No, not that one.
But time — if you believe there is such a thing.
One day you're here, the next somewhere else.
That's life, right!
Today I'm 53.
And it seems a lifetime ago.
But it's mine — all mine.
If you'd have asked me, aged 18, what my life would now have looked like, my only point of reference would have been those people around me of the same or similar age. My chief recollection: everyone was slowing down and getting ready for retirement. If not that, then a life of order and routine.
Mine isn't much different — at least I don't think so.
Trouble is, and don't ask me why, there's still a nagging doubt that something else awaits me.
That's the sixty-four thousand dollar question and it's dogged me my entire life.
But, as I keep saying (it's hardly new...), there's only this moment.
And, as I've learnt at great cost, if we're not careful, we can spend so much time planning or thinking about things that we live that life — a life of ennui mostly — and not the one that would emerge from the ashes if only we took daily, incremental steps in the direction of our putative mountain — real or imaginary.
Actually, that last paragraph is, in many ways, a crock of shit: I've no more idea what I'll be doing in the next five minutes — drink coffee, hopefully — than what I'll be doing at Christmas time — assuming I'm still here.
Whatever's going on, there's an inevitability about my life (and yours — sorry). It is, after all, intent on going in one direction only.
I know, it's hardly the most uplifting message to be spewing forth on my birthday — my birthday of all days! — but then again, as sad as it is, I don't see this day as any different to yesterday or the one before that. I'm not sure why that is. And quite frankly, I'm too old to start grubbing about in my past for an answer. I know my wife and kids will make it special, and that's a lovely thing but I do wonder if they're doing it because that's how they'd like it to be rather than how I'd like it be — no fuss, no bother and as little fanfare as possible.
See, I told you I could be a miserable SOB.
Anyhow, it's walk time for me and Mr Alfie. A favourite part of my/his day.
I'll leave you with a little quote from one of my favourite writers. I don't know why I need to share this but somehow it feels right.
Have a wonderful day.
Wisdom is a personal thing now, and nothing more than another opinion in the opinion fest of popular culture, and agedness is at best a prolonged, unextinguished middle age, and the therapists and life coaches are busy. — Stephen Jenkinson, Stephen, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble
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