Birthdays are for Babies: The Magical Resiliency of a 43 Year Old Fifth Grader
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Today I am 43 years old - statistically speaking my life is 56.3% over.That's if you listen to the Surgeon General anyway. So why do I feel so excited about it all...? About life, contribution, opportunities, about the day? I mean, listening to colleagues, one would guess that the appropriate birthday reaction for a transitional elder like myself would be a painful “woe is me” and a nostalgic and rhetorical “where have all the years gone?”
I know where all of my years have gone thank you.
I was there.
I continue to be here. I think it’s this “here centeredness” that makes all the difference in the world.
I am the worlds oldest fifth grader..
As Garth said in Wayne’s World: The Movie (I was serious about the fifth grader thing),LIVE IN THE NOW! I can see however, how so many folks get wrapped up in always living for next year, next time, what if, and if only. I don’t know what is worse - fixating on some life justifying African safari, holding fast to a fading hairline, lusting a concubine, or the inability to deal with our painfully obvious ............ insignificance.
If ever the slogan “Get a life” had more meaning - I don’t recall.
Consistent with this rambling, is an interesting conversation I had with a gentleman several evenings ago over dinner. He too was getting close to a May birthday - yet he was looking backward with a very painful reflection on who he was, what he was, if only he was....I found myself secretly appreciating the evening, the weather, my well behaved youngsters (it was truly a perfect moment), the beautiful surroundings - not to mention an exquisite merlot.
I couldn’t help but think what a miserable putz this guy was. Turning a decrepit 36 years of age, and hating everything he had been to date.
I don’t know if it is that we watch too many movies, or our GAP a.k.a. capitalistic life styles leave us so ever wanton that we spend, and play, and drink, and lust for an existence that is never attainable or so shallow and hollow at best, that even if we do achieve it - it becomes last season’s hip all too soon.
The bottom line is, we are in this life, what we make of it.
We can be happy and drink from the half full glass of life (or in my case the 40 some percent full glass) or we can piss away our opportunities wasting our time on who wants to be a millionaire and scratch off lotto tickets.
Its our choice.
It’s the American way. Like strolling down the condiment isle at the corner market and revelling in the thousands and thousands of pickled everythings. If one waxed pepper should go away - another will pop up to fill its place on the shelf next week.
Of course, every now and again a pepper will come along so hot and so painfully provocative that for that split moment .....absence is noticed - which I would imagine is the closest thing to mourning..
But us fifth graders just find another favorite...fickle as we are, healthy in our hereness, alive in the NOW.
“Pardon me... could you pass the Grey Poupon?”