Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Even at my age of 77, I feel a new enthusiasm for life today.


I just took a new career step, that's why. It's exhilarating!

I've reflected a lot about the life my father led lately. He lived to be 95. I don't think he rejoiced in that fact, and considering how he spent his latter years, I certainly don't.

Dad was a lifetime rancher until he had to retire in his early seventies and leave those North Dakota prairies behind. When you have worked hard all your life and suddenly find yourself with only hobbies and passtimes to base existence on, it's sort of like that old song says, "Life get's tedjious, don't it?"

For several years, he busied himself with wood crafts, making clocks, music boxes, jewel cases, etc. He was able to sell some, but nobody wanted to pay much for them. A lot he gave away to friends and family members. Overall, it was a net financial loss. I fell heir to his bandsaw that I use to cut up doggie treats to make them last longer.

As the years passed, he and my mother were forced to move in with my sister in California. My sister did her best, but there was really no way to make life interesting for either of her parents. They were condemned to a stark waiting game for the "grim reaper" to release them from day after day of just staring at walls while they steadily lost more and more physical prowess.

Years before that, My Dad commented to me while they still lived in a HUD apartment in Phoenix that they had "just lived too long." I think he was still younger than I am today at that time.

We have a cup which displays a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. Her advice, as displayed on that cup, was to do something every day that scares you. That approach carries risks, but it certainly serves to keep life interesting.

I just did something that would scare the s++t out of a lot of people my age. I went down to Phoenix yesterday and took a two-and-a-half hour test to qualify for a license to sell life, health and disability insurance. Friday, I'll be attending a training day to prepare me for representing the Aflac insurance company.

Did it scare me? Sure did. I wondered a few times in the last month if I'd ever be able to pass that test, but I aced it ten points over the minimum requirement. Had to study so hard it upset my whole digestive system and sleep, not to mention my normal routine.

Did I wonder if I was being foolish to attempt to start a new career at my age? Yeah, briefly. But, why not?

I still have all my "marbles" -- in my esteemed opinion, at least. I can still drive, think, get around and comprehend facts and situations. So, why limit myself just because of those accumulated years?

At least, I can now have something to get up for in the morning. The admiration my little wife has for me and has expressed vociferously is especially gratifying.

I don't know if I'll make a little or a lot of money. That isn't the main point. The real point is that I can be a vital part of this world and it's economy. I have something to do that will be easier on me and much more feasible than the carpet work I've been doing for forty years now. Time to leave that kind of work to younger, stronger people.

There's a new "spring" in my step, even if it isn't as good as it was in my square dancing days. I can again have the satisfaction of saying I "did it" by accomplishing what I set out to do.

Insurance agents are called "producers." I produced yesterday and intend to keep on doing so.


1 comment:

  1. Good for you Al! Congratulations on your new career. I wish you well!