Last month, I wrote a list of things I will do when I’m an old man. Most, if not all of them were pretty tongue and cheek. However, as I was writing it, I kept thinking of more serious things that I wanted to be doing when I’m an old man. And that’s what this list is all about.
Without any further ado, when I’m an old man:
I will still buy flowers for my wife and take her on dates. Just doing my part to keep the lovin’ alive. If I outlive her, I will take flowers to her grave on a regular basis.
I will rise with the fish before the birds. I will watch the former and catch the latter. Go ahead… just try to analyze that one. I dare ya.
I will give away lots of money. I have no idea what “lots of money” will mean for me when I’m an old man, but I’d love to be giving away at least half of whatever annual income I have at the time. If I have any wealth to speak of, I hope to also leave it all to charity. Sorry Iz… hopefully by the time you’re in your 50’s you won’t need your dad’s inheritance.
I will mentor younger men. If you’ve known me for any period of time, you’ve probably figured out by now how much I value mentoring. Most of my experience with mentoring so far in life has been on the receiving end. I hope to some day be on the giving end.
I will retire because it’s time for me to step aside, not because I want to check out mentally or live a life of ease. I value working and though it’s not the most important thing I do, I’m a firm believer that men were meant to work. There’s nothing wrong with retirement, but I enjoy what I do for a living and can’t see myself quitting just so I can spend more time on selfish pursuits. I may work less when I’m an old man and eventually I will retire, but I will do it because I feel a tugging in my heart to do it and/or for the benefit of whatever organization I’m working for at the time not because I think it will make my life easier.
I will read lots of books. I love to read and don’t make as much time for that these days as I’d like but when I’m an old man, I will make time.
I will write memoirs of various significant events from my lifetime. My mom’s dad, who I’ve written about before, did this about his time in the Navy and I love going back and reading that stuff.
I will affectionately call my grown children and grandchildren, “Kiddo.” I learned this from my mom’s dad and, even in adulthood, having him call me kiddo always made me feel good inside.
I will take my grandchildren (if I’m blessed enough to have them) fishing. I envision this being like the opening scene from The Andy Griffith Show. I will instruct them on the ways of silent fishing and tell them that talking scares the fish away even though I know there’s no truth to that at all.
I will tell my grandchildren stories from my childhood and early adulthood. My dad’s dad has Alzheimer’s and so his short term memory is pretty much non-existent. His long term memory, on the other hand, is completely spot on. I love listening to him tell stories about his teenage years, how he met my grandmother, his first job, what his college days were like, etc. I think telling stories to your grandkids is one of the greatest gifts a grandparent can give.
I will tell my grandchildren stories about their parents. I also love listening to my grandparents tell stories about my mom and dad. It’s almost like a nostalgic form of voyeurism into a time and world which I have no firsthand knowledge of… I can’t get enough of it!
I will wear bib overalls with nothing under them on a regular basis.
While neither my not-so-serious version of this list or today’s is meant to be all inclusive, if I’m blessed enough to live into my 80’s I’d love to think that some of the items from both lists would be a part of who I am and how I live.
Now that I’ve got my 80’s all figured out, if the good Lord grants me a long life, it looks like I only have 51 more years of manhood to figure out between now and then.