Live everyday as your last; plan everyday as if you will live forever

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I feel fortunate that I’ve reached the age of 90. I acknowledge that I have fewer days ahead of me than I’ve had behind me. One of my favorite sayings is one that I heard years ago. It is a challenge. “Live everyday as if it were your last. And plan everyday as if you are going to live forever.”

As of this day, I’ve lived 32,887 days. I have no guarantee of how many more days I’ll live. I want to make them count. What are my priorities?

My relationship with God is vital. Very important. In fact, my most important goal. Everyday I remind myself of God and His love, His mercy and His forgiveness.

Stella and I are church tramps. We rotate between Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Congregational and Independent. Always the Catholic, but the others vary.

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Family is also vital-including each other’s. We take care of each other. Watch out for one another. I no longer can drive, so Stella is my personal UBER driver. Wherever we travel – Jack-in-the-Box, the gym, Walmart, favorite restaurants, church, grocery stores.

We often see our family (local ones) our kids, our close relatives, for lunch or just for a visit.

Friends are important. They are like flowers. Either cultivated or they die. So, I have lunch with several each week. Conversation is always stimulating. We choose our friends wisely. Seldom do we spend time with individuals that are negative. Travel, politics, religion, food, bargains, movies, books, common friends, ailments (doctors) and each other’s plans are topics of discussion.

Another favorite activity that Stella and I have is eating out, just by ourselves. We even share jokes. My recent favorite is about a man who was meeting his daughter’s new boyfriend that was studying for the ministry.

The boyfriend would answer every question with the words, “God will provide.” Do you have a job? My daughter needs clothes, a nice house, a car, etc.”

That night his wife asked him how things went. He responded, “HE THINKS I’M GOD.”

We love fast food restaurants. Jack’s, Wendy’s, Subway, McDonald’s, Carl’s; along with Mongolian Bar-B-Q, Coco’s, Sizzler and our favorite, Sundowner’s.

We seldom go to movies, but watch a lot of T.V. I like sports and the news. Sometimes Stella watches them, but more often she likes Reba, Lucy, and Law and Order.

Writing a weekly column for several newspapers and preparing for my next book takes up a lot of our time. Remember I plan each day as if I was going to live forever.

I write in longhand; Stella types it out. I correct it; she retypes it and it is put into a folder. I usually have several ready to go, and on Saturday we decide which ones to send to the papers and send 500-plus e-mails.

Stella is also an excellent researcher. If I want to know who said, “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but not their own set of facts,” she finds the answer.

We both do a lot of reading. We keep Barnes and Noble, Alibris, and our local library very busy. I’m usually reading four or five books, switching from one to another. Always one is a novel: Carr, Coben, Baldacci are my favorite novelists.

There are several events that we look forward to every year. They are family get-togethers. About 40-50 of them attend. Stella and I have a blended family. Eight kids (2 are 60 years old,) 25 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. One was just born and 3 more on the way.

We get together on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Sunday before Christmas and the day before Mother’s Day. It is usually a pot-luck. I have only one job – to relate the highlights, achievements and births since the previous meeting. The events are wild and noisy. In spades.

Stella and I both love cruising. If the ship just goes around in circles, Stella is happy. Since I’m living today as if I’ll live forever, I’m including going on several more cruises-including Stella.

Currently I’ve been on 143 cruises, many of them as a “destination lecturer.” With my current handicaps, it is great that most ships have handicap rooms. They are larger, including bathroom facilities. Many also have balconies.

Our future plans include: a four-day cruise to Ensenada, a cruise to Alaska, going to Seattle by train; a cruise to Baja, Mexico. More plans to follow.

Obviously, this article covers a litany of my plans for today and the next year. I am a dreamer and a positive thinker. Join me if you can.

Amen. Selah. So be it.

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