Sixty seven years. It seems a large number. Two-thirds of the way to one hundred (yeah right, as if I’ll live to 100).

More likely this is my Pareto birthday, wherein 80% of the tough things that’ll happen to me will happen in the next 20% of life. Not being pessimistic, just being real. This current health scare is probably the inaugural event of my Pareto years. So 20% remaining. Could be worse – could be raining.

Another way to look at this is that I’ve just hit the average life expectancy age for a lot of third world countries, like Belarus, Phillipines, and Cambodia. Not that encouraging, now that I think of it.

Trying to ju-jitsu this theme around to something positive, here are some things I think I’ve learned in these 67 short years, some of them reinforced by events of late.

  • Be true to yourself. Decide who you want to be and then stick to it.
  • “The failure mode of clever is asshole” (thanks to John Scalzi for that one). In my case, trying to be the smartest guy in the room all the time does not make one a likable person.
  • Life is short. Really fucking short. So don’t waste much of it.
  • Compound interest is a powerful force. Get it working for you as fast as you can.
  • Be kind, even if you have to work at it. Especially if you have to work at it. Kindness and empathy are what hold people together – families, friends, and communities. Not enough of that happening these days.
  • “Fear is the mind killer.” A quote from the immortal Frank Herbert, in his book Dune. Truer words were never spoken. Every mistake I’ve ever made was based in fear.
  • Everything is better with olive oil. Everything.
  • If you can afford it, buy the prime cut of meat. Just sayin’.

I’m sure there’s more if I think about it a while, but that’s a good start.