Today I celebrate my 49th birthday

Okay, maybe celebrate is too strong a word for it. I must admit that with each passing year, there is a little less hair on the top of my head and the hair that I do have is either turning white or coming out of my ears and other places I would rather not go into. Additionally, I recently went to see my doctor a few months ago for some sorenesss in my knees and elbows plus a few other things that seemed to make the trip worthwhile, I get the “James, you’re getting of an age…that arthritus may be a real thing you have to start dealing with.” Seriously! Like, I’m only 49. Those issues are for old people…and I am certainly not that – right? Then I had to take a moment to be honest with myself. In my own mind, I am not old but our bodies age differently and although to look at my clean shaven face + goatee, you might think I was just 40 or in my late 30’s, stop laughing, i’ve been told. Okay yes, they could have been lying to me but whatever. As I was saying before I was so rudely intereupted, i’ve had to deal with a myriad of issues that have, in my opinion, aged me physically more than I should have aged. This is not to say that I stop doing the things I like to do but rather am more accepting of my ability to do those things and feel good that i can still do them. Those of you who were once a twenty-something and able to do a thing at a high level and now find yourself on the wrong side of whatever age but are not able to no longer those things or can’t do them at the same level understand what I am talking about.

So, today is my birthday and today I feel pretty good. I am grateful that I can still do most everything a younger me could do, if not as well, but still. But where the body declines, the mind excels. Today I am wiser (don’t laugh), more empathetic, understand the value of friendship and still look forward to waking up each and every day. It wasn’t always so…

It was more than a year ago that I started feeling overwhelmed by pretty much everthing. I was working a part-time job until my own business took off and offered the financial freedom I hoped it would, until it didn’t. Late last year I made the choice to close Greenleaf Enterprises LLC and figure out this next chapter in my career life.I lost my self confidence and started going to a dark place. Eventually I saw a counselor. For about a year or more we talked about anything and everything but I just didn’t feel like myself. Ultimately my doctor, counselor and myself agreed that it would be in my best interest to go on anti-depressants.

Fast forward to now and today I wake up to see (via email message) that a bunch of people had posted on my Facebook Timeline (a place I almost never go and only am there to link this blog to it). It’s a day like this when people that you may not see or talk to regularly take the time to say nice things to and about me that I look forward to waking up each day. So, to all of you that wished me a happy birthday, Thank you so much. It means so much that you reached out. It also insentivises me to be a little more communicative for my own part.

I know that this post is a giant rant/stream of consciousness but that is where my headspace is right now. If you read this and would like to get in touch, please send me a note. I would love to hear from you.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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2 Responses to Today I celebrate my 49th birthday

  1. Noel says:

    Happy Birthday James. Your posting today reminded me of some favorite lines from Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley”: “During the previous winter I had become rather seriously ill with one of those carefully named difficulties which are the whispers of approaching age. When I came out of it I received the usual lecture about slowing up, losing weight, limiting the cholesterol intake. It happens to many men, and I think doctors have memorized the litany. It had happened to so many of my friends. The lecture ends, “Slow down. You’re not as young as you once were.” And I had seen so many begin to pack their lives in cotton wool, smother their impulses, hood their passions and gradually retire from their manhood into a kind of spiritual and physical semi-invalidism… And I have searched myself for this possibility with a kind of horror. For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangeovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage … And in my own life I am not willing to trade quality for quantity.”
    At 49 — you’re still just a kid with a lot of living and happiness ahead. Take it from this guy who is nearly two decades older!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noel,

      Thank you for the kind words and sharing with me. I am not sure how I missed your response in the first place or if I saw it and decided I would respond later, only to forget. For that, I apologize. I believe that every response to something I have written deserves a reply.

      I am reigniting those things that I have long left gathering dust. Namely, writing and other endeavors that bring me joy.

      I think I have allowed myself to become complacent, figuring that my time had come and gone to do anything worthwhile and just allowed myself to experience life through the lens of someone stranded rather than the captain of my own ship. If that makes sense. I want to run towards the things that create joy and happiness instead of sitting idly by waiting for the other shoe to drop.

      Thanks for reminding me of that Joel.

      I look forward to seeing you soon. (Relatively speaking)


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