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Thursday, January 2, 2014

On Turning 56

Sputnik 1 via www.Nasa.Gov
Forty years ago I turned 16. On that day my father picked me up from basketball practice and he sat in the passenger seat - for the first time in my life I drove a car! The other thing I know about that day was that I was totally head-over-heels in love(?) with a girl who was attractive, funny, and smart. She just also happened to be a Senior (I was a Sophomore) and she was the senior class president! It was hard to beat that birthday, that's for sure.

Now, forty years later, I have no idea where that (now) woman is - even with the advent of things like Facebook. I haven't spent too much time looking. Unlike some of the folks I know, I don't like to track people down who might not want to be tracked down. If you are on Facebook I assume you don't mind being found. If you aren't there and I also can't find you on Twitter or LinkedIn then you must be living under a rock or are off the grid.

Forty years! My god that seems like a long time. I finished high school; finished college; did 20 years in the military (where I got my first master's degree); I got married and got another master's degree; I had two children; I've lived in South Carolina, Florida (twice), Southern California, Northern California, Washington, Virginia, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Japan, the Netherlands, and now Texas. The longest I ever lived in one house is in the house I live in now and that would be seven years.

Where will I be forty years from now and what will I have done/accomplished? (1) I want to get more educated so a PHD is desirable. I don't need another degree, I just want to have Dr. on my tombstone. (2) I want to live in a few more places and I, especially, need to move closer to the coast - I miss the ocean.  (3) I want to get a boat so my wife and I can take turns being the skipper. (4) I want to play golf (again) - between family requirements and the cost of playing the game I haven't been a regular on the golf course in about 20 years. And, (5) I want to travel. What's the sense of having a passport if you don't go to other countries? I may need to live in another country again, as well.

There's something about having a birthday when you are older than 50 that gets you feeling very nostalgic. I'm hoping that I can be writing a blog post when I'm 96. It will take a ton of luck and the odds are against me. But I have a good bloodline. My Dad made it to 92. His Mom was in her late 90's. And his Sister, my dear Aunt Pauline is 103 as of this writing. Now THAT is longevity.  Wish me luck.

{Between writing the paragraphs above and right now - my birthday, I've had some real life intrusions into my quiet and boring little existence...}

Next week will be my next hurdle as I get back information from some tissue they took from my esophagus. I wasn't too worried about that until this week when I found out a good friend got news last week (and didn't want to ruin our holidays) about having to deal with the big C-Word with his esophagus. And they decided to give him an expiration date. As my Sister and I said - how dare they give him an expiration date when they haven't even started looking at his inners. I like the saying 'There's no issue 'til they diagnose the tissue."

Forty more years. That's all I was asking when I started this post last week. When I began writing it I was pretty happy. I'll be honest, I was somewhat self-centered and concerned about my own diagnosis. But now I'd be happy with 40 months with my friend. There's lots that we haven't done because of long distance. It's time to live it up and have some fun. It may be time to start thinking about life 40 days at a time.

Here's looking to February 9th 2014, the 40th day of the year.