Adventures in Retirement: “My Way” – Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on May 06, 2015 with No Comments

I recently saw a biography about Frank Sinatra on TV.  Although I was already familiar with the fact that “My Way” was his theme song and represented his lifestyle, the biography revealed some interesting aspects of his life that I didn’t know about.

I knew that he had a reputation as a womanizer and that he cavorted with Mafia bosses along with other questionable social connections.  However, there were aspects of his personality that impressed me.  For instance, he was strongly opposed to all types of prejudice, whether it be racial, religious or national origin.  Not only was he opposed to acts of prejudice, but he also made an award-winning short movie about why prejudice was not only bad behavior, but also unpatriotic.  Helping Sammy Davis Jr. to a successful career was just one example of his activities.

He also was a hard worker and highly dedicated to his work.  He spent weeks preparing for every singing engagement, and when he worked in Hollywood, he had a reputation for hard work and thorough preparation for his parts.

Next, I was impressed by his political open-mindedness.  Unlike many other celebrities, he chose candidates to support for president based on who they were, what they believed in and how dedicated they were to our country, rather than what party they belonged to.

In the final evaluation, while some of his judgements were questionable, and certainly his attitude towards women left something to be desired, he was a person who made up his own mind.  You’ve got to respect that.  He did not decide to do things simply because it was what everyone else did.

As we get older, some of us may begin to think about doing things “My Way.”  We decide that we won’t follow along with the crowd, or be a sheep that other people can lead.  We may think about what is really important to us, what our beliefs really are, and decide to change our thinking when that makes sense.  We are able to go our own way.

That doesn’t mean you are always going to be right.  But if you are going to be wrong, you should be wrong because you used your own judgment rather than someone else’s flawed judgement.  For example, in supporting a candidate for president of the U.S., Sinatra was known to have supported John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.  I’m sure most of us will feel that he was wrong about his choices regarding at least one of those men.  But who knows whether he was right or wrong.  Unlike most of us, he actually met all those people.  Who can say they know better than him?  You have to admit, he did it his way.

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About Bill Leavitt


All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit RetirementLifesGreatestAdventure.com for more information.

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