Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Birthday Thoughts

Today I “celebrate” my 56th year on this earth. The story is that my mom was rushed to the hospital in a taxi early in the morning. I was born shortly after she checked in, sometime around 2am. I believe my father was there as well, though in those days he probably had to wait in the waiting room until I was born.

My mother told me that the room she was in had many other women giving birth. It was not the “suite” stye of rooms they have today—she was on a “maternity floor” which literally meant, the beds were in the open and next to each other. I can only imagine what this looks like. I believe I’ve seen film footage of this type of hospital ward.

Birthdays, like any other cultural anniversary, causes us (me?) to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. For me, this is a milestone birthday. My father passed away 8 days after his 56th birthday. I have been saying for many, many years that one of my goals was to outlive him. I will do that on February 6th. I hope I have many years ahead of me—cognizant years where I can see all my children grow up. My father did not see my children. He lost out on seeing them grow up to be the incredible people they are today. I feel sorry for him missing out on that. At least my mom was able to see the kids. I know he loved seeing them grow up.

I am not obese like my dad, and I tend to be very easy-going, so I don’t impose any undue stress on myself. I am happy at home, love Susan to death, and truly enjoy helping Devin with his Math homework. The only thing I am doing to “jeopardize” any life longevity is riding my bike. But if that’s the way I go, I couldn’t think of a better way to go.

I am at a mental and perhaps physical crossroads in my life. As much as I try to stay in shape, I know the body is deteriorating and there is nothing I can do to stop this. I can slow it down, but I can’t stop it. I know that my mind is still good and as long as I exercise the brain I am pretty sure I’ll be ok for a very long time. But when my body and my mind begin to fail, it will be time for me to call it a day.

My kids have all heard the story. I’m pretty sure they and Susan know what to do when the time comes.

 I want to believe I have another 25 years left both in the saddle and in this world. I’m not sure what happens after 80, but I might be able to squeeze another 5 years out after that. There are so many things to still see and experience. If anything, THAT is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

 I am happy to have made it this far in life. It’s all been good!

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