Ahhh….turning 51 tomorrow. What can I say? My celebrity pals have been all over it. Brad Pitt sent me a pair of mittens that he knitted himself (or so he says…). Beyoncé dedicated a song to me at her last concert (or so she says…I wasn’t there. Her concerts are past my bedtime) and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said that the first touchdown pass that he throws in tonight’s Super Bowl will be for me (he always says crap like that…). Anyway…celebrity notables aside, here’s what’s on my mind as I turn 51:
- You know that you’re getting older when the gifts that you receive become more and more about comfort and “socks” are mentioned as your number one item. Instead my beloved bride bought me a really nice chair to sit my dainty derriere into whilst I sit in front of the computer, making funny for you folks. Nicely played Connie Sue.
- Failure isn’t fatal. If I had come to this realization forty years earlier I can’t help but think just how different this life would be. In high school I would have danced my ass off at homecoming and prom. Ass….OFF. I would have shot the ball constantly in basketball. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. I probably would have started down a different career path. It’s not that I don’t like what I do now, it’s just maybe these talents would have been better suited elsewhere. At the age of 51…its probably too late to try something different. Everyday I’m around many young people. I encourage them. I let them know that while I am their boss and hold them accountable for their actions that they are valuable and there’s no such thing as a “perfect life”. That todays culture doesn’t put enough importance on being: honest, trustworthy, friendly, moral, having a good work ethic and playing nice with others. That you don’t have to agree with everyone. That life is oftentimes a grind of the boring and mundane. That it’s up to you to make it happen for you. And while I’m at it…making work fun and stable for those under my watch. I really appreciate those tried and true stalwarts of my work day.
- Are you like me? Old enough to remember the days when you had to buy a rock groups whole album just to get the ONE song that you really liked? Albums were like ten bucks or more, and unless the group was really good you had just paid ten dollars for one song. That’s why I think ITunes is the bees knees. $1.29 for one song. Just a couplea clicks and its downloaded into your computer. A few more clicks and its burned onto a blank DVD-R for the CD player in my old Chevy truck. Quick survey…who has AC/DC AND the Statler Brothers in their ITunes library? Anyone…? Anyone…? Just…me? Figures. The Class of 57 is GOLD people. GOLD.
- Yes, I will be getting back into the gym. Officiating basketball doesn’t really keep a guy fit or build the upper body. Goals set. Failure looms. Let’s see what happens.
- At this age I’m probably more apt to call a spade a spade, a drama queen a drama queen and walk away from idiots rather than waste my time and energy.
- I traveled to four different countries this past year. Headed to Europe this year. I’m pumped. I’m also pumped to take a two-day road trip, camera in tow, of the back roads of my beloved home state…Iowa. I might even make it a three-day trip.
- I haven’t gotten any post-season officiating assignments. There’s still time, I suppose, but I’m skeptical. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you do your best, get a glowing evaluation from a state clinician at a big time game, love the sport and work on it daily to get better only to be on the outside looking in…left out of the tournament. I had a great season, nothing can diminish that. I’m a good official, and so are the guys on our crew…but it wasn’t meant to be this season. Failure isn’t fatal, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lesson to learn from it. I just don’t know what that lesson is, yet. I’ll have all off-season to mull it over. All. Eight. Months.
- I’ll be published!! A magazine contacted me about writing an article for them. Dead serious! I signed a contract and am getting paid to write. I had my right-brained wife (who’s real anal about being smart…cause she is…) proof-read the article prior to submission. She had me add a couple dozen comma’s and apostrophes. Nuff said.
- It’s a time of transition. My old classmates are becoming grandparents. Those big-haired, sexy vixens from the early nineteen eighties are now grannies…and are totally rocking it!! I love seeing them with their grandkids on Facebook. It’s also a time when some of my older friends are retiring. What. The. Hell?! I can’t have friends that old…can I? Good for them. AARP has been blowing up my phone trying to get me into their stable of older celebrities. I’m not buying…for now.
- This next year I’ll try to shore up some long time friendships that have gotten on the cool side of luke-warm. You may never know what kind of journey someone’s on until you park their ass on a bar stool and buy them a beer, or three.
Thanks to all of you for your friendship, for reading along and commenting. I count myself truly blessed to have each of you in my life. God bless.