We’re heading towards the last few minutes of my 51st birthday and I am wondering if I ought to run the tub and soak in it.
Got two separate issues it ought to provide some assistance with and I just might need that kind of help…maybe.
Two of the brother-in-laws are docs so I mull over asking for an opinion knowing I won’t ask the one who is a rocket science any medical questions but might throw him a math or physics one just for the heck of it.
Were dad around he might remind me the one who is the medical doc was a mathalete and suggest that even though it is not his area of professional expertise he could probably handle it.
Dad is probably right, but those remarks were generally made to tease the son-in-law but still said with love.
Almost asked when he texted me birthday greetings but didn’t because the guy spent time on call during the pandemic and probably won’t have an answer.
Or if does I may not like it and that is a good reason not to ask, albeit juvenile.
Beside I manage, I always manage even if I am less comfortable than I might like. Put enough miles on the engine and there are always a few hiccups.
Teenage boy made a few cracks and I made a few of my own. He overheard me say a few things and asked who I was speaking with to which I replied, “my number one fan.”
“Does your number one fan send you fan mail?”
“Not too often anymore.”
“Oh, so they used to.”
“Yeah and they may even start again or they might not. Some people are fickle.”
“You know dad, this time I can’t figure out if you are telling a story or telling the truth.”
“Those are the best stories.”
“I don’t know about that, but I know you are pretty good at just coming up with bullshit.”
I thank him for the support and tell him I’ll keep feeding and clothing him for another week or two.
We both smile and he wanders off to do something else because there is only so much time to be spent with his old man today.
I look around the house and fix on a picture of my parents that must be about 13 or 14 years old. It is from a seder in my old house in LA.
S0ld that one almost eight years ago but it generally feels much longer than that.
It is one of my favorite pictures of them and I it is not uncommon for me to pass it and tell dad he ought to say hello when someone comes into the room.
That is a line I heard more than once from him in different context but I use it because I can knowing even if it irked him he can’t do anything about it though I wish he could.
If I had a choice of who to ask the questions I didn’t ask earlier it would be him because in some ways he was/is best equipped to answer. But he can’t and won’t so I’ll have to decide whether I should try sleeping and see what happens or go for the bath.
Maybe both, maybe neither.
Grab the picture, look him in the eye and tell him I do whatever makes sense to me anyway because it is my life.
Had a conversation with someone who only talks to me about politics and the pandemic in which I responded to their question of where do we go from here with a remark that I am growing bored with their focus.
“This might be the crisis of our lives. How can you be bored with it?”
“It is all you ever discuss and you never focus on anything but the chicken little sky is falling and we are all doomed approach.
That bores me and I get tired of the negativity.”
“If reality bores you I can go away.”
“Don’t make threats you don’t want to follow up on and don’t bullshit yourself. There are many negatives but it is not all negative.
There are many bad things but it is not all bad.
I am very real and very honest. I also know if I only focus on the negative it colors my expectations. I don’t like that, so I don’t do it. Doesn’t mean I am not aware of it, but it does mean I spend some time focusing on things to be grateful about.
I got killed in 2008, just destroyed by what happened. I am in far superior shape now and focused on staying here. Worked my ass off to make that happen. That is worth being grateful about and for. Had to reinvent myself, but I did it.”
Had a conversation last weekend with 0ne of my oldest friends and I suppose I have to give him credit for reminding me about some of this because I can’t say I came up with all of it on my own.
During our conversation I suggested that some of what is going on in my life now is because of luck and he laughed.
“Some of it is luck, but you aren’t giving yourself enough credit. You saw opportunities and you did something about them. You made changes and went after it.
Not everyone does that.”
Initially I told him I thought he was exaggerating but he wouldn’t let go of the idea and when I thought about it I realized that he was right.
I did go after it. I did see a few things coming that I didn’t like and took action so that I could improve things.
Made a point to talk to the kids about it and used it as a teaching moment.
Told them I wanted them to remember age is relative and that we can make big changes in our life at multiple points in time.
I have a few more in mind that I am beginning to focus upon because age is relative.
So this is 51.