Day 425: Truth Teller

“Truth teller” is a role that people take on, in groups and in life.  It’s a very important role.  I take it as a compliment when somebody calls me a “truth teller.”

Sometimes, I can get a bit obsessive about telling the truth.  That is, I feel guilty if I am remiss about that, in any way.

I remember, in the 1970s, interviewing for a job as a technical/marketing writer. I had started off my career in that field, a few years before, with very low pay (because I had no experience), so I was playing salary catch-up, trying to get a fair, commensurate wage.  The guy interviewing me, Al (whom I knew from a previous job), asked me what my current salary was.

And I had been told this, by several people, “Lie about your current salary. That’s the only way for you to get the correct pay for your experience and skill.”  So I lied, exactly as instructed.

And the interview went well, and it looked like I would probably get the job but …. afterwards, all I could think about was the fact that I had lied. I felt terrible.  I agonized back and forth between various courses of action. What to do?  What to do?

My mother used to say, “Honesty is the best policy.”  And that was one of my mother’s sayings that I truly believed.

So, finally, I called Al on the phone, and said, “Al, I’m sorry. That salary I told you?  It’s not true.”

And I said a bit more about that, by way of explanation. Al sounded a little … something on the phone. Surprised. Like he didn’t know what to say. And he didn’t say much.

I had many thoughts after that confessional phone call, such as, “He must think I’m nuts.  Maybe I won’t get the job now.”

But I felt better.

And how do you think this story turned out?

I got the job. At the salary I wanted.

So why am I telling that story, today?  For one thing, I want to make sure I tell the truth, here.  Specifically, I want to be clear and come clean on something I’ve claimed, several times, in blog posts last year.

For years, I’ve been told by many experts that I am the longest surviving person in the world with a cardiac pacemaker. I bragged (authentically, I thought, at the time) about that record in past posts (like herehere, here, here, here, here, and here). I often hesitate to brag, for many reasons1 … but I thought that brag was true.

I’ve written, before, about the possibility that I don’t have “the title” (in “Day 320: Show up, be gentle, tell the truth).  Today, I truly believe that I don’t.

And, because it’s nice to be The Best or The First or otherwise qualify for The Guinness Book of Records, I’ll tell another truth: I’ve had moments of resistance to giving up that sort-of-sweet superlative.

But not any more. In this moment, I am authentically pleased to speak this truth:

I am one of the longest surviving people in the world with a cardiac pacemaker.

Which puts me in very good company.

Hey!  Look at that! I’m not alone!  Instead, I’m part of a group. And if you’ve read this blog before, you know this truth to be self-evident: I love groups.

Speaking of honesty, I need to credit somebody else, who also inspired today’s post. As is often true for me, a comedian was part of the mix. Today’s comedic co-star is Steve Martin.


(I found that image at Wikipedia.)

Before I decided on today’s post topic this morning, I encountered Mr. Martin (among many excellent musicians)  in this YouTube Video:

(see here for a full list of musicians, in the comments)

Honestly, isn’t that pure joy?  I genuinely adore that video.

But here’s another fact: that video was NOT the inspiration for this post.  Watching that video led me to this one:

And that truly helped me write this post, today.

Thanks to Steve Martin, my old friend Gene (who also inspired this post2), the longest surviving person in the world with a pacemaker,3  Al, Johnny Carson, Earl Scruggs, truth-tellers everywhere, and to you — but of course! — for visiting today.

1 One of the reasons for NOT bragging would be this:  If you brag and it’s not true, look at all the rewriting you have to do!

2 Gene inspired this post like so: On Facebook, he is currently asking for songs that have major landscape features in the title, which lead me to that “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” video.

3 See the comment section on this post and this post, too, for more about this person.4 And while it’s possible somebody else out there has lived EVEN LONGER with a pacemaker … I sincerely doubt it.

4 Why aren’t I naming names in this post?  Honestly, I’m not sure how she would feel about that (and I hope to find out more about that, soon).

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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33 thoughts on “Day 425: Truth Teller

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  7. I’ve told and demonstrated to my son, I’m much more upset over a lie than I am over the original transgression!

  8. Mandy

    Kate, I’m so happy I discovered your blog. I only did because I saw your Follow on mine this morning. Sometimes treasure just land on your doorstep! I love truth-telling, having lived in a closet of shame and secret keeping for my whole life. Only now am I learning the world won’t come crashing down if you say your truth (out loud). Well, it hasn’t YET 🙂 — is blogging saying it out loud? (I’m practicing.) Also, you just made my day with that Steve Martin clip on Johnny Carson. I’ve mentioned him before in a blog post about loving comedy-and Steve being one of my favorites. So, thanks for making my morning! 🙂

    • Mandy, so great to see you here and thanks for this comment. I plan to explore your blog for treasures, very soon. Your visit made my morning, also.

  9. I believe everything I read in your blog, Ann. From the start. Congratulations on the discovery that you are in the elite cardiac pacemaker group. I like that news more than I like Steve Martin playing banjo and laughing with Johnny Carson, and I like those two things a lot.

  10. We historians sometimes wonder if there is such a thing as ‘the truth’.

    Does it ever happen that your pacemaker sets off security alarms?

    • The truth is this, Rod: That happened once, many years ago.

      Thank you for the statement and for the question. Great to see you here, as always.

  11. Gene Phillips

    I am glad I helped inspire this post, which is a good one.

  12. -wild laughter, and the cacophonous cackle of the background banjo chorus —

  13. Telling the truth also gave you an excellent blog post for us to read, but at least the other posts were made based on an error not a lie so no foul.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  14. I’m happy you’re part of such a great survival group.
    As for telling the truth, I’ve learned it’s the best thing to do, but obviously from posts about my early life, I tended to stretch it to the limits.

  15. Pingback: Day 426: Barbara | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  16. hey, this is a great testimonial to telling the truth. Doesn’t always work out nicely as your story did, but always worth it. I would like to share your story with my teen scripture study class, if you don’t mind! Gail

  17. I like your statement: If you brag and it’s not true, look at all the rewriting you have to do!
    It reminds me of the adage: If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. ~ Mark Twain
    I enjoyed reading this post Ann.

  18. I have had a PM for 31 years and am getting ready for a lead extraction and generator replacement. Have you ever had that done?

    • Always good to hear from a fellow pacemaker person. I’ve had many, many generator replacements. Not sure if I’ve ever had a lead extraction (believe it or not). Thank you for visiting and commenting, and I am sending many good thoughts and wishes out to you.

  19. Pingback: Day 748: A Salt and Battery | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  20. Pingback: Day 2528: Resistance | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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