Bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, who has written a few mind expanding books. He is also a writer for The New Yorker Magazine and born in 1963, turning 60 too this year.

    Over the summer, I was traveling and came across a Master Class with famed author, Malcolm Gladwell on the inflight entertainment. If you are not familiar with Master Class, it is a subscription-we love our subscriptions-of courses taught by the best in their field from Chip and Joanna Gaines, Mellody Hobson, Natalie Portman to James Patterson on everything from wine tasting to decorating. Taking notes on paper and in my mind,  I watched and filed them to be used for a late date, which now has inspired my own Master Class on Ushering in a New Era in my own life.  “Sixty is the new forty”, “You are as young as you feel”,  “Aging is a state of mind”, and so on and so on.  These phrases all may make us feel better about having more years behind us than in front of us, but “The Clock Don’t Lie” and even though I don’t feel or look like what I think sixty should look or feel like, I am on the eve of that milestone birthday that some have a hard time accepting for a variety of reasons.  A very close friend of mine, an expert in their profession, likes to use the phrase, “Me and my ____________ years of experience tells me that______________” when challenged by someone questioning their level of knowledge.  That phrase says to me that time logged studying or practicing in a specific topic,  means that one is due respect for that.  Mr. Himmelhoch, a former principal of mine, once told me that people have a hard time deciding to retire because for some, retirement means they are one stop closer to their exit from this

These guys have most certainly weather the storm of aging well. They can party like rockstars and get up the next day and do it all over again.

world.  It can be a financial decision and for some, it’s a question of “should I retire?” For others maybe, if they have not paid attention to their health, they feel that their age (and habits) has caught up with them and when the calendar strikes birthday 60, they feel it.  Or for some maybe it’s a time they look in the mirror and are disappointed that they no longer feel they look youthful or attractive and that’s a disappointment.  Those thoughts sound rather depressing to me, as it’s more of my mindset to think of the cup half full rather than half empty, sooooooo, I would like to teach a Master Class on a few of the lessons I have learned, very good lessons I might add, as I reached this chapter in my life, to share the wisdom I have garnered over these numerous decades.

Lesson #1.  My Parents were so right about so much.  When I thought the path of my life would be dancing and theater, their wisdom won out, thank goodness and the life of a teacher, which I do believe was my calling, was where ended up.  You see, no one loves you like your parents and no one knows you like your parents.  Once I become a parent myself, they were so much easier to identify with and now that I have two adult children who are parents themselves, I see the same in them.

Lesson #2.  Those struggles, hardships and failures make you smarter and better.  Of course at the time you don’t look at them that way, as no one likes to loose or fall flat on their face.  But like a tennis player looks back at a loss for what they did wrong and what they can learn that makes them better, the same is true in life.  If we choose NOT to learn from our mistakes, we miss the opportunity to learn first hand, what can make us better.  Each failure or rejection made me stronger and better there is absolutely no doubt in my mind.

Lesson #3.  Those times I was left out or not invited, were a gift even though at the time they hurt.  Looking back, those who left me out did me a big favor by saving me from an evening or event with individuals that really I had little in common with and they led me to friends who appreciated my unique qualities.  Had I not been left out, I would have missed out on the opportunities to meet friends who accepted  me for who I was and taught me some good lessons and their good qualities rub off on me, confirming the truth of the saying,  “we are the average of the company we keep,” words spoken by a former tennis instructor.

Lesson #4.  Expect that at times you will observe the most from the least and the least from the most and do not be surprised.  Whether you are talking about a product or people this can be true.

Lesson #5.  Referring back to the quote from lesson #3, “You are the average of the company you keep,” so choose your friends very wisely.  They will rub off on you.  If you see qualities that are red flags, they might not be the best people to be spending your limited free time.

Lesson #6.  You children will learn by what you say but mostly from what you do, so mind your p’s q’s and how you behave.  Having children and keeping this in mind made me want to up my game.  I didn’t always come with my A game, but I tried to do the very best I was capable of that day.  Some days were better than others but I tried and I think they saw that even when I made a mistake or messed up, apologizing to them, showed them that parents make mistakes too that need asking forgiveness from and then you move on. Speaking of children, when they give you grandchildren, it is such a gift. People say it and you don’t believe it until you hold you child’s child in your arm and get to go through it all again from a new perspective.

Lesson #7.  Children are resilient and they look for the best in you. Even when you mess up or you are at your worst, they want you to be ok. Of course, a parents love for a child is unconditional, but also, a child’s love for a parent is as well.

Lesson #8.  Marry your best friend and treat them that way.  Don’t save your all your good behavior for everyone else.  Treat them with the respect they deserve and it will come back to you BIG time.  Of course, that is NOT why you do it, but when you are nice, it always pays off and when that is your modus operandi, you’re more likely to hit the target more often. Who wants to be around a winery grouch anyway?  It’s so much more fun to be around someone who is light hearted and easy going and can turn off the type A/Director when they need to.  If you have that attitude, those around you may start to subscribe to the same attitude, if they don’t already.

Lesson #9.  Exercise is the fountain of youth for your body.  Your body is a machine that is meant to move.  Continuing to learn and experience new things is the fountain of youth for your mind.

Lesson #10.  Your Faith is more important than you might think.  Don’t wait to pray until it’s all you have. Pray everyday for those you love and it becomes just part of what you do and when you are faced with the biggies in life, you know what to do. Faith has carried me through the toughest of times, like Jesus on that boat in the windstorm while he slept.  I felt a calmness when I would have thought I would scrambled in panic.  I have seen him carry loved ones into eternity and no longer am I afraid of what awaits me when my journey here is over.  Of course, it would be nice to have more time here with those I love, but when it’s my time, I know where I’m going and it is comforting to know I’ll see those I so dearly miss.

A friend of mine, Terry Sheehan posted this last week when it was announced that Jimmy Buffet had passed away. Good words.

    Lastly, life is a gift and  journey meant to be enjoyed.  The hiccups and detours along the way are lesson that are part of the journey.  Without the valleys there would be no peaks.  As Jimmy Buffet, who passed away last week said so well, “In my family and friends I have discovered treasure more valuable than gold.”  Take the time along the way to spend time with them and let them know how much they mean to you.  Wishing you many Great Days…

I married my best friend and now, I'm joining him on the next era. Cheers.