Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Age Like Wine*

A milestone birthday recently came and went without much recognition on my part. I neither wanted to celebrate nor mourn the passing of another decade. The changing of a number means little in the grand scheme of things.

However, as I glance in my rear view mirror of life, it’s still back there – wanting to be recognized and acknowledged. So, here goes.

I turned 40. Big deal, right?

I’m really comfortable being a middle-aged guy. I’ve thought of myself as such for several years. No use deluding myself with fantasies of youth. Age has brought me many gifts I would never trade for a return to youth.

Of course, there are many things I regret not accomplishing by age 40. Among them are: being a published author, making more money than a convenience store assistant manager and learning to play a musical instrument.

In my younger years, I hoped that if I hadn’t done those things by now, I would have at least been killed fighting for the resistance in a South American civil war. That probably comes from reading too much Hemingway in college.

The fact of the matter is that I have pretty great life. I’ve got a beautiful wife who I love very much, two crazy dogs, the best cat ever, a family that loves me (despite my quirks), a nice home, gainful employment, a fully stocked refrigerator and a couple cases of good wine. Who really needs more?

I've had more than my fair share of good living and try not to focus on the regrets. I hope there are many more accomplishments, good times, and glasses of wine in my future. But, life doesn't come with any guarantees. I've been reminded this week that our time in this world is precious.

An old friend used to say, “I’m like the state fair; I get bigger and better every year.” Well, I’m trying not to get bigger, but I do try to get better every year.

Just like fine wine.

* The title of this post is stolen from a Todd Snider song. It's the first track on the album East Nashville Skyline, one of many great albums by a great songwriter. Thanks, Todd.

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