Words of wisdom from a middle aged guy

It's been awhile, and I've been under the weather a bit. I don't really have a column type blog today, just some simple observations that have revealed themselves as I continue my journey into "Middle-Aged Wisdom". I hope you, the reader, find some value from the following. I've learned these lessons through my journey so far, and hope that I'll be around long enough to post my "Old Age Wisdom." 1. True friendship is a rare and fleeting thing. You'll never know who your friends are until you're in a bind. A friend will give you the helping hand required to get back on your feet. True friendships have been tested and tempered by the passage of time and crisis. Each milestone strengthens the bond between two people. 2. There are no "Mulligans" in life. For those of you who don't follow golf; a Mulligan is a do over; Bill Clinton was famous for these on the golf course. Here's the bottom line. Live your life the way you want to. Do and experience as much as you can in your life. There is only one go around, so make your choices carefully and live them heartily. Don't waste too much time mulling over mistakes. Learn from them but don't fret over them. The road to wisdom is paved with misjudgment. 3. Enjoy the knowledge and love of your parents; nobody, not even your spouse, will love you as much as your Mom and Dad. Once they're gone, you are truly on your own. 4. Listen to that little voice inside your head when it talks to you. It's called a conscience; if it feels wrong don't be swayed. If it feels right, follow through. Sometimes over thinking and overanalyzing can paralyze one to inaction. Inaction creates missed opportunities and missed opportunities create regret. 5. Always tell the truth, that way you never have to remember what you said in a prior conversation. 6. Experience love, at least once. Only through Love can one experience the euphoric highs and lows of the human condition. Love needs to be experienced at least once to understand the driving force behind the sexes. 7. Laugh. This is the healthiest thing one can do for both mind and body. Laughing releases beneficial endorphins into the human blood stream and is a great cardiovascular workout. 8. Know the difference between SEX and LOVE. There is a difference; one act is a carnal pleasure the other is an intimate entangling of two souls. 9. Pick and choose your battles wisely. Not every conflict requires verbal or physical combat. Defend your principals and your honor, everything else isn't worth the aggravation. 10. Don't fear what you don't understand. If you fear the unknown you will remain forever ignorant. Welcome the unknown mysteries of life and relish the journey of discovery found therein. 11. Ask questions from those you deem wiser than yourself. The journey to wisdom often starts with "May I ask you a question?" The elder generation, though mocked in our society and culture, are revered in every other society. They have already traveled most of life's journey and can impart their experiences to those of us who haven't traveled as far or as long. I hope somebody gains something from the above tidbits. Most may be common sense or simple practical knowledge. I, however, have discovered that even the most fundamental wisdom is often overlooked. Be well on your journey. Greg B (Sparhawk)