Play Dates or Gap Years?
by Davis Young
– In Just a Few Words –
I know where I stand on that question. When I was raised in the early 1950s, there was never a single time when my mother phoned a friend and said, I’m wondering if you can bring little Larry over to our house about 2:15 in the afternoon two weeks from this coming Thursday for a play date with Davis. If that doesn’t fit on your phone calendar, how do you and Larry look for the 11th of next month mid-afternoon say about 3:30?
Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – I am now 81-years-old and my chances for play dates are dwindling at an alarming rate. And, perhaps that is just as well. I don’t have a swing set anymore. My swinging is limited to the senior tees on golf courses. I am simply too old for play dates. It has taken me a long time to admit that, but it’s true. And this blog is all about truth.
So, I come down on the side of gap years as being the key issue in today’s troubled world, at least my world. I am still plenty young enough to take a gap year and I want to make an official announcement that 2021 will be a gap year for me. I need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life other than to just live it.
What will I do when I finally grow up in another couple of years? What kind of work offers me the best opportunity for long-term happiness? Do I need to go back to school for an MBA? I have a strong entrepreneurial inclination. What kind of company might I start? Will I have time to be a good parent to my children who are now in their 50s and still looking to me for fatherly advice?
These are important issues. Taken together, they are nearly overwhelming. So, rather than a gap year, I may actually end up taking several gap years. I need to get this right. I don’t want to be coming back to you in another 15 years when I’m 96 and have to admit that I didn’t use my gap year(s) to really think through what I want to do next.
For a long time, I have refused to use the word retirement. I hate the thought of the r-word. But, the g-word is another story. 2021 is my gap year, perhaps the first of several. I’m on my way. I think I still have a shot at being the GOAT if I can just figure out what I want to be the GOAT of. That’s another G-word I like.
Perhaps I’ll become a professional baseball player. I know a team that needs some youth. And, with the last name of Young I am forever Young. I will up-skill my game. That’s a promise. I’ve thought about becoming a fireman. One of my best friends is a fireman. I’d have to learn to slide down a pole when the alarm goes off, but the best part is I could spend off-time time with one of those white dogs that has black spots. Or, maybe I’ll become a judge. I think I’d be good at that because I’m very judgmental.
One day last September, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published my Aries horoscope as follows: Your career path is expanding. It’s a day to choose worthwhile goals and decide which direction you want to move professionally. My hometown newspaper understands me. I am counting on the fact that you do, too.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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