My Future at Fifty One
Fifty-one years ago, I came screaming into this world. By some cultures, that makes me 52 today. Either way, I don’t feel a half-century old. I certainly don’t think of myself as 51. That is until I see a selfie of some old guy who looks like me.
Then I remember the many orbits around the sun I’ve made, and I wonder which of my decades I enjoyed the most?
Was it the early decade, before I was 10, that is all but a blur to me now? Of memories told to me by others, reinforced by photographs, of the South Pacific, South America, and the Southwest USA. I know I lived out of a backpack for most of this time, but other details escape me.
Could it be the next decade, my teens, when I did all manner of smart and stupid things growing up in South Florida? I remember many escapades, and thankfully I cannot remember all, as I came of age on the beach, in the sun, and swinging a hammer.
My twenties were wild. I moved to the big city, DC, and then to Russia, China, and other countries, as I married, divorced, and lived life to to the fullest. A clear memory – looking at a magazine page I’d torn out and saved that listed all the key dance club cities in the world. I’d been to most of them by 27.
In my thirties, I settled down as a husband, father, and homeowner. I came into myself then, confident in who I am and what I do. At least, that’s how I feel now, looking back on my younger self. I don’t remember anything but pure scrambling to do the right thing at the time.
The last decade, my forties, was invested in building on the activities of my thirties. I raised kids, amassed (modest) wealth, and built a strong family, community, and career. I like to think of it like that anyway. If I hand a mid-life crisis that decade, then the stress of COIVD surely erased that indulgence.
Now I look forward to the next twenty or thirty years I’ll get in this life – God willing. What will I do now? What is next for me? The near-term is easy. For this decade I have teens to raise and guide into the world. A loving wife that will hold my hand. Home and health to protect.
But what then? In the decade hence of my sixties. What does one do once children are adults? Once work has retired? Once we are free to rediscover the joys of youth wasted on the young? If I am so lucky to have many retirement years to navel-gaze, what will I see? What will I find? Do I want it to be found?
A few questions I ponder at fifty-one. Might you have answers? Cheers if you do!