What a difference a year makes.
This time last year, I was counting down to my 50th birthday. To be honest, the world was my oyster. The job was secure, or so I thought, things were humming along, I mostly didn’t have a care in the world.
2 months later, the bottom fell out of everything.
It’s all pretty well chronicled here. And while my feet are at least back under me, it’s all still very wobbly. We’re not exactly standing yet, and it will be some time before I’m as stead on my feet as I was 12 months ago.
So now, on the eve of the completion of my 51st trip around the sun, I know there is plenty for which to be thankful, it’s just some days it’s less difficult to see them than others.
Sometimes, it’s no different than when I was 18 or 21, other than I’m a lot smarter now than I was then … or at least I know a lot more. Other days, the creaks and crunches remind me that I’ve managed to exist half a century. Some days I look back and realize that there were times that should have ended that run. Not very many, but everyone has one or two of those episodes in their past. From the peaks of the Rocky Mountains in the snow to 120 feet deep on the wall off some little island in the Bahamas, I’ve had a couple of close calls. I’ve managed to come through most of it relatively unscathed. Knock on wood … I’ve never broken a bone of been hospitalized for any length of time. I am missing the ACL in my left knee. I can still remember the skiing accident that damaged the knee, and being a guy, I didn’t bother to go to the doctor for it. I didn’t even know until I had an MRI before my knee surgery.
The years are starting to really race at this point. Jimmy Buffett wrote in He Went To Paris “Summers and winters, scattered like splinters, and four or five years slipped away.” and later “He liked the quiet, and clean country living, and 20 more years slipped away.”
I mostly don’t feel old, though mom dredged up some pictures of me from when Jenni was born, and I have to admit I don’t look like I did back then. Even then I felt like I was overweight, but I was positively a rail compared to how I feel now.
Everyone, I imagine, contemplates their mortality from time to time. I certainly don’t want to be maudlin, and by the time you’ve had 50 of them, well let’s just say it’s not like turning 21 any more.
Hopefully it’s only one really lean year, and it’s just about finished.