journey.
With peace, love and laughter,
Joe Dunne, Publisher