The September of My Years

David Brooks, one of my favorite writers, as well as a thoughtful television political commentator, wrote a column that appeared in the Austin Newspaper in March, 2016. I’ve kept it in a manila folder with “future blog” on the tab. The future of that blog, folks, is now.

Of course I’m taking liberally from his thoughts, which – by the way, combined previous writings from Barbara Bradley-Hagerty and the theologian Karl Barth. Overall, the three of them paint a wonderful picture of a life well-lived. The energy, drive, and focus of the twenties-through-forties yield to the fifties-sixties; an arc of life where mid-life is a rebirth with purpose over immediate need and happiness. Identities have been formed. The foundation is secure.

Today, with better diets, exercise, and less destructive habits such as smoking, people enjoy much better health and are vital and energetic longer. The fifties-sixties middle age period no longer is the beginning of descent, but an important turning point when one can move on, look back on a life well lived and see it with different eyes, with more compassion and tolerance for ambiguity

The seventies - and even eighties – now can be a reasonably long period of continued vigor and new horizons. As one who will turn seventy-six later this month, I’m clearly in this extended part of human experience. Of course good health is key, a factor or blessing, partly due to proper attention to healthy physical and mental choices, but also to the inheritance of family genes. In our household, I’m the fortunate one. My wife and lifelong soulmate, a woman who could out-run, out-dance, and out-do me involving any athletic prowess, experiences severe effects of a major hemorrhagic stroke when she was nearly sixty-seven … totally unfair; bad things sometimes happen to good people.  We are as-one now in many ways as I take on a care-giver’s role to an important extent.

Still, I’m enthusiastic and positive about this next chapter, hopefully a positive “September of My Years,” to echo the wonderful Sinatra rendition. In addition to my radio hobby, a wonderful men’s book club and reading is a joy. Writing has become even more fulfilling, and our next generations (adult children, grandchildren, and now a great-grandson) follow their own paths, hopefully with a solid moral and ethical foundation.

Life moves on. It’s fun to still be “in the game.”

Hopefully your 2018 will be safe, healthy, and fulfilling.

J.K. (Jim) George

Author, Reunion and Contact Sport


Please feel free to post a comment here on the blog, or email me directly at <> with any remarks. Also, I'll very much appreciate your recommendation of "Contact Sport" and/or "Reunion" to friends and book clubs. In addition, I'd be pleased to appear at book clubs and/or radio clubs within a two-hour drive of Austin to discuss either book.

1 Response

  1. JK James George
    Here are a few additional comments left on email, etc. The names have been "coded." Thanks for the feedback everyone! ******************** BJ I love this, Jim **************************** DA Well said. I often repeat a trite but wise phrase: "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." Like you, I believe our elder years can be the happiest, building on a life of good as well as hard knocks. Thanks for expressing this so well.********************** DK Hello Jim--I read a couple of your recent blogs-- thanks for your efforts and continuing contributions to the blogosphere. Thoughts: On the Russian thing--Now that all the intelligence officials have proven the existence of interference, one does have to wonder if they all were asleep during the previous election cycles, now that we know it was happening then, also. Moreover, Trump probably doesn't really care if it was all a hoax or not--the election is over and he won. Kinda the way he thinks. He's more concerned about what the Mueller posse might find, and well he should be. On the other hand, who knows what may be in that very, uh--unusual--mind, anyway. Couldn't agree more on social media as news sources--all part of the dumbing down of America. I look at Facebook maybe once a month and it gives me a queasy feeling when I do. David Brooks has been a favorite of mine for years. His tete-a-tetes with Mark Shields on the PBS News Hour on Fridays are a welcome relief from the blather of cable TV. ******************************************** JF I read David Brooks as well. However, years on the NY Times have taken a toll. He once described his job as "Chief rabbi in Mecca", but I wonder if that is still true. Your blogs are well done, and very readable. *************************************

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