I've finally reached an age where things that I thought were true at the time of having the thought have now proven to be true. Of course, some have also proven to be false and there are lessons in that, too.
I've learned that if someone, or even some business, goes out of their way to tell you how great they are, they usually aren't very great. This is true in most every walk of life. Witness the TV talent shows, of which I think there may be 40 or so on the air right now. It never fails that when they show the dancer/singer/juggler who spouts off about how the judges have never seen the likes of him before, he turns out to be completely without talent.
A corollary to this rule is that if a business tells you how wonderful they are more than once in an ad, they ain't so wonderful. Like when the local strip club tells us that they're, "A class act," at the start and finish of their TV ads. Guess what, they're not. And I'm sure I don't even have to mention politicians.
I've learned that in many, if not most, cases what an opponent accuses you of, is actually what they would do in the same circumstances. A card cheat will be the first to accuse you of cheating at cards and a crooked politician will always be the first to point the finger and call his opponent a crook. It never fails.
I've learned that the people who praise God the loudest are usually the least godly people in the room. This appears to be true across all denominations, locations and time zones. Just sayin'.
I've learned that no matter how often educators and their administrators tell us how every child can go to college and have a better life, the percentage of people with college degrees will stay around 30%. If your child isn't in the top 30% of students, please let him or her do something that doesn't require the degree that they can never hope to get. Give your son a good set of tools. encourage your daughter to go into dog grooming. Just don't force them into a mold that they don't fit.
I've learned that you should never retire to the same place that you vacation. Never! You will quickly discover two very important things.
First, you can no longer spend money like you did when you were on vacation. So that great restaurant that you make sure to visit twice during your vacation week is now, because you're retired, a once a month treat. Maybe. And all those wonderful attractions that you visited each year are now just added expenses.
Second, the population of the vacation spot where you'd like to live breaks down to having; natives, locals, and tourists. Guess what? You're none of the above. You can never be a native, since you weren't born there and your family doesn't go back a hundred years. Sorry. You're no longer a tourist, since you live there now, but it takes time to become a local. Time, which you'll discover in the off season, that drags on and on. You see, it's called the off season for a reason; nobody wants to be there then. And the population of "locals" is pretty much a population of transients. People who are passing through, or who dropped out of larger society, or who just work the seasons and then move on to another vacation place for their busy season. What you won't find is a sense of community. That's reserved for the natives.
And finally I've learned that being a dyed in the wool cynic isn't that bad. I least I'm rarely disappointed!