Happy Birthday to me, eh? Well, you'll have to pardon me for not being in a celebratory state of mind, but, like a lot of us, a birthday puts me in a reflective mood.
206 48 today, which really only means that when people ask me how old I am, my response invariably is "old enough to know better, but too young to care". In my younger days, I'd always that the my mid- to late-40s would leave feeling as if I'd arrived. I'd be on top of my game, secure in my own skin and confident of my place in the world. I'd be set, settled, and established.
If I had to describe my feelings today, it's that I'm 48 going on 12. I have no idea what 48 is supposed to feel like, but this certainly isn't what I'd been expecting. Then again, the uncertainty and strangeness of it all has the benefit of keeping me guessing- when WILL I feel like an adult? When WILL I feel as if I've found my place in the world? Or am I already there but not cognizant of it because it isn't what I'd expected or wanted?
At this point in my life, I've long since become the person I am. Sure, I can tinker around the margins, and part of living and growing involves doing exactly that. Beyond that, yes, I'm still a work in progress, but most of the clay has long since been fired. Where I am now- emotionally and geographically- is not at all where I expected to be at age 48, but it's difficult to complain. I know that I'm a very fortunate person. Even with all the difficulties- divorce, emotional trauma, trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up- I'm still better off than so many people. For that I'm grateful, and I'm not in a frame of mind to be complaining about my lot in life. Things could certainly be a whole lot worse.
My goal for the next year is pretty simple, really. I want to be a better person. I want to be more social. I want to be a friend. I want to be a better example to those around me. And I want to find a way to give back. If I can accomplish those things, it should be a VERY good year.
Looking forward, I can't help being excited...and not just because the other option ain't pretty. Every day I'm still drawing breath I have something to look forward to, and when that ceases to be the case...well, you'll have to find yourself another blog to peruse. Don't worry, though, I plan on being a very old and ornery man...and I might just have something to be excited about. Stay tuned...the second half is still a long ways away.