Don’t Let the Old Man In


By Roamy Valera, CAPP

In the wake of Toby Keith’s passing, the world mourned the loss of a country music legend. His departure sparked introspection, prompting me to reflect on the passage of time and the changing roles we assume in life.

For years, I reveled in being the “young one” among my peers, accustomed to affectionate monikers like “young man” or “kid.” But lately, those titles have faded, replaced by reminders of my advancing years. At gatherings, I now find myself introduced as “pops” and proudly wear the mantle of grandparenthood. Even my inbox echoes the message, with offers from AARP signaling my transition to life’s “back nine.”

Yet, amid these reminders of mortality, I find solace in a newfound perspective. Rather than lamenting the passing years, I focus on the positives surrounding me. Acts of kindness, moments of joy, and the opportunity to shape my legacy—all serve as reminders of life’s inherent beauty.

Toby Keith’s death served as a poignant reminder not to succumb to the weight of age. Instead, it inspired a commitment to live with purpose, influence, and gratitude. As I embark on another journey around the sun, I embrace the opportunity to make a difference and leave a mark on the world that transcends mere years.

To my fellow travelers on life’s journey, I urge you to join me in this commitment—to “not let the old man in.” Let us embrace each day with vigor, cherishing our moments and striving to make them count.

Cheers to a life well-lived, filled with purpose and gratitude. May we all find inspiration in Toby Keith’s legacy and carry it forward as we navigate the winding road ahead.


Roamy Valera, CAPP, is President of Automotus. He can be reached at