Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Beginnings

Toodles always said life begins at 50. Everything up to then is just training. If you haven't wised up, figured things out and become financially secure by your fifth decade, it probably ain't gonna happen.

Thanks to her positive attitude, I stopped dreading my 50th birthday in my thirties. Rather than the beginning of the end, the big five-oh would mark the beginning of a more enjoyable time of life. Stability has its advantages.

My elation at turning 50 was offset by an onslaught of health issues. After lots of tests, several outpatient surgeries and countless follow-up appointments a host of medical professionals assured me I'm good to go for at least another ten years. One or two also told their children not to worry about college expenses.

With the medical drama behind me for now, I've decided I don't entirely agree with Toodles. Saying life begins at fifty ignores or diminishes half a century of activity. I prefer to think of the fifties as a time for new beginnings.

Life sometimes gets in the way of pursuing dreams. Maybe you've always wanted to be a ballroom dancer, a painter, a school teacher or perhaps even a writer. If the desire has been there all along, in your fifties life quietens down enough to again hear its siren call.

It's easy think it's too late. In some cases it probably is. Although never is a word I prefer not to use, it's safe to say I will never be an Olympic gymnast.

I'm not talking about something for a bucket or BIG (Before I Go) list, either. I'm talking about a slumbering passion that for one reason or another, you've always ignored. Give it a shot. You'll never know until you try.

What's the worst that could happen? You find out your passion and your talents are mismatched. At least you know and can cross that one off the list of things you want to be when you grow up.

I wrote a book. Oddly enough, whether the book ever sells a copy doesn't matter. Writing a book someone else would ever read was something I never thought I could do. I did it, and people tell me they really enjoyed the read.

I'm on cloud nine.

And therein lies the problem. If I find a publisher and the book becomes successful, things will change. It will no doubt be the end of...

The Crotchety Old Man

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