And I'm talking about something more than making babies.
My biggest mistake in life, I can say without regret and from the perspective of sixty-two years completed, was not throwing myself into a "literary career" while I was still in my twenties, rather than now, as I am doing, in my sixties.
You have to do the thing you love when you are in your 20s because no matter how much or how little you make at the time you start that career, it sets the tone for your life's work, no matter how long you live.
If you are ever going to make any money in your life -- and I mean big money -- you have to start making it in your twenties even if the money then doesn't feel like "big" money.
This is the advice I have given my daughters, and it comes from the experience of having chosen to work for pennies in my early business career as a journalist, and never having been able to move up through the salary ranks during a 40-year career as a writer.
If it sounds like I'm whining, perhaps I am. But what I'm really whining about is my choice to pursue journalism as a day job while trying to practice my craft of writing literature on the side.
If I could have done it -- and that's still entirely a matter of speculation -- I should have concentrated on making my reputation as a writer of literature when I was young, unmarried, and could afford to be poor.
Had I established a reputation then, my income over the years might have risen much higher.
Of course, it's all a crap shoot.
My non-fiction books, short stories, poems and novels (if I ever get one written) could just as easily have not sold when I was young as they are not selling now.
But at least then I could have kicked myself in the ass at age 40 and done something more lucrative.
As I said, I have no regrets. I still like myself, and, had I done things differently, I might not have emerged into my sixties feeling that way at all.
So to all you young people: Make your choices whatever way you decide you must. Just remember the advice of an old man who has been there:
Do it in your twenties!
(This is Chapter Two of a book I am writing online called : "Traitor to Myself." It's intended to be about some of the lessons I have learned in life.)