Birthdays are an opportune time to reflect on the past, to think about where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished. Today being my 29th, I thought I’d do just that.
However, I quickly remembered much of my past resembles a mind-boggling train-wreck that’s been shot in super slow motion. So I think I’ll skip the whole trip-down-memory-lane bit.
All the same, without coming off too self-indulgent, I would like to continue commenting on some of the various thoughts and themes related to birthdays.
But first, briefly, before I forget. There’s someone very near and dear to my heart who I’d like to acknowledge; a person so special, he makes my bosom swell with pride.
That person is me.
I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and, man, am I ruggedly good looking. A few more glasses of Chablis, and I might take that sailor home.
I’m kidding, of course. The truth of the matter is that I’m teetering on delirium.
It’s late at night, I’m nursing a lone beer, trying to maintain focus as I bang out this column. And although I did happen to steal a glance of myself in the mirror, my initial thought was, “What’s Rocky Dennis doing in my apartment? I thought he died at the end of the film?”
Losing focus. Birthdays.
The thing about birthdays is that you get older.
And it’s not that getting older bothers me so much, as I imagine I’ll probably get some work done.
A liver lift for sure. Implants if mom pays half.
But there’s other reasons, too, why I don’t mind aging.
One, I’ve always appreciated the notion that as you get older, you invariably become wiser.
Not to sound glib, but at this point, I could use some additional wisdom, what with my continued pattern of idiotic behavior.
Another reason age doesn’t concern me is that, I’m generally uninterested in most of the things many, but not all, of my peers covet, find enjoyable etc.
“Hey did you hear any tracks off Neil Young’s latest album, ‘Prairie Wind?’Ã¢ There’s a lot of good songs on it.”
“No, Jeff, I didn’t. But speaking of music, I did hear the Spin Doctors might be getting back together.”
One true positive with respect to birthdays and getting older, is the act of retirement. And having just turned 29, I think it’s time I start thinking very, very seriously about this subject.
It hit me the other day when I was sitting on the couch, annihilating a box of Cheez-Its:
I’ve been working (on and off) for almost 12 years now, probably eight when you consider it’s been mostly seasonal work.
Nevertheless, thatÃ¢s a super long time. Time that I’ve lost, time that I can’t get back.
And so I realized, if I donÃ¢t make some decisions soon, I’m going to end up like one of those people who wake up one day and, BAM!, they’re 34, and life as they know it is over.
I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to start doing the things that are important. Like spending more time with my family, whoever they are.
And I want to start spending more time with the kids. Not mine, as I don’t have any. But somebody’s kids. I want to start spending more time with somebody’s kids.
What it all boils down to is that there comes a point in every person’s life when they must ask themselves two very difficult questions.
One: have I labored long enough?
And two: is it now time to step aside?
I’ve reached that point, I’ve had that moment. And I can say, with honesty, and a sense of pride, Nah, not really.
In a related story, a few weeks ago I wrote about the difficulties of finding an affordable apartment on the island of Cape May. Lo, the saga has ended.
I just signed the lease on a year-round apartment. Waterfront property, no less. You know that old bunker down at Cape May Point, the one that looks like if you shout too loud, it might tip? Yeah, well, it’s my home now.
So stop on by. Mi casa, su casa.
That’s French, right?
(ED. NOTE: LoSasso writes from Cape May.)
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