Today I "celebrated" the eleventh anniversary of my forty-fifth birthday. Yes, it is getting to the point now that I hedge on the term "celebrate". It was on my forty-fifth that I decided it wasn't going to get any better than that (the big 45) and it turns out I was right. It didn't really get any better and now I experience the day with some trepidation. And, yes, I fully understand the sentiment that I should at least be happy to still be alive. Well, I'm sorry, but being "alive" is really relative. I am alive. That's about all I am these days.
And no, this is NOT a bitch-and-moan session, because in reality I am not complaining, I'm just being real as to where my life has led me, or rather where I have taken myself. Life is actually a combination of circumstance and effort, and I am confident that I have put as much effort into my circumstance as I have been equipped to deliver, and as circumstance goes, it could be FAR worse. So, on balance, while you will not hear me trumpet the wonders of life as an aging American Baby Boomer, you will also know that I consider myself rather lucky in the grand scheme of things. I do not live in Somalia……is that in and of itself NOT a damn good thing? It is a GRAND thing.
Back there in the forties I had the insufferable habit of bragging about my genetic stock, how young I and my family looked for our ages, and how overall I was in such great shape. However, I have learned the hard way that excellent genes will NOT save you from the depredations of your social-economic status, especially if your occupation takes it's toll on you physically. Cigarettes killed my Mother, despite her "excellent" genetic make-up, and being a PCT this last decade and a half has done it's number on me (and all those years smoking may yet catch up with me…..news at 11). OK, so I had no idea where I was headed, but here I am, and I guess I get to deal. So I will. Like I said, it could have been much worse. Again…Somalia.
What really pisses me off is my fellow Americans who have it so damn good through good providence, who think they never had to or ever will depend upon the kindness of their fellow citizens. They conveniently forget that they will eventually be cashing in those social security checks, and that any manner of calamity could put them in a position of having to rely on those "socialist handouts" as their only means of support. These are the same people who think the Easter Bunny laid down our highways and roads, and that Santa Claus takes away their sewage and provides for the common good and defense of this great nation. What pisses me off even more is that a majority of the people who profess this mindset also claim to be followers of Christ, the purported Son of God. I really wish I knew what Christ THEY were talking about, because the Catholic nuns and priests who programmed me as a child growing up never mentioned that one. That's what has made it so easy now in my later and hopefully wiser years to discount all that religious and dangerous claptrap altogether. I just can't imagine being such a bitter and hateful human being anymore.
But, I would like to mention why perhaps THIS particular birthday was somewhat nicer than many of those which have passed me by. On THIS birthday, a whole lot of people from across this nation have wished me very well, and made me feel as though perhaps it has been a good thing that I've survived this long. These are all good people who have become good friends, even though I have yet to meet (physically) almost all of them. I feel closer to these fine folk then I do almost all of my natural family. Perhaps it's the distance and lack of close physical proximity that makes this possible, but I will be thankful nonetheless that I have had the privilege of getting to know these people anyway, thanks to Blogger and Facebook. So let me say HAPPY birthday, not to myself so much, but to all of you fine folk who share good natured banter with me almost every day, and also share a more charitable nature and example as to why the term "humanity" needs not be the horrible thing it has become close to becoming.
Happy birthday ALL of you, from your friend……..