I hit the half-century mark!

50. Shit. I know that the 40th birthday is supposed to be the significant milestone in a man’s life, but since I was hopelessly drunk on my 40th, and don’t remember any of it, (it should be noted, though, I was told that my friends found me face down in a snowbank, and threw me into a car, then drove me around until they got hungry enough to stop at the Waffle House, with me passed out in the backseat, the bastards) so I’m going to navel gaze a bit and try to decide what being 50 means to me. I know it means that in 5 years I can qualify for the Senior Tour, and that (more likely) in 5 years I qualify for the Senior Citizen discount at IHOP. I’m trying not to think about how many more years until I can draw Social Security, since there isn’t any guarantee that it will be there. My dad died when he was 60, but my mother lived to be 80, so I am splitting the difference and figuring I got roughly 20 years. Since I have a 10 yr old daughter, and an 8 yr old son, the numbers base line is tied to milestones in their lives. I imagine I’ll see them both graduate from High School, and (hopefully) college. My level headed daughter swears she won’t marry until age 30, so I’m sketchy about whether or not I’ll give her away. Chances are not good I’ll be a doting grandpa to her kids. Rats. My son has made no proclamations, so perhaps he will marry and procreate in time for me to completely trash his kid’s diet with sugary foods, and let them break every rule he holds dear when they are in my house. Actually, I think I’ll be quite happy if I see some evidence that I have done right by them, but how exactly does one measure that? I’ve decided that when the time comes that they are faced with some unexpected trouble, that they approach it without fear, and accept whatever consequences their decision brings, without whining or seeking to blame someone other than themselves. In other words, don’t panic, make a decision, and live with it. That’s really all I think I can hope for. I’m already reasonably sure that they will both be engaged, compassionate adults, and I think that they will look back on their childhood and heap praise on their mother and me for our wisdom and patience. (If they don’t, I have a sizable collection of photographs they won’t ever want to be public that I keep handy)
Lastly, I’ll say that perhaps the best thing about hitting this mark is that I have finally come to completely trust my instincts. I’ve lived in alot of places, and been faced with many trials, and I have managed to survive and prosper. I trust my judgement, but more important, I trust that the people I call my friends will point out when my judgement has failed me, and I trust that I will listen to them. Thats what I have to show for taking up space on this planet for 50 years. Check back in 2016 for an update…

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