Playing the ‘back nine’ of life

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, February 9, 2016

For those, like me, over the age of 60, we feel fortunate just to see the sun rise on another day.

Honestly, we do not regret growing older because we fully understand the fact that long life is a privilege denied to many. That statement is backed up by the fact that I find myself attending more funerals at this stage of my life.

As I write this on Monday morning, Feb. 8, I had all intentions of devoting this space to the disappointment I felt after the Panthers lost the Super Bowl on Sunday. That disappointment was compounded by the classless antics of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in the post-game press conference, one where he abruptly left before it ended.

I’ll say this to Cam and move on….you wanted to be the new face of the NFL…and you are. That “face” comes with responsibility. Grow up and act like a man by measuring class and dignity in equal doses no matter what side of the final score you are on. Kids are watching your every move, so give them something positive to mimic.

One day, Cam and all the young adults of the world will feel the words I’m about to share. They came courtesy of an email from my good friend, Bobby “Keys” Eure.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.

Now I’ve reached the “back nine” of my life and I wonder how it got here so fast.

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey. They move much slower and, like me, their age is beginning to show. We have become the old folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become.

I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did.

I’m on the back nine and I’m not sure how long it will last. This I do know…when it’s over on this earth, it’s over. A new adventure will begin.

Yes, there are regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the back nine yet, let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, don’t put it off until tomorrow.

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life, so live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember, and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

Remember the way you live your life is your gift to those who follow…so make it a fantastic one!


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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