Today is my birthday. I turned 60! Holy crap! Turning 50 was nothing compared to this! When I turned 50, I thought I could still better myself in many ways. Like hit the gym, become a jet fighter pilot, a doctor, a rock star, a professional accordion player or even sire another child.
Hitting 60, for me anyway, it’s like — hold on a sec’ — what the hell just happened!? Where did my muscles, my navy career, my patients, my fans, my accordion polka band tour, my third kid? Where’d it all go!? I didn’t even blink!
I know, I know, a lot of people accomplished great things in their 60’s. Colonel Sanders of KFC was in his 60’s when he started KFC. There’s a long list of people who were late bloomers and accomplished great things in their golden years. My problem is that with sobering up so late in life, I’m nowhere close to being a late bloomer — I’m still a pea in the damn pod waiting for the bush to shake before I can get my ass in the ground and grow! Golden years? Phhht! I’m somewhere between the LEAD and TIN years of life! I’ll never live long enough to reach any golden years!
But seriously, thanks to sobering up 6 weeks ago (!), in just 38 short days, I feel like I’ve reversed time! I haven’t felt this healthy, this mentally sharp and plain ol’ with it like this since I was about 35. I was 37 when I started drinking heavily, and everything about my life has been in a steady decline since then. The divorce, the separation from my kids, the financial problems, the bankruptcy, the job changes, major depression, death of friends and family, a major health crisis, etc., etc. My “Stress Test” scores weren’t even ON the charts for years!
My point is, while I’ve just turned 60, thanks to quitting the drink, what could have been a very depressing event is actually completely different from what I imagined. Now, without the booze coursing through my veins and wandering about like a one-eyed, peg-legged drunken sailor in a windstorm, I think I could sire another child! No, no, no, I’m kidding about that.
What I’m not kidding about is that with just the past six weeks of change under my belt, I’m seeing life in such a beautiful, positive light, that it is my delight to see that I’m free, free to be, just to be, me. I have the gut’s for that now. I’ve made it through. I have survived. I’m in the lifeboat. Phew! Now, I just have to bloody well hold on, chart a course and stick to it — steady as she goes!
May we all.