Today is my birthday. If you think I share this information in order to solicit obligatory birthday greetings you would be correct. Cash is good, too.
I don’t often think of my own mortality. I’ve been referring to myself as middle-aged for so long now that the thought I might not actually live to be 120 has only recently lodged itself into my waning gray matter. And I’m not talking about my roots.
In March of last year I wrote this post about what I’d like my life to be like 10 years from now. I was clearly far more optimistic about being around for another decade than I am today, but still it seems worthy of repeating on this, the anniversary of my first appearance in this world.
Meanwhile, I will be off getting soused.
Since none of us is promised the next moment, much less the next year or ten, this isn’t something I think about often. Also, I’m not going to lie. These are tough times. There are many nights when my last thought is “Score! Made it through another one!”
Long, long ago and far, far away in a land known as my youth, I had big plans and lots of goals. Looking ahead, all I could see was a vast expanse of time with no “check-out” line in sight.
The scariest scene in the “Wizard of Oz” for me has always been when the wicked witch turned over the hour glass to show Dorothy how much longer she had to live.
Not fond of “Like the sands of time, so are the Days of Our Lives” either.
And the freakin’ spinning globe from As the World Turns…? Yeah. I get it. My days are numbered.
I grew up in the 1950s and 60s, a time of great hope and prosperity in this country, much of that due to a Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who launched one of the largest, federally-funded public works programs in our nation’s history, the Interstate Highway System. Today, he wouldn’t recognize his own party, but that’s another story.
Our house cost $17,000. Moms stayed home because a family of four could live quite nicely on one income. No one worried about health care. If you got sick the doctor came to see you and hospitals were non-profit entities. Candy bars were a nickel and twice the size.
I could go on and on, but you’d think I was making this stuff up. The truth is I was damn lucky to be born when I was, to grow up when I did, and if my luck holds I’ll get off the planet before it all goes to shit.
I don’t know if people having children today are incredibly optimistic, courageous or just delusional. Maybe each one believes theirs will be the golden child who manages to save all humanity from the brink. It would scare the crap out of me to bring a kid into this world now.
However, people are remarkably resilient. We’ve come back from great depressions, wars, and natural disasters of all kinds. Our rally cry of recent years has been “hope.”
So on that note, here’s what I hope for my life 10 years from now:
I’ve been blessed with remarkably good health. If you don’t count the time I broke my neck, I’ve manage to avoid hospitals entirely. I’d like to see that continue.
It would be good to have enough money to meet my needs and perhaps some extra to spare and to share.
For some reason, I’ve always had the love of a network of amazing friends – and I’m not always so nice. Go figure. In 10 years, I hope they’re still hanging in there with me.
I hope to be able to launch my ancient (size 4) ass up onto the back of a horse once in a while.
And it would be lovely to be able to look out my window as I’m doing right now and see a family of deer peacefully nibbling their way through the strawberry field in the morning sun.
Finally, I’d like to see an end to hatred, discrimination and war, and the return of strong and vibrant middle class. That one may be a little optimistic.
But hey – if I’m not still around, I’ve got no complaints. It’s been a helluva ride.