What Will They Say About You?

“It will be as if she never existed…” Tom Hagen to Senator Geary in The Godfather 2

I thought about this line from the movie this morning as I drove past an empty lot on my way to work. You see it didn’t used to be just a lot; at one time there was a house with one of the nicest little old ladies I’ve ever known living there.

Her house was about a block away from my shoe store and she started to stop in and look at shoes before going to do her weekly  grocery shopping. I looked forward to seeing her each week, as I said she was about one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever known.

Driving by where her house used to be made me think about Helen and the kitten my family and I gave her once. She loved that little kitty and once a month without fail she would bring in new pictures of it to show me and my wife. It was as if that cat was her baby and she treated her as such.

I’m not sure what happened to Helen, I left the shoe store and got another job and never saw her after that. I’d heard she moved into an assisted living residence, and wondered at that time what had happened to her cat. 

But it wasn’t until I drove by where her home was and saw the empty lot I began to think about the impact we have on others. My family and I impacted her life by giving her a cat, and she in turned changed our lives by becoming our friend.

I miss Helen and those silly cat pictures. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how important relationships really are. I think back over my fifty some years on this planet and wish now I would have invested more time in the lives of those I’ve met instead of being so focused on making a life for me and my family.

As you go about your life, remember to take time and make solid relationships with those you meet. They will pay greater rewards than any money or power you can ever gain.

Bite your Tongue Boy

As I’ve progressed along this journey called life, I’ve come to realize there are times when I have to bite my tongue and not say what I’m thinking. Funny thing is, this is something I have to do in every area of my life; family, work, church and socially. It seems there is always someone doing or saying something for which I have an opinion. What I’ve found however is very few people actually want to know what I think.

It seems whenever there is a new idea or some change needs to take place, even if the person making the changes asks, they don’t really want to know what my opinion is, they really are just telling me to get on board with the plan. I made a statement on social media a few weeks back about how I don’t honor a man just because he holds an office, but I honor the man when he has earned the right for me to do so. Honor is never given, it is earned; more men need to learn this.

At almost fifty-three I can finally say I have learned how to keep my mouth shut; well most of the time. It’s hard to do too. When I sit back and watch younger men and women making mistakes in their marriages it is very hard for me not to say something. I just celebrated twenty-eight years of wedded bliss with my bride last weekend and not to brag, but I have learned a thing or two in all those years. Not to say I’ve got it all figured out; each year we’re married brings new challenges with it. But as I watch young men make mistake after mistake with their brides, it is very hard for me not to say anything.

At work and at church I find myself more and more needing to bite my tongue as well. It’s not as if I’m opposed to things I see there, but having been in business for many years, I have knowledge about some things others don’t and when I see some of the rules or laws of marketing and customer service being stepped on or over I feel an overwhelming need to say something, even though no one wants to hear what I have to say.

I find myself in a very interesting time of life; no longer the young gun building a kingdom nor am I a doddering old fool at the end of his life. I’m in the purgatory of  manhood; still qualified but looking for where I fit in. This is the time in men’s lives where they purchase fast cars, hair plugs and new outfits; all in an effort to show the world they are still virile and worth something. Not me, I’m content with my old pickup, love of things artsy, my bride and family. I know where my worth comes from and I rest in this fact, waiting to help others and biting my tongue a lot.

In his book Fathered by God; John Eldredge talks about the various stages men go through in the course of their lives. Today I find myself in the Sage portion of life. A sage is a man who shares the knowledge of the things he’s learned in life with men younger who haven’t made it as far down the path of manhood. Being thought of as a sage is cool, but there are still times I wish I was the warrior or king.  Oh there are still elements of these areas in my life, but tend to be fewer and fewer the older I get.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in these years on planet Earth, it is to hold my tongue and give advice or counsel only when it’s asked for. The Bible says in the book of Proverbs;

Even a fool when he holds his tongue is considered wise.”

If you can learn this one thing, you will be considered wise in the eyes of the majority of those around you and that is not a bad thing at all. I won’t say it’s easy, because it’s not, but it is achievable if you’re willing to work at it.

Now you know what I think, why don’t you tell me what you think?

 

Help, I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up!

Today as I was preparing to take a shower and get ready to face my day, I stepped towards my closet to retrieve some clothes, catching my toe on a pair of work boots and lost my footing falling head first into the closet only just barely catching myself before cracking my skull.

I have friends my age and older who have fallen in the past, but this is the first time I’ve experienced a fall of this magnitude. On one hand I’m excited because I didn’t let the expletives fly as it were, but then on the other hand I did fall and usually it’s the elderly who take a tumble like this.

It’s no mystery that I’m getting older, I’m 52 after all. The mystery is why all of a sudden just because you’re older things like this happen more often? 

I may be 52 in my body, but in my mind I’m still somewhere around 25 or so. It’s an interesting dynamic to feel young but reality is something altogether different. Why didn’t any men tell me about this? Is it some type of conspiracy older men have against younger ones? 

How about you older fellas, did any older men warn you about what was about to happen to you? Where are the books, the magazines or blogs? Am I the only man who even wonders about it? Maybe there’s a book in this, who knows, maybe I’ll write it.

I do know there are a few things I wish an older man had warned me about, stuff like;

  1. Droopy body parts 
  2. The occasional dribble at the urinal
  3. My ears and nose getting larger
  4. Falling down
  5. Changes in sex
  6. This insane need to purchase shoes with smooth soles to keep from tracking dirt in the house

I’ve decided I’m going to make it one of my missions in life to warn young men of this impending doom. 

Now you know what I think, what do you think?