“Senior Living” by Carl Hendrickson
It is truly amazing how quickly grandchildren age.
Our eldest grandchild turns 18 years old this month. Where have the years gone?
He is a senior in high school. This summer was spent visiting college campuses trying to decide which university had the curriculum that best satisfied his educational goals.
Eighteen — the age at which one is considered mature. He will be old enough to vote. He will have to register for Selective Service. Soon he will leave the family nest.
It has been a long time since I left the family nest — when I left high school and ventured out on my own.
My mother and father had provided me with nourishing food, a snug bed to sleep in at night and much affection. But they also gave me much more. They had provided me with knowledge and the instructions on how to have a happy and successful life.
This knowledge, these life lessons, I have passed along to our children. I hope they have passed them on to their sons and daughters.
An important lesson I learned was to think before I acted. If I would be sorry tomorrow for what I did today, I learned that I should say “no” to the deed today.
Life is filled with temptations, but I learned from my parents not to give in to these temptations.
I was taught to pay attention to others.
Knowledge was gained by paying attention to informed individuals.
Learning to manage time was an important instruction. This has served me well over the years.
I have learned to manage and prioritize my time and to be punctual in completing a task. I have learned to say “no,” so that I do not take on too many tasks.
“Don’t burn bridges.” This is an important lesson. What you say can come back to haunt you at a later date. Disagree without being disagreeable. Don’t create an enemy.
It is not important that people like you, but rather that they respect you.
These lessons have guided me through school, through my career as an attorney, later as a state legislator and now in the twilight of life.
These are valuable lessons whether one is 18 years old or 80.