This month, I want to indulge my ongoing inspiration with life by sharing the details of a visit with one of my first mentors in the HVAC industry, Hank Eggert. I am also writing this column for all those pre-baby boomers and baby boomers (and I know who you are in this building industry!) In the past, I’ve written about professional development and continuing to contribute to the building industry (see my October 2020 column, “A Life Well Lives and Still Living”), and here is a great example for those who should be saying each morning to themself, “Don’t let the old man (or woman) in.”
I went to visit Hank a few weeks ago to see how he was doing after his beautiful wife Margret of 55 years had passed on unexpectedly. I had a great visit with him, and we talked about the value of today and tomorrow. Hank, who is 83 years young, once served as the president of an HVAC consulting engineering company. He is now taking on the challenges from this unexpected sad event in his life.
At 74 years young, I’ve stayed connected to the HVAC industry, though he chose a different path, migrating to the invigorating Berkshires of Massachusetts. Discussing the future, he pulled out his phone and showed me a video by Toby Keith, the well-known country singer and songwriter, who was inspired to write a song after a conversation with Clint Eastwood titled, “Don’t Let the Old Man In.” After listening to the song, I found this reenforced a saying I’ve proudly used: “I am excited to get up each day.”
So, why am I sharing this in my column? Well, in my 60s, I started to experience employers and clients asking when I was going to retire. I’ve also observed fellow men and women in their 60s suddenly question what the rest of their lives will entail after their careers came to an end. Well, if you want to continue to get up excited with life, “Don’t Let the Old Man or Woman In.”
While many people are consumed with negativity toward everything imaginable, I’m still saying what I said to my future wife back in 2012, “I’m excited with life and the opportunities it provides me.”
Today, I have two books on the market; I’m dabbling with an equipment manufacturer’s podcast (a topic for next month); I’m aiming to land a deal for my next book, “HVAC Infrastructure Through Integrated Project Delivery;” and I even have an idea for a novel should I run out of building industry interests. I’m doing all of this so that I “Don’t Let the Old Man In.” As Will Rogers said, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”