Thursday, October 13, 2005

On turning 50

I have been lax in posting, because of the demands of my real life. My profession seems to be of the sort that has peaks and valleys of work. When I am busy, I am really busy, and my clients deserve all of my attention. When I am slow, I get a chance to think, which is something that is really important. I cannot imagine what life would be like if every day I showed up to hang the same left hand door on the same car in the same way every damned day. Talk about stultifying.
Today, I am 50. I have lived nearly 0.25% of all the time since the birth of Christ. I have been to several county fairs, a fair share of rodeos, 27 countries and one war. I have raised three wonderful children, and buried one wife, divorced another and am married to a woman who has that primary quality that I seek: she puts up with me.
As a former soldier, my needs are simple. So long as I am warm, dry, well fed and not being shot at, my life is really good, and everything else is gravy. I sometimes wonder about those people who are constantly unhappy. What is the purpose of life, if everything sucks?
Being half a century kind of focuses the mind on your own mortality. When you are young, you are invincible. You are wrong of course, and it is only the experience of attending funerals which begins to make you aware that you are mortal.
Another aspect of being older, is that you appreciate being alone, well at least I do. As a criminal defense attorney, I operate alone. Just me and the client against the awesome power of the State, as represented by the guy with the gun and the badge, and the morally perfect prosecutor. I enjoy the battle, because when I win, the victory is mine alone. But when I lose, the failure is also mine alone. I like to ride motorcycles for the same reason. I am alone, all of the choices are mine, and the results are mine, even if they involve a head on with a logging truck.
I guess that what I am getting to is that question: Am I a member of the body politic, or am I an individual who has an interest in politics? Are we as individuals part of a greater whole, or stand alone entities that come together when we choose for our benefit?
I am now officially old, and the truth is, that I don't know the answers anymore. Hell, I am not even sure that I know any of the questions anymore.


XB234C said...

Happy Birthday!

Dave Budge said...

Hey, now that you're a member of the over 50 Club you get the chance to throw out the AARP card that you will be getting in the next few days. I really liked that.

...and BTW, were'nt we supposed to have coffee somewhere?