Guest blog this week from my dear, special person, David Bell. David is a singer-songwriter and a professor of Economics and Finance at Lander University. He shares some heartfelt thoughts about turning 70 this year. Please leave some comments and let us both know what you got out of this piece.
It’s 2022. This year I will be 70. I hope. I have to live until May 29 for that to happen. But I will be 70 on May 29 no matter what. I can’t change it. I can wish to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or even 60- again but I’m going to be 70. NO MATTER WHAT! I may not like it but it is the reality. I will be 70. That’s it!
So what do I do with that reality? It’s a little difficult to accept or even believe that I’m at this stage of life. It’s strange to try to get my head around it
I may not feel 70, but this is what 70 feels like.
I may not act 70, but this is what 70 acts like.
I may not look 70, but this is what 70 looks like.
Is it really just a number? Or is it something else? I am in the here and now, living and aging as I go. I can count many blessings, starting with my parents. My father and mother taught me Christian love and tolerance. Giving people empathy and treating others with respect. I was nothing if not a respectful child. Yes, Sir. Yes, Ma’am. Please and thank you.
Eventually I became who I am today, using what they taught me but calling on my own attributes and experiences. I am thankful for my daughter. She’s a terrific blessing. I’m sorry for a marriage that ultimately failed after 37 years but my daughter was the result and I’m very lucky.
I am thankful for a new friend that has helped me see a new way to view the world as I age. She has shown me love and compassion and my outlook on the world has changed. So right now, I’m in a good place. I have my own point of view. I know what I believe in and devote time to. I know there are demons I need to avoid.
So where do I go from here? Last Friday I played my first gig ever. At 69! Bearded, and wearing a cowboy hat! If my banker friends could see me now! Who knows, maybe they will. I played with a guy who’s 26. Weird but it worked. It’s a whole new adventure. I’m looking forward to seeing where it will lead. I’d like to find an audience for my music. Just a niche so I can play my songs and some other songs that I love. I’m not trying to be a star but just use the gifts that I have, limited though they be. I do think I have something to say about life.
My words for this year are Courage and Health. Courage to speak up and make myself known on certain issues – racism, misogyny, and homophobia, to name three. There’s a balance to be reached. I think I can influence people just by provoking a thought or idea rather than trying to convince someone to share my point of view. Health, as I see it, is a matter of focusing on what makes me feel good about myself. I feel better if I exercise more. I feel better if I drink less. I feel better if I weigh less. I feel better if I stay away from certain temptations and influences and put myself in more positive environments. I am definitely in better health than I was a year ago, thanks to efforts on my part and the help and encouragement of my girlfriend.
As I write this it’s the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. What better way to turn 70 than by living up to the principles he espoused? I hope I can be a great 70 and beyond. So bring it on!