Monday, October 14, 2013

"A doofus looks at 50"

     "It feels like a finish line."  That's what I told her.  I'm not ashamed to say that I told her that with tears in my eyes.  I told her because she'd begun asking questions about what I wanted to do to celebrate my 50th birthday, about to rear its ugly head in December.  I knew she'd want to have this conversation and I'd been dreading it.   Dreading it, you see, because thinking about it had caused me more than one sleepless night and when she finds out something is troubling my already addle brain she gets nervous.  

     One loving glance from the sweetest eyes God ever put on this earth and I knew that - just like always - she knew why I was thinking what I'd been thinking before I even told her .  "Tomorrow's Monday," she said.  "A week from today is Sunday.   Those are just days.  Your 50th birthday is just another day that you've been given to live."  Still, she knows why I said it.  She knows that there's a world of things I want to accomplish.  An even bigger world of things I want to be for people I love.  She knows the way I see myself and what an ugly picture that is. 

     "All those things in your mind - those are things that should keep you going.  NOT things you've failed at!"   She's talking about all sorts of things.  She's talking about places I want to see.  She's talking about skills I want to perfect.  She's talking about all the pictures that I want to show the world.  Pictures I've painted  with words instead of a brush.  She knows that sometimes I think these pictures are going to cause my brain to explode if I don't give them a canvas other than my imagination.  "You've got stories you want to tell and you're the only one keeping them from being told."  She tells me that all the time.  I wonder if she ever gets tired of being right.

     She says things like "If you could see yourself the way the rest of the world sees you!"  I tell her that's something that wives are supposed to say to husbands when they're down.  She says "You've accomplished so much and I'm so proud of you."  She tells me that because she knows my mind only keeps tabs on what I've not yet done and won't celebrate anything that I have done.  Check that - my mind won't let (what she views as) accomplishments be put in the positive ledger because the aforementioned addle brain spends way too much time comparing them to what other folks have accomplished.  "But the people that love you don't want you to be those people...they want you to keep being you..."  

     Seems like that someone damn near 50 years old ought to have a better idea of who this person is folks want me to keep on being.  In my mind, I'm a room full of furniture that doesn't match.  Maybe that's ok.  Maybe we don't ever quit finding out who we are while we walk through life on this planet.  I seem to remember the "old folks" that surrounded me in my youth all knew who they were.  Maybe they were just really good actors and wanted to jump the fence and play in as many yards as I want to romp in before the game clock reads all zero's.  Thankfully, if there's more game to be played, I've got a really good coach.


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