I don't expect to be reincarnated,
so I'll blog about dying and death (with appropriate irreverence) while I'm still alive.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I've learned some things in 68 years

I've done a lot in 68 years, probably more than I'll do in the next 21 years. I did some of the right things and some of the wrong things. I learned lots of lessons and now I'm putting them into a book. 
Do As I Say, Not As  I Did

If the old me could have spoken to the young me, maybe I wouldn't have made so many stupid mistakes. 
From an early draft of the introduction:
Time travel is a pervasive theme in popular culture. For something that doesn’t actually exist, time travel is surprisingly popular.

  • Google shows about ten times as many links for time travel as for European travel.
  • Time travel has inspired countless books, movies, TV shows, videogames and comic books.

My interest in time travel has often been extremely personal. I fantasize about interacting with myself—not with dead presidents or great grandchildren.

I’ve contemplated how the eleven-year-old me would have reacted to the twenty-year-old me. Would the fifteen-year-old me think the forty-year-old me was interesting, cool, smart, boring, stupid, scary, a creep or an asshole?

More importantly—and the impetus for this book—I’ve thought that if the old me could have spoken to the young me, maybe I wouldn’t have made so many stupid mistakes. Maybe I’d now be healthier, wealthier and happier.

I wish I could forcefully advise myself to “do this, not that.” The ten- and twenty-year-old me might have ignored the advice of parents, teachers and doctors—but not the advice of me. If I talk to myself I have to listen.

I’ve learned a lot since 1946. Many of the lessons have been difficult and some have been painful. I figured out many things myself. Some lessons were taught to me by others, especially by my father.

While technology will not yet allow me to go back and talk to myself, I can warn and advise anyone else who’s willing to pay attention.

That’s why I wrote this book. And maybe by looking back I can influence my own future.

It should be published around June 1.

1 comment:

  1. The title on your "tombstone" is what I have been thinking of using as a title for my next blog. I just posted the last entry in the blog for my retirement year. Thanks for some good laughs this morning. I found your blog through the comment on the NPR Facebook posting about names for those of us at this stage in our lives.