I can't say that I have given a lot of thought to turning fifty. Honestly, it's just a number. Granted, it's twice 25 and half a hundred, but a number just the same. Much has happened over the years and to quote Jimmy Buffett "some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way." I have no complaints or regrets about where life has taken me, it's my journey, my fate...my life.
But I'm not so sure that I can call it even. Good and bad, yeah, that all comes out in the wash. It's never as bad as it seems and the good times never seem to last. I've said it before, bite your lip, get up off the floor and get it done. I often wonder though, have I given back to life what life has given me? Lord knows I try but it seems that I come up short. I found a woman who loves me, but have I given her all she deserves? (God knows she deserves a lot, being married to me!) We've been blessed with four happy and healthy children, but have I been able to give them all they need to succeed in life? My Mom and Dad sacrificed so much for me and my sisters, I sometimes wonder if I have lived up to their expectations? The quest continues!
Friends have come and gone and some have come back again. Right after family, friends are always there. I hope that I have given back to each of them what they have given me. Well, except for whoever gave me the bloody nose at my bachelor party. I still haven't figured that one out, but I'm sure that Larry was involved. So many good times, and thankfully not many bad times. With all of the incredibly stupid things we've done no one was ever seriously injured or killed. I guess God watches over fools and drunks, and over the years we've cornered the market on both ends. The fear now is that my kids hear some of the stories and try to re-enact them.
People have passed through my life, and some will not return. My dad, both sets of granparents, a great-grandmother, a couple of uncles, and a newborn cousin, when the family gets together there are a few empty seats. They are all missed, and very much remembered. Classmates, Brian, Al, and Smitty, all gone far to young and well before their time. Sad that they are gone, sure, but better for having known them - absolutely. Each person we let into our lives leaves a mark on us. Good or bad we learn from them.
A high school classmate quoted Thomas Hobbes in our yearbook, "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Life is all that. But, it's how you handle it all that makes you who you are. Getting kicked in the head and staying down is easy. Getting up and trying again is what makes life worth living.
That's it, kind of simple. Keep plugging along, I guess. What can you do? Here and now, that's the guarantee. I'll leave you with a couple of quotes, songs...stuff that keeps me going
The Beatles - There are places I remember, All my life, though some have changed. Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments, With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living, In my life I've loved them all
Bob Dishy as Irving Feffer in Along Came Polly - It's not about what happened in the past, or what you think might happen in the future. It's about the ride, for Christ's sake. There is no point in going through all this crap if you're not going to enjoy the ride. And you know what...when you least expect something great might come along. Something better then you even planned for.
Rocky Balboa - The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Yesterday's the past, tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present