A Baby Boomer Ages Gracefully, Like Fine Wine

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At BoomerCafé we love it when we run across boomers who are aging like fine wine. Or even boomers who believe they are. That’s what we find in Larry Checco, who sees more fine aged wine on the horizon.

“Will you still need me, will you still feed me….?”

Yes, I’m 64!

Hard to believe I was just a teenager when the Beatles released those lyrics on their Sgt. Pepper album. It was 1967. I was 19, a college kid, fey and feckless like most of us back then, I suppose, with my entire life at my feet — and no roadmap, other than to put one foot in front of the other.

Larry_Checco

Larry Checco – life is fun.

Now, far many more years sit behind me than lie ahead, but the good news is that I’m finding getting older a liberating experience.

Oh, sure, bending to get my socks on in the morning can be a bit of a chore, and words don’t always come to mind as quickly as I’d like. But I think it’s fair to say that I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

Like, maybe I shouldn’t always be so hard on myself, and instead take my measure more by my efforts than by my successes. And heaven knows I’ve tried — a lot of things!

Including marriage and raising kids. My advice to new parents is, “Just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!” Raising kids and keeping a marriage together at the same time were the two toughest jobs I’ve ever had. But my two twenty-something sons, as well as my wife and I, survived the family crucible thing and we’re all doing just fine.

Along life’s path I’ve also learned that the best ingredient for any recipe is hunger … that you are what you do, not what you say you can do … that some people live and learn, others just live … that a person’s reputation travels faster and farther than he or she does … that honestly truly is the best policy … and that money and I are on the same track; we just travel in opposite directions.

Probably my biggest epiphany is that after nearly a lifetime’s pursuit, I’ve finally come to the realization that there’s no such thing as eternal bliss.

No. Instead I’ve discovered SMOJs, Spontaneous Moments Of Joy. They’re all around me, from the time I get up in the morning and take my first breath of fresh air while retrieving the morning paper from the bottom of the driveway, ‘til the time I kiss my wife goodnight. My responsibility to myself is to go through my day identifying and appreciating as many SMOJs as I can.

That’s not to say that everyday is a bowl of SMOJs. But as my 90-year-old mentor, with whom I’ve been having lunch every few weeks for the past 25 years, reminds me, “True prosperity is appreciating what you have.”

So, here’s to however much time lies before me!

Larry Checco is a brand building expert who works in the not-for-profit area. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

3 Comments

  1. Right on target. Could not agree more! I’m just a tad younger than you, but still “strapped in and enjoying the ride.” My kids are still very young and raising them is my greatest joy with a wife I still adore. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned along the way. What I’ve learned, if I might add a thought, is that I’m far happier at this stage of life than at any other. Life is a grand trip that just gets better exponentially as we go along.

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