Monday, November 28, 2011

On Turning 45

The age of 45 qualifies as mid-life if you plan to live to 90. The minutes are ticking away and I'll soon slide from the tender age of 44 into the grand old age of 45. I can almost feel the AARP card slipping into my pocket, chiding me to ask for a discount at Denny's.

Unlike some of my friends who find themselves in similar circumstances, I'm going easy into the night. I'm not fighting it. It doesn't worry me or cause me grief. Nope, I'm not losing sleep over this milestone...if in fact this IS a milestone.

All things considered, I'd rather turn 45 than turn blue.

I still feel 26, I just notice more gray hairs (though I wish there were a lot more of them). And my jean sizes have incrementally increased with the years. No, I don't wear a size 44.

I'm sorer now after a long walk or a short run, or when I use muscles I hadn't used in a while.

I wear glasses to watch TV and ride my motorcycle at night. But I don't alert any of my friends or co-workers of that fact.

I'm satisfied where I find myself at this stage of my life. In seasons, this would be late Summer for me. And I'm content.

I'm a resounding success by no means; neither am I a dismal failure. Unlike Ol' Blue Eyes, I have more than a few regrets; they're anchors I drag along constantly. I know I can't change things I've done, so I just live with the fact that my conscience will forever hound me like a deranged ex-lover. In 45 years, I have more good memories than bad, and that's what gets me through the day.

I've traveled around this great country on a motorcycle. I've seen Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Central and South America. And I've seen them "the good way."

And I know I'll see even more of this world. The good way.

I've been 180 feet under the ocean and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane from a mile over the Mexican border. I've shook the hand and shared a laugh with a standing US President.

Sometimes I've snapped photos of the great things I've experienced, but I have cherished memories of many other occasions where no camera was available (and maybe that's a good thing).

Fun factoid: Google my name and you'll find that there are about 2,510,000 results. Only 3 of them are me, though. Oh, I wish that guy with my name at Woodstock in that great photo was me; alas, it's not...

Folks who knew me at 15 wouldn't recognize me. I'm a completely different person than I was at 25 (and that may be a good thing). I've changed quite a bit since I was 35 and my personality continues to evolve. I plan to be a much better person at 55.

I'm happy to report that I'm in a good place at this point in my life. I am fortunate to be in love with my wonderful wife, who joins me in putting The Lord at the top of our list of priorities. I have a semi-sane family that lives nearby, great health with some pretty good genes, a small circle of friends that I see often (but not often enough), two (count 'em TWO) ex-wives who don't hate me, a decent job, an open mind, a fairly bright outlook on life, a somewhat pleasant disposition (after morning coffee), and finally, I have true hope that the best just might be to come. Yes, good things are happening and I'm prepared to enjoy them.

Forty friggin' five? Eh, it's over-rated. Talk to me when 65 rolls around.

OK, it's 2 hours and 15 minutes until the big FOUR-FIVE. Let's do this.

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