Larry Looks at What He’s Learned in Life

What do you do when another birthday rolls around? Don’t ask Larry Lefkowitz. He ponders. Like, what has he learned in life?

Larry Lefkowitz

As my birthday is mere days away, it is time for me to reflect on my journey through life that has gotten me to my fifty-eighth year in one piece … more or less.

The last couple of years have been trying, bringing about change that I anticipated but thought would come later on.

Just 18 months ago, I had triple-bypass surgery because my pipes were clogged. Not that I had lived a careless lifestyle when it comes to diet and exercise, but I was fighting genes that I did not request.

I couldn’t know that there was plaque I could not floss away. However, as a result, I now eat better and exercise as though exercise were religion. These, I figure, are good things. I look no different, but I feel better. And so at this point, it occurs to me that there are several things that deserve to be noted.

  • Cleveland is a great name for a dog, but not so good for a city. The city of Cleveland has gotten the same rap as the Ford Edsel. It is synonymous with failure.
  • Raising kids is a crapshoot. People who do everything right sometimes have kids who turn out all wrong, and vice versa. Unconditional love or tough love? Most of us love our offspring unconditionally, and I will bet that works out for the best in most cases. Having kids who love you back is the best thing in life.
  • Cars are irrational elixirs for some of us. For me, a new or even a different car is as good as a new relationship with a woman. Well, almost.
  • Music has greater meaning and impact as we get older, and older music that ages with us becomes a greater part of our makeup than we realize. My attachment and affection for Beatles music is as strong now as it was 20 years ago.
  • Pizza is a necessity. I know, it is not good for you, but you can learn to make your own from healthy ingredients and it is still delicious. What yummier food is there?
  • Politics are to be taken with a grain of salt. Many of the things people get worked up about today were also happening a hundred years ago. It’s true. It’s in books. You could look it up.
  • There are more women in the world now than men. Now would be a good time to be on your best behavior, guys.

There are things you will never have, places you will never see, and things you will never know. Even if you live to be a hundred. Even if you live to two-hundred. So don’t worry and don’t lament.

It is senseless to wince over bad memories. So why do I do that? I don’t know, but somehow I think that is a good thing. If I didn’t care about the stupid stuff I have done, I wouldn’t even remember it, I think.

Near-death experiences are not all they are cracked up to be. Given a choice, I recommend avoiding them.

Shoes are neat to have. Putting on a new pair of shoes is the equivalent of putting on a new hat seventy years ago. Except, there are more shoe styles than there were hat styles.

You cannot live without worry. However, trying to is a good thing. So much damage can be done by stressing, and it is so hard not to stress in our world and at our age, but actively trying to reduce it is a worthwhile endeavor. Have a slice of pizza.


  1. Hi Larry,

    I enjoyed reading your post. Congratulations (I think!) on making it to 58. Being from Cleveland myself, and having punched out right after high school, I have to ask why you are still there? I don't want to hurt any feelings here, I am just curious. And I just went back to visit for a week, and while I liked my stay, I was sure glad I don't live there anymore.



  2. Great little article. I have managed to make it 61 years (born 1949) and it seems that I agree almost 100% with you. Don't know anything about Cleveland! I still remember my first pizza at a small dairy mart hangout.

    P.S. I have a category on my blog entitled "Young Baby Boomer Stories". I intend to submit one of the stories under your 'Story Submissions' if I can pass the criteria. I would invite you and others to post stories of their young years on my blog as well. They may do so at



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