How old are you and how do you feel about your age, aging, your future?

Pete Geissler
2 min readJul 14, 2022


When your regrets exceed your hopes you know that you are old, no matter your calendar age.

Your hopes are your life when young — hopes for a happy marriage, career, kids — all the trappings of the good life. You have not lived long enough to harbor regrets.

Then, oops. Your marriage dissolves into a cauldron of recriminations and you join the army of the disillusioned divorced. You realize that the career you wanted died a painful death as the global economy evolved.

I am a robust 89. Divorced but both of us rebounded. Changed career and became happy and prosperous. I still harbor many regrets of what could have been, surely tied for the most useless of emotions with worrying about the future.

So I try, at times unsuccessfully, to count my considerable blessings and achievements. I have four kids and six grandkids with whom I communicate regularly and are healthy and prosperous; business associates around the world who work toward our mutual success in publishing; a part-time lover who shares my passions for wine, music, literature and for treating each other with kindness and dignity; many erudite friends with diverse interests; seventeen books with my name on the covers and two more on the runway;; and hundreds of appreciative students at my writing classes and lectures. I hope I have improved the lives of others, and many of my students and readers tell me that I have. Just last week a student upped my happiness and ego when he wrote:

I got an award at work for being the best writer in marketing (and my boss sent me to your class to improve my skills) and I have been writing for fun, as well as for work, ever since. I am in your debt.

My future, of course, is truncated and I behave accordingly. I am finishing the manuscript of a book titled More Glad than Sad, a memoir that is a series of anecdotes and essays that have mostly made me happy. Writing it has opened new levels of gratitude.

I also have conceptualized a new book on leadership and ethics (perhaps the boldest of oxymorons) that I will co-author with a former president of a major manufacturer and lecturer at twenty-one universities.

It’s anybody’s guess that I — or you, for that matter — will see either book on Amazon. I hope we do, of course, proving that I am still young enough to hope, or perhaps proving that there is no fool like an old fool.



Pete Geissler

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