Twenty years ago I was given this mug as a birthday gift. It was a joke, in a funny-ha-ha kind of way - but, I wasn't old then - tomorrow I'll be old.
Tomorrow I turn Sixty.
This pending milestone has been bugging me for months now. I'm not a habitual whinger and I have much to be thankful for but, the inescapable truth is that getting old sucks - my body is slowly shutting down.
All my pointless complaints are trumped though, by an anonymous quote I came upon this week:
So, looking to the next twenty years, (I dare not even contemplate that Twilight Zone beyond Eighty), I have many thoughts, many fears.
Personally, my greatest fear is of losing my mind to a disease like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's because, without my identity I am nothing.
I feel afraid for the future of the Human Race - we are unable to rise above our barbaric nature. The Earth is groaning under the sheer weight of our numbers, we are reaching a critical mass.
Conventional wisdom says that I should try to 'grow old gracefully' - I don't know what that means but it sounds kind of lame. What is the alternative? To go down kicking and screaming? - Hopefully I can find a balance between the two.
In my youth, when I had the energy and should have been an activist, I was too self-absorbed to care about wider society; to rage against injustice or change the world.
Today, I have no need to 'find myself', I never was 'lost' - my vision is broader and what I see is making me an Angry Old Man - I'm angry at the way our world is driven by human greed in all it's forms and Man's Inhumanity Toward Man.
Heaven forbid though, that I should become a Grumpy Old Man - I think that a sense of humor and of the absurd is probably critical in maintaining a healthy balance.
And the seasons they go 'round and 'round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and 'round and 'round
In the circle game
And go 'round and 'round and 'round in the circle game.
We can't return and I don't wish to.
Going forward, I have people who care about me and I enjoy good health - I need nothing else on my journey.
I'm alive - Now - sharing this moment in time with You, my Friends. I breath and I am acutely aware of the wonder of Creation, of Existence ...
I am Blessed.