October 5th, 2022 – my 53rd birthday.
This is my twelfth entry in this series of birthday posts. Something I started shortly after I began my writing journey in the fall of 2011.
To be honest, and especially with everything that’s happened over the course of the last few years, I didn’t feel like posting anything at all, but instead of rehashing all the gloom and doom about viruses, failed leadership and elections, I’ll try to remain upbeat. After all, it IS the greatest day of the year:
Birthdays are the one day where we, collectively, celebrate the individual, and by that I mean we don’t use the day as a reason to inundate social media with over the hill jokes, pay for lavish lunches, or give someone a number of spankings equivalent to their new age, plus an extra one to grow on. Although I do remember that was the best part about attending birthday parties as a kid in the 1970s, so long as you weren’t the one on the receiving end.
No, the real reason people blow out candles, consume large quantities of cake, receive greeting cards (hopefully, with a few greenbacks in them) and open whimsical presents is to commemorate the day you arrived on Earth.
You’re alive, and that’s reason enough to celebrate.
For me, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was a youthful teenager; driving me and my buddies around in a beat-up, 1972 Toyota Corona (honest, there really was a car named “Corona”). Going to the mall on Friday nights after school, pouring my hard-earned, summer lawn mowing earnings into video game cabinets and drinking gallons of Orange Julius and wishing I could somehow muster up the courage to go over and talk to the cute girl who was standing with her friends outside of the Listening Booth record store. Ah, youth.
Wasn’t I the one who was able to go to rock concerts and stay up til the wee hours of the morning? Sitting in some dingy diner; smoking cigarettes, eating cheese fries and drinking gallons of coffee while talking to friends about what would happen when we took on the world and made all of our dreams came true? Now, I’m lucky if I can stay up til 10 p.m. most nights.
There’s an odd sense of immortality you have when you’re young that makes you believe time will always stand still, and that you’ll never be as
old young as your parents. But then, one day, you take a nap and wake up in their role. To give you some perspective, my father died at the age of 51 (twenty-five years ago this month). As of today, I’ve outlived him by two years.
I promised I would keep things upbeat for this post so I won’t continue to rehash the past. Instead, I’ll talk about the future. In addition to continuing to do interviews for The Morning Call newspaper and Guitar World magazine, I’m also still in the writing process of several books. Something that has been put off for quite a while but something I am extremely excited about. I am thinking perhaps a collection of short stories — perhaps two novellas in one. Five years is long enough. It’s time to make it happen. More on that in the months ahead.
I’m also still dabbling a lot in watercolor painting. Not only has it been a great stress reliever but it’s something you can do that doesn’t cost a lot of money and where you can literally see your progress every day:
I called this one “The Road Beyond 50.” If you visualize yourself in it, the painting is a metaphor for life. You can’t see where you’ve been (the past) or the scars that you carry. All you can see is where you’re standing now and the road to what lies ahead of you. As in life, there is beauty all around us and a brave new world just waiting to be explored. I plan on doing a lot of exploring in the days, weeks and months ahead.
I hope my next trip around the sun, and walk down this path, brings all of us a sense of hope, peace and most of all, love.