When an Old Man Gets to Thinking (11/23/2018)

This Friday Footnote will be somewhat brief because you have more important things to do after Thanksgiving such as snagging Black Friday deals, eating leftovers and watching football games.  But really the most important thing you have to do is to spend time with your family and friends.

Research shows agriculture teachers work 55+ hours a week. We really do need to spend more time with our loved ones. Children only grow up once. We never know how much time we have with our loved ones. My wife died of breast cancer at a rather young age. I am glad we didn’t want till “someday” to travel and do the other important things we did. It has been said that “Someday” is a code word for never. Don’t wait until someday to travel, go to graduate school, etc.








Dolly Parton reminds us “ Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” So the point of this Friday Footnote is to remind you to have balance in your life and be thankful for your family and loved ones.

One of my favorite poets is Edgar Guest. He wrote poetry for the common person back in the 1920s. Following is one of his poems that I really like. The title is “When an Old Man Gets to Thinking.”

When an old man gets to thinking of the years he’s traveled through,
He hears again the laughter of the little ones he knew.
He isn’t counting money, and he isn’t planning schemes;
He’s at home with friendly people in the shadow of his dreams.

When he’s lived through all life’s trials and his sun is in the west,
When he’s tasted all life’s pleasures and he knows which ones were best,
Then his mind is stored with riches, not of silver and of gold,
But of happy smiling faces and the joys he couldn’t hold.

Could we see what he is seeing as he’s dreaming in his chair,
We should find no scene of struggle in the distance over there.
As he counts his memory treasures, we should see some shady lane
Where’s he walking with his sweetheart, young, and arm in arm again.

We should meet with friendly people, simple, tender folk and kind,
That had once been glad to love him. In his dreaming we should find
All the many little beauties that enrich the lives of men
That the eyes of youth scarce notice and the poets seldom pen.

Age will tell you that the memory is the treasure-house of man.
Gold and fleeting fame may vanish, but life’s riches never can;
For the little home of laughter and the voice of every friend
And the joys of real contentment linger with us to the end.

Home and the Office is another Guest poem I really like. A complete list of Guest poems can be found at https://www.poemhunter.com/edgar-albert-guest/poems/. Note: The line in the poem about struggles in the distance over there refers to World War 1.


If this Friday Footnote resonates with you, consider obtaining a copy of How to Get Contol of Your Time and Life by Alan Lakein.  This `159 page book is 40+ years old but is one of the best books I have found on living a life and time management. I read it while a rookie ag teacher and it has helped me along the way. You can probably pick up a copy in a used book store for a  few dollars.

If you are attending the NAAE convention in San Antonio next week you would be welcome to drop by the  “Live Like You Were Dying: Balancing Work and Family” workshop on Thursday afternoon from 3:15 to 4:30.

Past Friday Footnotes can be found at https://footnote.wordpress.ncsu.edu/ or at https://communities.naae.org/groups/friday-footnotes.