I have passed the mid-point of my life (I am forty-two. The life expectancy of a beer-swilling, kielbasa-eating Buffalonian is definitely NOT eighty-four.). I am now on the downward spiral. Things are breaking down faster than I can fix them. Time to make burial arrangements…’cause just like the cemetery commercials imply, only an insensitive jack ass who hates his whole family, America, baseball and apple pie leaves death unplanned.
There are many new and exciting things I am learning about aging. For instance:
• The bladder fills quickly. Most often at night. So I don’t drink anything after 7PM. Which constipates me.
• I am suddenly lactose intolerant. Dairy gives me indigestion and wind.
Despite all these signs and symptoms of impending doom I still FEEL young. As a matter of fact, I feel doggone good. When I was a boy I remember looking upon people my present age and thinking, “how decrepit”. But now that I am here, it’s not so bad (except for the whole lactose thing).
All that being said, I am starting to get a little introspective over the whole situation…have I been a good man? Have I used my talents to make things better for others? Will my son live in the basement forever? I just don’t know…and I guess I don’t want to spend too much time worrying about it, at least not yet. But deep down there is a pull, a tug at my heart, that says (in the voice of the Sham Wow guy): “You better act now, ‘cause we can’t do this all day”. My day is half over.
Up to now I have worried about many things. Some of those things have amounted to nothing, and others might have benefitted from a little attention. Despite that, my long-term plans always had a resolution in mind…now the long term plans are getting a wee bit shorter. I know, some of you oldsters out there are thinking, “this whippersnapper needs to shut his pie hole.” Maybe so.
When I was young people used to talk about how much “potential” I had. Eventually you reach a point in life where people stop saying that; but is that true? Is potential done so early? I hope not. I have some living and loving to do, God willing, but the nature of the potential changes. Now I measure friendship, love, relationships, prayer, peace, and humility as my potentialities.
These are not the result of college degrees, career tracks, promotions or networking. They are not measured by Forbes or The Economist. They are measured by the only one who really matters in the end. And when He calls me home, maybe sooner, maybe later, I want him to tell me I lived up to my potential.
I just hope the Bills win the Superbowl before then.