As this piece goes live, I am likely in a drugged stupor with a probe snaking through a very unpleasant area of the anatomy. It’s one of those things that happens after turning fifty, and I reached that milestone not very long ago.
I’ve heard turning fifty described in many ways, few of them positive. I heard the same about turning forty. At that point, contemporary wisdom held, life was trending downward.
Since turning forty I’ve been married and had a child who fills me with delight and hope. I’ve proven contemporary wisdom wrong.
There is little in our lives more personal than our health, and I have negatives to examine… some joint pain, some swallowing issues following a severe car crash in my early twenties, high cholesterol… but overall I find myself in fairly good condition (pending the results of today’s colonoscopy.)
One thing I can say for certain is that I embrace all of the decisions, good and bad, that have led me here. If events should take a turn for the worse, I am still deeply appreciative. I am thankful for my time with my family, and my time with friends before then. I’m thankful for the days spent writing here, at The Right Scoop before then, at Shocklines and RLD prior to that. I’m thankful for my time in the Navy, even the many hours spend laying on the floor of Secondary Control because the seasickness (mine, unlike most sailors, never abated) prevented me from standing without severe nausea. Every moment was a gift, and if I am no longer in good standing with some of my former associates, it diminishes not one iota the value of their friendliness in the past.
It is a perspective which is particularly appropriate, I believe, on this date. Eighteen years ago, thousands of innocent lives were ended for no reason other than hatred. I admit to reciprocating that hatred toward the murderers, but I prefer to memorialize the fallen than rail against the terrorists.
Our days are full of turmoil and frustration. It is a natural outgrowth of being politically attentive during times when the dominant political structure runs counter to our principles. For some of us, this is the span of three years; for some, eleven. If we focus on the negative, it’s enough to wear us down.
I refuse to be worn down. I’m not ignoring the negative, far from it, but it will not dominate my thinking, my emotions, or my life. Life is hard and some things are very unpleasant, but there’s a reward. Not the reward of the afterlife which is the exclusive prize some cherish, but the reward of life itself, our time here on Earth prior to the final reckoning. It’s amazing. I’m happy to share some of mine with you.
Thank you all.