I begin this blog as a way to practice gratitude. I am going to try to think of something for which I am grateful every day during my 50th year.
It is surprising to me that I am only 365 days away from celebrating my half-century mark. Sometimes I don’t feel any different from the way I felt when I was 20. Other times I feel as if I’m approaching 70.
There are those who say “Age is a state of mind.” That tidbit of wishful thinking is nice to say, but it strikes me that it is usually spoken as if to convince oneself, or perhaps in an attempt to cheer up the aging. It doesn’t help when I think about the fact that, when I was very young, I set a goal to retire by age 49. What is most ironic is that, instead of being able to retire, I am financially at a stage that resembles where I was 30 years ago. I have spent so much of my life (and funds) on other people and other things, and have not made the kinds of choices that would allow me to now agree that age is only an attitude.
But my attitude is one thing I can choose. With that in mind, I will not focus on my age here. It is what it is - the passing of days is beyond my control, and I don’t want to spend any energy on trying to slow it down. If anything, that would simply keep my life from picking up.
Rather, I want to try to be a grateful man, old or otherwise, and to keep in view the beauty around me in the friends, experiences, and places that I can enjoy each day. I can choose what I look at, and I want to look at beautiful things.
Today, I am grateful for my gracious, long-suffering mother. She insists on making sure I’m taken care of, asking me what I want to do, or eat, or what-have-you. She puts up with my moods, pretending not to notice them, and denying she is ever bothered by the dark days. She tries her best to make sure I’m happy even though there isn’t really anything else she can do about it. I am lucky to have such a mom.
And so I start a year of gratitude. I wonder what my 50th birthday will look like....