Ombre Ga’chong: Growing older, wiser, and happier

(Editor’s note: Lee Webber has written several interesting and thought-provoking columns, which we publish here weekly. This one is my favorite so far. Truth be told, these pearls of wisdom struck a chord and came at just the right time. HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, LEE!)
Lee Webber

My odometer will be rolling over to 76 in a few weeks. When things like this happen, you tend to reflect upon what transpired during that time as well as what lies ahead. 

You also get labeled “officially old” by your kids and grandchildren.

Seriously, it does make you think a little about your life history to this point, what’s transpired, what you had planned, how those plans worked, what you didn’t have planned and how that all worked out as well as what awaits you in the years ahead.

One of my dilemmas has always been that my brain is younger than my body. When I injure myself these days I am always reminded of that reality. 

It doesn’t help when your doctor agrees with you either. You also heal slower as you age.

You also discover a lot of injuries you created or had inflicted upon you when you were much younger and thought you were bullet proof come back to haunt you.

While looking through the internet for things people do when they become “officially old” I stumbled across a bit of writing wisdom by columnist Regina Brett (says she is 90-years old when it was written – I want to get past there too), who was published in the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.

It was thought provoking and real life enough that I thought I would share it with you. She published the original column to celebrate growing older as I am doing here.

The original column was printed on May 28, 2006 and this amended version, entitled, “…lessons life taught me…” was re-printed on October 28, 2009. 

I am particularly fond of #22.


1. “Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye but don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything which isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will
this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don’t forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Use your God given gifts and talents and serve people.

45. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

46. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

47. Yield.

48. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

There are quite a few I liked, enjoyed, agreed with more than others but they all fit into life somewhere and the longer you live the more that they fit.

Make Guam Great Again – at least in your own life!


Lee P. Webber is a businessman and civic advocate, the former publisher of the Pacific Daily News, a former president and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser, and a former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia

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