Our columnist points out the perks of a few extra years. Respect When I started going gray relatively young, everyone from business associates to restaurant servers started taking me more seriously. That's one reason I was never tempted to dye my hair. The other is that dyes are expensive, time-consuming, and temporary—and who needs all those chemicals?
A Refined Palate I don't even want to tell you what I ate for the first 50 years of my life, but I will tell you that I titled my memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics. At 51 I'm finally enjoying the taste of healthy food, like sautéed shrimp over a spinach salad. My body feels better than it has in years. It's like I'm aging backward!
My Own House I lived out of a suitcase for most of my 20s and 30s as I crisscrossed the country working with up-and-coming political candidates. I still travel like a salesperson sometimes, but I have neighbors now, and they water my garden.
Finally Learning to Delegate Once upon a time, I tried to do everything, even if that meant staying late at the office to tidy things up myself. Now I trust my staff and associates to manage the smaller tasks, which leaves me time to watch bad sci-fi movies. I'm a sucker for human-alien half-breeds that can consume greasy food and not gain weight.
Real Friends The older I get, the older my friends get. It's nice to take life's journey with people I've known for decades. Let's just say it's mutually assured destruction if anyone starts blabbing.