Jeffrey, welcome to 60! By Jeffrey Compton January 16, 2015 at 6:45 pm Monday I turn 60! I have been celebrating the event all week with a series of small dinners with one or two friends – and Monday night I will be with one of my very best friends. I was considering something more celebratory, but we just lost my beloved aunt, Dorothy Arnos. And while that dampens my spirits a bit I am excited about looking forward to 60+ – and very thankful when I look back. (If I was ever asked “what sound or noise to you hate?” my answer is simple: “someone whining!”) I am thankful that I love my unique job! Ken Adams likes to tease me (and express concern at the same time) that I have created a monster. Between the Flash, Hot Clicks and Picks and the Weekend Report I have to get a CDC Gaming Report out seven mornings a week. True – but I still get excited contemplating every day’s challenge. Will there be gaming news to tell? What news stories and commentaries will be clicked (read) the most? What new report/benefit/website innovation can we do? And though I work alone out of my Berea, Ohio home – the greatest support team in the world is only an email, phone call or (best yet) Skype call away. I am thankful that I work in the gaming industry! As I write this column I am listening to a brand new recording of “West Side Story: The Jet Song.” Riff, the leader of the Jets (one of the two gangs portrayed in the musical) is singing: “When you’re a Jet, You’re a Jet all the way, From your first cigarette, To your last dyin’ day. When you’re a Jet, If the spit hits the fan, You got brothers around, You’re a family man!” That songs describes the gaming industry to a G. In my lifetime I have worked in accounting, manufacturing, real estate, the cultural arts and the gaming industry and gaming people care about gaming people more than the rest combined. Backstabbing and pettiness (at least for me) are non-existent. G2E is not an annual trade show as much as reunion of friends. I am thankful that my father is still alive! Anyone who talks to me more than 15 minutes usually hear quotes from my father (and best friend), William Compton who is still going fairly strong at 98. His “analytical” skills are not what they use to be – but his ability to get me to fully articulate a problem to the point I can fully consider the alternatives is still there. And I have enough wise personal and business advice to last until I am 98. I am thankful that being 60 is much different than I imagined it to be when I was 20! Back in 1975, 60 was being old. 60 meant being born before World War I. Being 60 was a reduced, somewhat sedentary lifestyle, Lawrence Welk, and Geritol, but not about enjoying sex or listening to rock music or trying a new sport or taking on new mentally challenging tasks. Anyone over 60 who did not fit this stereotypical lifestyle was labeled an “old fool”! I don’t feel that kind of 60 (I have even taken up kickboxing of late – don’t ask!) – and neither do my contemporaries. Many (and not just those whose finances are challenging) plan on working for at least another 10-20 years. Others have taken on stimulating volunteer work – or are actively involved in raising their grandchildren. And few people my age, no matter what their lifestyle, uses the word “retirement” (we badly need a new word!) Note: for more thoughts on becoming legally, but not emotionally, 60 I recommend the blog “Resist Ageism” written by my good friend Joan Broughton. Ninety-nine percent of everyone reading this column has reached 60 or will at some time. That is not the accomplishment – but how you feel when you get there should be something to be proud.