Posted by: Admin | July 21, 2010

WORDS OF WISDOM – Garrison Keillor

Writing in the book “50 things to do when you turn 50”, US Radio host, Garrison Keillor, writes:

“When you hit 50, you have to stop complaining about getting old, the strangeness of it, the fascination, the horror, etc, etc. That was okay in your 30s and 40s, but now that you’re old, it’s time to shut up on the subject.  The term “senior moment”, for example, or joking references to your prostate or Alzheimer’s: Stifle it. You shouldn’t complain about ageing for the simple reason that no one gives a hoot. If you were to pay people to care, they might care a little bit for an hour or two, but you didn’t and they don’t. So learn to be cheerful about it. When people ask how you are, say: ‘Absolutely great. Never better.'”


Garrison Keillor - image borrowed from

He goes on to offer his thoughts on:

  • WEIGHT: “Everyone can afford to lose 20 pounds by 50, so do it.”
  • APPEARANCE: “What works for Willie Nelson doesn’t necessarily work for you… just shave and shower.”
  • EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE: “…put that knapsack full of rocks on the ground and walk away and find something in the here-and-now that absorbs you…”
  • FINDING YOUR VOICE: “Start telling the truth… when you hit 50, you’re entering a new passage in life in which you can say what you really think. “
  • DOING WHAT YOU WANT: “You can dare to express simple preferences.”
  • GIVING UP TV: “50 is the time to try giving up television and newspapers and radio for six months or a year and see what the simple,

    "Not drinking is easy if you don't drink..." image ©Jo Blackwell 2010

    unmediated life of direct experience is like.”

  • ALCOHOL: “…take a vacation from booze and learn to appreciate the world’s panoply of excellent teas… Not drinking is easy if you don’t drink.”

Finally, Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion, has these words of wisdom to impart:

“Fifty is an excellent age for reform of all sorts. You have enough experience and good judgement to know something about yourself and you can see the end of your life from here and so, gauging your desires and your strength, you adjust and straighten and balance and alter what needs altering and press on. It’s a time for marvels on every hand, great richness, emotional clarity, and great sweetness. Sixty is even better, but don’t hurry.”

Taken from “50 Things to Do When You Turn 50” edited by Ronnie Sellars, Sellers Publishing IBSN no: 13:978-156906-590-7

This is an excellent book to dip in and out of. A collection of essays offering thoughts and advice from some of North America’s prominent thinkers and entertainers, it is by turns alarming (get a colonoscopy) and inspiring (trade strength for wisdom). It is also quite funny. 😉




  1. Oh yes 50, a faint memory. Since then: moved back to U.S.A., sold my boat, learned to drive a long haul truck and drove a million miles, went back to flying (made a living for 7 years), was presented with 2 grand children (one now 17 the other 11), stepson murdered, his daughter called to tell about her child and found a zen solution through bicycles. Life is not over at 50. It’s over when it’s over.
    Been listening to Garrison for about 30 years. Enjoy a glass of wine, a cool breeze, and little girls giggling. Eat shrimp for lunch and ponder what the rich are doing. It can’t be better.

  2. THANK YOU, old fool! You’re just the kind of guy I need on here – hope to see you again. Thanks for sharing. Jo x

  3. […] take a vacation from alcohol.  (You can read a few of the quotes, including the one on alcohol, here.)  While I do enjoy a nice glass of wine, a hoppy pint of beer, or a good bourbon (not all at […]

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