PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO AT LEAST RECORD THE HIGHLIGHTS.
One of our daughters, Lisa Felske, has urged both my wife Norma and myself for the last several years to record the highlights of our lives and what we could remember about our families to share with future generations. We have worked on this for several years and so far we have created several documents. Lisa has traced our families back six generations an it is and interesting journey. The hardest for me has been trying to separate my work life from my personal life as much as possible.
An old friend, Paul Scicchitano who had created a Management Website, urged me a few years ago to create a series of articles to share my nearly 60 years of work in the Quality Profession. Capturing my basic work life was written in an eight part series that took over 12,000 words and was both informative and free advice to explain that Quality is nothing more than “Common Sense”. Quality is the most misunderstood and misused basic management tool for success in any endeavor. The only country that understands and adopted this as a way of life is Japan. It matters not if any activity is for profit, charity, religion, government, etc., the only real measure of success will always be “Customer Satisfaction”.
Creating this project for Paul encouraged me to write another 5,000 word document recognizing some individual people in my life who went out of their way to help me mature and succeed. As several of these mentors were and some are still alive, feedback from them has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. Handwritten letters from two of the widows of mentors are among my most cherished possessions.
I encourage every person who reads this to start documenting your life regardless of your age. The older you get the harder it is to search your memory as your brain is like a computer. Man created and has provided computers with more memory each year but God gave us all a mind but using it and capacity appears to be an option of how we want to use it. I can assure you the older I become the harder it is to search for things as my mind could use an external drive to store more information. It would be nice if technology could invent such a device simple enough for a “man” to use without having to read instructions.
Creating these projects motivated me to write this article. I never read or heard anything from my parents or elders on how to know when you feel you may have reached the top of life’s hill. This would be hard to describe until you feel you may have arrived at the apex and actually start planning for the inevitable. Starting last year I think I may have arrived and possibly started down life’s hill. I plan to write a series of articles, beginning with this one and share it with as many people who might wonder what internal signals might mean.
Let me be clear and honest as I am in no hurry to depart or so far have not experienced any warning signal to hurry me up. I am now the oldest male in my family at 83+. My mother was the oldest person in her family history when she passed in 2002 at 94+. I am hoping to extend her record if my health remains at levels that allow me to take care of myself, family and play golf.
There was an event in my life that convinced me that what I hope to share actually does happen with some humans. I am certain it probably does not happen to everyone and I limit the scope to people who are fortunate to reach old age. My mother’s oldest sister was married to a man who I am convinced he was nearing the end of his life. He was only in his 60’s but 60 years ago he was beyond the average life expectancy. He was a successful banker who lived through, remained successful, beyond the banking disaster in 1929. He owned rental and business property and shortly before he died he bought a new home that was more suited for my aunt’s needs. When he died he had sold every piece of property, had no indebtedness, left instructions and a key to a safety deposit box that was enough cash to allow my aunt to live a comfortable life for over 25 more years. Unfortunately he left no details of why he had done this.
My mission is to write about events that I experience to hopefully help others recognize milestones when they happen. This is the first in a series that will hopefully last several more years.