31 December 2012

Two scores and eight years on

Monday, December 31st, 2012.  Today I turn 48.  Yeah, I'd say I'm looking "okay" for someone who's a mere 24 months away from becoming a pseudo-relic that's soon fit for display in the Smithsonian.  For starters, I still have hair although in truth, they're greying more rapidly than I had hoped.  And I'm eating healthier... well, occasionally I do.  What is certain is that I no longer weigh as much as I did 15 years ago when I was pushing 95kg - although sitting at 76kg isn't exactly ideal either.

Then there are days when I feel more like 68 than 48 when I wake up in the morning - you know, when the Ache of the Day varies randomly from my knees to my teeth to my back to whichever limb that decides to protest because I slept on it wrong - or whatever.  And those darned wrinkles from sleeping... they just WILL NOT go away 'til midday (grrrr...!).  Some days I more or less waddle or sway when I walk; not because I'm trying to be groovy like Austin Powers, but rather because of the thinning cartilage in my right knee or at times, the vertigo I experience from high blood pressure.  And I'd be lying if I told you my joints haven't already started to creak like the front door of the Addams Family mansion.

Arrrrgh... I forgot!
I can remember stuff from 35 years ago (like the names of all four members of ABBA and what they wore at Eurovision '74) but not what I ate yesterday - or if I'd put the laundry into the washer this morning.  And with alarming frequency, I find myself walking into a room to do something, only to forget what by the time I flick on the bloomin' light switch.  Sounds familiar?

The missus says I'm becoming a robot, because the tasks or stuff I do or do not these days are pretty much regulated by the reminders I input (as a matter of habit and necessity) in the "to-do" list on my cellphone.  Miss one, and that's it - task forgotten.  I am one totally dysfunctional being without my reminders, I admit.

I've also begun exhibiting other peripheral signs of advancing age; including a dislike for the music, fashions and culture - or in short, the "ways" - of today's youths.  I mean, "Yo, wazzup?"?!  What's wrong with "Hello, how are you?".  And then of course there's the utter
 R-R-R-RUBBISH (bar football, that is) that passes for entertainment on TV which I find nothing short of insulting to viewers' intelligence.  Whatever happened to The Six Million Dollar Man anyway?

Looking back over my life and taking stock of things, I sometimes ask myself, "What have I accomplished?  What more need to be done?".  My life's been largely uneventful, yes, but I also know for a fact many would gladly swap theirs for mine; so I really shouldn't be complaining too much.  Sure, I have problems.  You mean you don't?  But fact is, I can't let my problems destroy me or pull me down.  I'll just have to iron them out - maybe occasionally sweep some of the minor ones under the carpet - and move on.

Where I can, I should also learn to add colour to these predominantly boring shades (sometimes I wish it was fifty shades) of grey that've enveloped the major part of my life thus far.  And speaking of "my life", if I were to write a book about it, would anyone care to read it?... even if it's probably no more than four or five pages long; max?  I'm guessing not.

I've made many mistakes in my lifetime; there's no hiding from that.  But that's all past, and I'm not about to cry over them.  It's a learning curve; screw up a few more times and you'll gain something invaluable called EXPERIENCE.  This isn't self-denial.  It's learning to look at the bright side of things - something I really need to do more of.

Does this mean I have no regrets then?  Hell, no!  Of course I have regrets; but there's nothing I can do about them, is there?... except learn from them.  After all, every transgression I've committed over the last 48 years is water under the bridge that cannot be reclaimed.  For most of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment.  Right? 

Yeah, I'm glad (and proud) to have made it this far.  Unfortunately, many cannot lay claim to this feat.  Like you, I too have no idea if I'll walk under a bus tomorrow; so I'll have to learn to live a happier life while I can and while I'm at it, consciously try to brighten others' too - something I haven't done enough of.

I'm not gonna live a minute longer than God permits me to; therefore I must also learn to live better.  How?  I dunno... by being a better man I suppose - both in- and outwardly.  I'm not saying I'll definitely succeed, but I'll sure as hell give it a good go.  After all, it's not as if I still have another 25 years to achieve what I set out to do; so why waste time?  I've wasted enough already.  I once read somewhere: "Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.  Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."

Call it a new resolve if you will but, on turning 48, I'm telling myself that TODAY - the eve of yet another new year - marks the beginning of something new (and hopefully, something good) in my life.  I believe the time has come - after so many years of slogging it out; making and serving the best coffee in town - for me to at least try to enjoy life that wee bit more - with or without re-runs of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Wish me luck, my friends.  Safe holidays to all and HAVE A VERY BLESSED AND JOYOUS 2013!


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