Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nine-and-Forty: A Birthday Reflection

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family" (Leviticus 25:10 KJV).

Today I embrace the fact that I am officially an Old Man.

Not all that old, but there is no denying it: Fifty is the new fifty. As my good friend The Mighty Favog quoted his wife on his blog recently, "Midlife? Honey, you're way past midlife unless you're planning on living to 100."

I am certainly old by world-historical standards--and given my general state of health, aside from a touch of diabetes, I am in far better shape than most guys at midlife (viewed historically). The fact that I never (well, hardly ever) smoked (I do like a good cigar once a year) is paying off.

So: this year I declare a Jubilee unto the Lord.

What does that mean?

For the next year I shall break my addiction to too many of my useless youthful pursuits: no more 70s music for a year; I'm going to try to listen to something *new.* No more watching CONAN THE BARBARIAN, STAR WARS or INDIANA JONES for the ten trillionth time. I'm goinng to put my collection of Robert Heinlein into the storage bin and instead of rereading "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" for the 196th time I'll read something else. And no more Star Trek.

Not for a year anyway. This is a vacation not abjuration. (And of course the above are subject to what my KIDS want to do. If my son wants to watch bad Trek, watch it we will.)

As of today I count three of my close friends who are dying. I shall embrace them and help them to the extent that I can and never forget that there but for the grace go I.

I'm going to try to finish my three books-in-progress: And I'm gonna try to sell them.

And I'm going to do my damndest to make my wife happy she married me. And I shoulda said this earlier: I'm gonna be the toughest yet coolest dad three boys could want.

God grant me the strength and the wisdom to, to quote Richard III's Mother's Blessing, die a good old man.

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Keep it clean for gene.