It’s only recently that my brilliant, courageous, engorged, forward-thinking brain has begun to notice that its envelope is slowly failing. It’s as if the brave handsome ship’s captain stands astride the whatchamacallit, sea breeze ruffling his golden curls, one foot forward, spyglass in hand, scanning the horizon for new opportunities to dominate and humiliate--and suddenly he notices that his vessel has sprung a leak. The planks are rotting, the hull is riddled with cracks, the ship’s stores are crawling with vermin, the mast is broken and dragging in the water, the poop deck is--well, you get the picture. No reason to run the metaphor into the ground, to speak meta-metaphorically.

Ah, regret. I’ve reached that codger milestone where I feel compelled to grab young people by their collars like a pudgy ancient mariner and exhort them to take advantage of the moment and live life to the fullest, even though I can see in their eyes the politely unverbalized response: “That’s what I AM doing. YOU’RE the one who goofed in that department. Sucks to be you, grandpa.” If it weren’t for regret, I could put my squandered life behind me and just bask in the present, about which I essentially have no complaints. Except for the regret. How do people in the financial community do it? They should write self-help books!