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Opinion: Clock’s ticking, time to act is now

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When I was 12 years old, my family threw a birthday party for my uncle, who was turning 40. The room was filled with black balloons, and everyone teased him about being “over the hill.” Except me.

The way I saw it, he had one foot in the grave. 40? Might as well be dead. Now, I’m 59. Inside, I still feel 12. But I am noticing the skin and bodies and movements of 75-year-olds and older. Mine look more and more like theirs. Reflecting on the ever-faster-moving hands of the clock, here’s what I’ve decided: We are just too old.

We are too old to complain about our health.

My high school girlfriends and I make it a point to get together every few years. Our last rendezvous was a week ago. We look pretty fabulous, you know, for 59. However, we did dip into story-topping, old-age laments: the knees, the backs and the hips. Sheesh. Enough already. We are too old for that nonsense. We are all going to die and everybody has some kind of lump or knot or ache and it’s just boring.

When we put the kibosh on that conversation, we were free to discuss the mind-blowing, amazing, exciting things we were doing: careers, families, babies, traveling, books we’ve read and may yet write, and adventures shared and planned. And we pinky-swore that we would help each other transition from this life to the next.

We are too old for “beefs.”

Every family or business partnership seems to have a secret or two or three. Sometimes, those secrets devolve into a “beef” between those who hold the secret. Years go by and the two of them refuse to speak. Drama runs like a river through every wedding, Thanksgiving dinner and funeral. Sometimes, these fuming relatives even work together on a daily basis. Maybe they have to keep the cause of the beef secret because it’s so inane. Really, even if it involves killing a man, there is always a way toward forgiveness and redemption. Perhaps you are nursing a wound that you’ve kept open for decades. I encourage you to let it heal. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. When you release it, you are that much lighter and a whole lot freer. And scars can be pretty sexy.

We are too old to waste any more time.

My pal, Earl Lutz, is 91 years old. He shakes his head when I suggest that 59 is a lot of years. He and his wife, since deceased, started a company that makes a delicious, spicy sauce based on her recipe. I was enlisted to help Earl put a business plan together. At our first phone meeting, I asked Earl about his hopes and dreams for the company. I was blown away when he laid out his concept for a billion-dollar business. That’s billion, with a “b.” Earl moves fast. He plans for beyond his lifetime and doesn’t commit to calendar appointments beyond a few weeks. The guy is living every moment of every day. He’s just too old not to.

What music do you still have inside you? Time to play it, amigo. We are just too old for anything else.

Ellen Rohr is an author and business consultant offering profit-building tips, trending business blogs and online workshops at EllenRohr.com. Her books include “Where Did the Money Go?” and “The Bare Bones Weekend Biz Plan.” She can be reached at ellen@ellenrohr.com.

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