Thursday, July 18, 2013

Old Man In The Mirror

Geez. I looked in the mirror this morning and I saw an old man looking back. Crap. This cannot be. I am not an old man. Ok, ok, I will stop with the denial nonsense now.

Life at 60 is actually not so bad. My physical health is still good. I said good not great. Admittedly, I could use a little more exercise and fewer glasses of vino. And I am proud to tell you I have reduced my Taco Cabana bacon, bean and cheese taco stops to only once a week.

But I wake up in the morning with plenty of purpose. I am blessed with endless family love and support. My marriage is strong as ever (34 years this fall), the boys are grown and mostly on their own and I have finally stopped trying to change things in my life I cannot control. I have more patience, more compassion and a larger capacity to love. I think I am more tolerant, but my views on many topics have been strengthened by wisdom and maturity.

I am not a religious man, but I have a much stronger spiritual core and a stronger faith in humankind's connection with the stars and the entire Universe.

My politics are more liberal and more fair-minded than ever before and I detest the growing amount of politically-inspired stupidity in our midst.

I think I write much better than I did when I was getting paid to do it and I finally accepted the idea that good writers avoid using contractions. As a writer, It's - pardon me, it is - one of the most difficult habits to break.

A few years ago when I ended my 34-year journalism career, I thought I had already achieved most of what I was destined to achieve professionally. But after a failed attempt at retirement, I was drawn back to the professional world. Today I find myself completely caught up in the upward trajectory that had mostly eluded me in my previous career. My days as a community relations specialist for a non-profit agency are a never-ending swirl of marketing strategy meetings, planning sessions, newsletter publishing, meetings with important people and ordinary people alike, after-hour banquets and frequent power-point presentations.

My acceptance of a promotion earlier this year came with a corresponding increase in executive responsibility. Luckily, my work does not create profit for a greedy corporation; My work creates help for people in my community who desperately need it. For the record, I have declined most of the executive privileges that come with the job. I do not want an executive assistant and I am perfectly capable of pouring my own coffee.

I dare say, my life is far more complicated yet far more fulfilling than I ever expected at this age. I can finally afford to travel a little, but I do not have a moment of spare time to do it.

I have heard it said many times that life begins at 60. I'm beginning to think that's true. Damn you, contractions.