On Short Shelf Life

Had coffee with a friend recently–a few years my senior–who showed me a picture on his phone. I recognized it as a raven. He said it was a tattoo. His own. He described the recent decision and related experience in detail.

And it was his comment and judgment of the wisdom of such bod-mod so late in life that I will hold onto, and use, as needed:

“I knew I probably wouldn’t live long enough to regret it.”

I could be encouraged to embark on all sorts of ill-advised habits, with THAT as my FREE PASS!

So see: there are actually a few advantages to seeing 75 in the rear view mirror.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Fred, Be careful–at 75 your life expectancy is eleven years.

    From AI:
    At 75, I have lived a long and full life
    I have seen the world, loved my family, and faced the strife
    But I am not done yet, I still have more to give
    I have 11 more years to enjoy, to learn, and to live

    I do not fear the end, nor do I dwell on the past
    I cherish every moment, knowing it could be my last
    I savor the simple pleasures, like a sunrise or a smile
    I make each day count, and go the extra mile

    I am grateful for the gift of time, that many do not get
    I do not waste it on regrets, or things that make me fret
    I use it to make a difference, to help others and inspire
    I use it to pursue my passions, to create and to admire

    I am 75, and I have 11 more years of joy
    I have 11 more years of wonder, of adventure, and of growth
    I have 11 more years of living, and I will make the most of them
    I have 11 more years of being me, and I am happy with who I am