Living in Society

Seventy Years

The lake is beginning to freeze.

At seventy years life looks different… going forward, I mean.

There’s no changing anything that was done. We revisit the past partly for discivery, and to put new spin on it. That’s human nature and it is okay, yet not always good. Despite our revisions, we possess an outlook toward understanding who we are now in context of the past.

Things are clarifying while working on my autobiography. I don’t believe my whole story has been told so I keep at it. Even when it is finished and out there, I expect few will read it. The story is to help our child understand who I was if they have interest. They have separate memories to nurture.

What are the things that made a difference in my life? There are not that many.

  • I was born to a family that valued my presence.
  • Despite familial value, I was injured and hospitalized at age three due to an easily preventable home safety hazard.
  • Father died in an industrial accident when I was 17 years old.
  • The company where father worked awarded me a college scholarship that paid most of my expenses.
  • For 12 weeks I traveled in Europe after college graduation.
  • After the Vietnam War, I enlisted in the military and lived in West Germany for three years.
  • Married in 1982.
  • Started a career in transportation and logistics that lasted 25 years, as well as into my last paid job.
  • A child was born in 1985.
  • Moved to Indiana and then back to Iowa.
  • Had financial means to retire from transportation at age 57.
  • Experienced extreme weather and the coronavirus pandemic.

My birthday is later this month yet I wanted to gain perspective by making this list. The next ten years, should I be so lucky, will be a time of contributing to society while at the same time receding from view so others can step forward. I don’t know that any major milestones lie ahead yet I’m confident I will do useful things with my remaining time.

It has been a life with its troubles. It has been a life well lived.

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