As long as I’ve been posting here, I am always wondering if I’ve already used a title for a previous post. Not today. I’ve never been 45 before so I’m kinda sure that this one hasn’t been taken already by me. Actually 45 came yesterday for me. I never really used to reflect much as these milestones passed. But I never really used to be this old before, no offense to those of you who wish for 45 again. It seems that lately I’m seeing more headstones than milestones. In fact, yesterday morning, upon reflecting on this new number, a black and white newspaper editorial cartoon kind of image appeared in my head, and the central focus of it was a headstone.
I’ll try to give you a mental image of it so you can enjoy it as well. I was posing the question to myself, while in the shower where all great philosophical questions are asked, “What constitutes middle age?”. 45 seemed to be one of those great halfway numbers. So this image comes into my head. There is a giant headstone in the middle of the page with a cartoon caricature of me standing on top peering over the edge. On the backside, the side with my backside showing, is a very large number 45 carved into the granite. On the other side, the one I’m peering over to is carved with two words; “the rest”. I’m not sure what it all meant, except that maybe I’d have a lower water bill if I’d start showering and quit hallucinating
On further reflection, all that I can say is that the message probably has something to do with the fact that “middle age” has only to do with the individual. None of us knows our appointed time, so instead of looking and waiting for a number to appear on the other side, we should be concerned with what we do with “the rest”. So this birthday I’m looking forward to “the rest”. I could also use some rest, but that’s for another day. I used to look backwards and reflect on all I’ve done or not done, on all those who’ve influenced me for the good or the bad, and everywhere I’ve been and the things I’ve seen. Now it’s time to look forward and consider all who’ve made the journey with me, and the new friends who have joined me, and as the great book of life changes claims… “Oh the Places You’ll Go”.
So it’s back to work, and back to school, and back to life. No matter where I’ve been I can’t imagine any place I’d rather be. It seems like a good way to celebrate 45, headstone and all.