Ten Things to Finish in My Fifties

•A world-class retreat center known for its hospitality and depth for writers learning the publishing business.

•Walk the Great River Road from Lake Itasca, MN to the Gulf of Mexico to raise money for AgriWellness, a non-profit that provides counseling to suicidal farmers, and studies rural American behavioral science.

•Have about five good books under my belt, and another five ahead.

•Be a more disciplined man in the areas of prayer and bible study.

•I’d love to run just one more marathon, even if it’s not pretty.

•Create some kind of center that provides hot meals for hungry people. The one thing I cannot tolerate in this world is hunger.

•Establish a sanctuary for bees and birds that would educate kids.

•Do some trail angel work on the AT.

•Syndicated newspaper/internet column.

•Know at 60 there were a few young men I had a positive impact on.

 

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20 Things I’ve Learned in My 50s

•Some days when you get out of bed, it’s just going to hurt.

•Ibuprofen is a wonderful drug, preventive and otherwise.

•No matter how much it disgusts you about yourself, a couple of hairs are going to grow around your ears. If there was any remaining hope of coolness, rest assured it’s forever gone.

•When it comes to physical work in a day, you are going to get less done, and it involves a lot more breaks.

•A daily afternoon nap is okay. I’ve earned it.

•I’m not too old to still dream and set high goals.

•It’s a worthy cause to invest in younger adults.

•At this point, and for many reasons, your spouse becomes more and more important to you.

•Do not set some magical, distant date when you’ll “start enjoying life.” Enjoy life and begin doing those things now. There is no promise of tomorrow.

•The newspaper obituary column is more significant to you than it once was.

•There is great pleasure just sitting watching it rain or snow.

•Always be a rookie at something.

•Convictions are worthless without action.

•Find a couple of things that when you do them daily, make you a better person. And do those things.

•Learn not to be so hard on yourself for past mistakes.

•Try to do a good deed every day. It’s even better if the deed cannot be returned.

•I am the only one who is responsible for reconciling the past.

•It is better to live my faith than to talk about it, though talking about it is worthy discussion.

•My greatest fear will always be acting a hypocrite.

•Some of the greatest moments happen around a big table with great food.

A Few Top Fives

MOVIES

  1. Lonesome Dove (technically a mini-series)
  2. Castaway
  3. The Way
  4. The Big Year
  5. The Right Stuff

SONGS

  1. Hotel California (the acoustic version on Hell Freezes Over)
  2. I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
  3. All My Hope is in Jesus (Crowder)
  4. I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary (Gaither Vocal Group)
  5. Isn’t She Lovely (Stevie Wonder)

ACTORS

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Philip Seymour Hoffman
  3. Robert Duvall
  4. Morgan Freeman
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio

ACTRESSES

  1. Jessica Lange
  2. Julianne Moore
  3. Meryl Streep
  4. Octavia Spencer
  5. Jodie Foster

BOOKS

  1. Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  2. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
  3. Chesapeake by James Michener
  4. Somebody Told Me by Rick Bragg
  5. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony  Bourdain

PLACES I’VE BEEN

  1. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
  2. Kneeling at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  3. Isle of Palms, South Carolina
  4. Any sunset in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador
  5. Yellowstone National Park

SPORTS MOMENTS I WITNESSED LIVE

  1. Mohammed Ali lighting the torch in the 1996 Olympic Games
  2. 1980 Miracle on Ice
  3. Reggie Jackson’s 3 home runs in Game 6, 1977 World Series
  4. Jack Nicklaus Masters Champion 1986
  5. #6 Auburn beats #1  Alabama in Iron Bowl Fiasco

FAVORITE SUPERBOWL SNACKS

  1. SONIC cheesesticks w/Route 44 Diet Dr Pepper w/cherry
  2. Doritos w/Velveeta/Rotel cheese dip
  3. Hot Chicken Dip
  4. Giant Gyro
  5. Little Smokies

THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME

  1. You’d be hard pressed to find more of an expert on professional wrestling during the 1980s.
  2. I like Michael Bolton’s music.
  3. I cry pretty frequently.
  4. If it’s a working day inside involving heavy writing I’ll walk outside for a breath of fresh air and a reset at least twice a hour.
  5. Ninety percent of my shirt wardrobe is in the guayaberas style.

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