Staying Relevant

“Old man take a look at yourself. I’m a lot like you were.” — Neil Young

With a birthday coming up tomorrow, I’ve been pondering my own mortality. I’ll be 63. In just two more years, I’ll be elderly as defined by demographers.

The good news is if I make it to 65, I’ll have an 81 percent chance that I’ll make it to 70, and a 41 percent chance I’ll celebrate my 80th birthday. Hey, I might even be one in five men my age who will live to be 90.

I’m fully aware that because life is fleeting, every minute of every day counts. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. There is no turning back the clock. As I unwind at the end of the day, I find myself contemplating what I accomplished and whether it made a difference.

Thankfully, in my current job, working in an advertising and public relations agency staffed by ambitious young college students, I have lots of opportunities to make a positive impression and to share the knowledge I’ve obtained in six plus decades. I am fulfilled and constantly rewarded because I am serving a vital function. I am relevant.

A key to relevancy is to avoid the sentimental longing for the past called nostalgia. As long as the future remains more important than the past I will continue to be driven to stay current and contemporary, not threatened by the constant change of the organic world in which we live.

I have come to the conclusion that the secret to a happy life, whether it is long or short, is to stay relevant. The path to relevancy will certainly change as I grow older. I won’t always have this job. Someday I’ll have less energy, and fewer opportunities to make meaningful contributions. But I am determined that regardless of my age or circumstances, I will always find ways to be relevant. You can quote me on that!