Life is a lot like eating sugarcane – the beginning is sweet and sappy and in the end you are left with fibrous strands bereft of flavor and joy. I am unsure where 50 is on that continuum.
It’s no surprise that my body is slow to recover; that there are more aches than not; that a new gray hair sprouts every 30 seconds; that I forget what I am about to do next; that my pace is slower; my words lie beyond grasp; that I’m more irritable.
And yet I remain inspired.
I am inspired by my friend Scott Allen who, at the precipice of turning 50, discovered new love; gained a new life partner; and is invigorated by love’s toxicity.
I am inspired by my friend Sean Yoes who continues to discover new interests and chase new dreams.
I am inspired by my friend David Littlejohn, who at age 52, is in better shape now than you and I were at 25.
I am inspired by many of my high school classmates who have been celebrating 50 recently with spirit and dynamism, surrounded by those that love them dearly.
I am inspired by my friend Jay Washington who said turning 50 gave him license to tell people to “piss off”.
I am inspired by my friend Jennifer Douglas whose thirst for knowledge exceeds my own.
I am inspired by all of the people who continue to enrich me on all platforms of life.
My life has been full of moves, calculations and plenty of miscalculations. I’ve made both good and bad decisions along the way. But no single decision can compare to the decision to ineptly, pitifully, and lazily ask Angel P. Brown to become my wife. The fact that she accepted my crappy proposal speaks volumes to what she saw in me. She saw potential in me that I did not see in myself; in fact could not see in myself. Getting that woman to marry me stands as my greatest achievement and biggest con job to date. And my children are a manifestation of every pure thought I have ever had.
50 will be celebrated quietly. A day off wine shopping with Angela that will conclude with a special Bleezie burger, a fantastic bottle of wine, more self-reflection and new edits to my life’s script. And who knows; I might just dig deep enough into the sugarcane to find more sweet, sappy goodness.
4 thoughts on “The Road to 50: On The Eve of My 50th Name Day”
Happy 50th, Joe. Enjoy all that you’ve achieved. Breathe deep to appreciate the sweet aroma of your wife and open wide your eyes to marvel at the wonders of the children you two have created. And dream big of all that you still will achieve in the intoxicating chapters to follow. Cheers, my friend.
Well stated Mark! Thanks for all of your support and well wishes
Please, tell us more about that “crappy” proposal.
I’m honored that I’ve managed to inspire you while having the time of my life. I wasn’t intimidated by the “big 5-0”, and now that I won’t be celebraing it alone, I look forward to it more than ever. I don’t know or care what kinda bucks you stack running a radio station, but you’re clearly one of my wealthiest, most successful classmates!