Today I reach the end of my seventy-second year and begin my seventy-third. My best friend and lover sleeps. I habitually write.
My Pop was this age when I was twelve. That’s right. Pop was sixty when I was born. In today’s coronavirus world, he and I could be sacrificed for the survival of younger generations. Times have not only changed, but there is also now a paradigm shift like none other in recent history.
Examining the past to find direction for the future seems to fail to provide answers today. There are those who dwell on the past as if repeatedly revisiting it will somehow bring solace to their anxiety of fear of failure and loss. Especially, in times of crisis, MY go-to for peace of mind is hope for the future and gratitude for the present. How else can you leave the woodpile higher than the way you found it?
I enjoy having huge, scary goals. Especially the ones when I hear some parenting message in my head asking sarcastically, what makes you think you can do that, kind of goals. Putting my focus on where I am headed not only gives me a path to follow, it examples for others the confidence they need to define their vision for their future. As is often announced by elders, be the example you want to see in the world.
Which brings me to this incredible day. Grateful, I am, for having my health, being safe, loved and in love, and other than some inconveniences, having the best days of my life so far.
Indeed, this comes with some reflection and evaluation of the present moment. My last sibling brother passed very recently. My only child was taken by Cystic Fibrosis a couple of years back. That puts this birthday as somewhat special for the memory banks. No immediate family member will ever call to wish me a happy birthday. This is not a lament, simply an observation. By now, I have folks from far off continents remembering and sending birthday greetings out of love and respect, rather than obligation.
Happiness can be so relative. Mostly, the word is associated with an event that brought some feelings of bliss. But how often have you been able to say day after day, I am the happiest I have been in my life? For me, living the dream is not a trite message of contraire. Several times each day I find myself requesting a cosmic pinch to question my reality.
Before you find yourself muttering, lucky you, I remind you of a line by the Rock in a recent movie. His childhood friend remarked that he had been much less physically fit in high school and asked how he had gotten so buff. His answer: I worked out 6 hours a day, seven days a week, for the last thirty years. As we all learn in life, it goes Dream, Struggle, Prize and the Struggles provide the contrast needed to verily give contentment to the prize.
As the world resolves the latest crisis, a previous world will slip into repeated sound bites. Rapid change is inevitable. Bills Gates book 1999, Business at the Speed of Thought comes to mind. The elders who have learned to embrace accelerated change may be the thought leaders of today and as well, the encouragers for the current arriving generation.
Be safe and responsible for yourself and others.
Happy Birthday to me! Seventy-two successful trips around the sun.
Your friend in life.