Saturday, December 4, 2010

#82 Looking In My Rear View Mirror

"You load sixteen tons, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt."
Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford
"Glory days, well, they'll pass you by. Glory days, in the wink of a young girl's eye. Glory days, glory days."
Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen

I am, thankfully, not deeper in debt, and I'm not sure I ever really had any glory days, but I suppose these songs reflect a portion of the mindset I've sometimes had whenever another birthday comes around.

I am now another year older, and perhaps most of whatever promise I had when I was younger has now slipped past and is irretrievably lost. I am at a stage of my where I have more past than future.

As Paul Anka wrote and Frank Sinatra sang, "Regrets - I've had a few." There were many things I wanted to do in my life and likely never will. For instance, write a best-selling novel. The ideas are there; I think some writing ability is there. What is missing is the drive and the discipline. 

I suppose the same holds true with regard to writing a hit song. I've written lyrics most of my life, some of them pretty good, I think, but I never had the courage or the drive to put myself or to put them out there.

At the same time, there are things I've done that I never thought I would. I never thought I would be responsible for producing a local television station's coverage of a papal visit. After I left college the first time, I never though I'd finish my degree, let alone go on to graduate school. And, once I reached my late 20s, I never thought I would marry, let alone become a father.

Then there are things I still hope to do. Some of these revolve around travel. I've always had a desire to see Scotland and Ireland. Although not as strong as it once was, that desire still lives. That desire has been supplanted to a large degree by a desire to one day live full-time in a motor home or fifth-wheel trailer and travel around the country.

Two other things I still hope to do in my life: be a better husband and a better father. I did not have very good role models in either area, so both have been continuous on the job training. But I'll keep trying and keep dreaming.

As long as I have a dream to work toward, simple or elaborate, I won't mind continuing to get older. When I, when we no longer have dreams, that's when getting older no longer beats the alternative. So keep dreaming. I intend to.

No comments: