One advantage of being an older person is the opportunity to have experienced a variety of life events. Looking back over seven decades I realize that several life events taught me lessons or strategies that I was able to use in my then current or later life, both professionally and personally. Several life events impacted my almost random walk path to a professional career in academic biostatistics. In fact, sometimes I refer to myself as the “accidental biostatistician”. Some of these events are: growing up in a working/lower class family with mental illness and limited income, loving public school and being an academic overachiever, having some valuable mentors in public school and college, working consistently since age 15, experiencing many instances of blatant sex discrimination in education and employment over several decades, moving up to middle class via education, receiving limited career mentoring after graduate school, living as a breast cancer survivor, and developing a passion for square dancing (especially challenge level). In this talk I will share these life events and others, concentrating on the lessons and strategies that I learned from them to apply in the future, especially in the professional realm. Some of these lessons and strategies may be useful for others.