I’m 47 today. Can I share a birthday wish with you? I have to admit I haven’t given much thought to my birthday number until recently. The only age related markers that have had any forbearance of late should have been 40. That didn’t register with the gravitas it does with some. I’ve never been one for parties and drinking copious amounts of beer. I think that dates back to being an early worker.
At 15 I used to get up at 5:20am to get the first bus into town to work as the tea boy on local radio. I’d finish at 9 and rush to get to school for lessons. I used to get early nights then so missed the badly organised teenage parties where copious alcohol is drunk almost as a right of passage, showing that you could handle it, showing you had what it takes, to welcome you into the adult world with a pat on the back from your peers.
You knew everything then. That though, was part of the problem. All that you knew was all you knew derived from your small young life at that point. You thought it enough but with adult hindsight you knew sod all. For some though a little knowledge was dangerous and I saw friends pass, people hurt and lives change for that lack of enlightenment that a little thought and the passage of time affords us.
The working of early mornings turned into working very late at night. You see, I’d dreamed of being a DJ. And after an advert was spotted in the paper I joined the infamous Busters Night Club in Coventry some 14 months shy of my majority. For the want of doing a good job and the wits needed to keep safe me and alcohol never had time for each other.
So 40 wasn’t marked with a hangover and that time of reflection when one sits (I’m told) feeling sorry for yourself promising faithfully never again to over indulge because you just can’t take it any more while knocking back two Paracetamol that scrape the line of the throat on the way day.
40 was marked by me not noticing this significant socially dictated milestone when I should reflect on my age.
The first age marker did happen a few years before when I gave up DJ’ing. My early life’s love affair was over. I’d done all that I wanted to achieve and more. I sat in control of the very chair I brought tea to when I was 15, stood in front of audiences in the thousands and watched them dance and party to the atmosphere I’d manifested from pieces of black vinyl. I’d worked with and helped some of the industries top success stories and the good job was done. To continue any further would be to blur the boundaries of want and need. Time to walk away. After all, it is a young persons game.
To year 46 I’ve merrily meandered along the way, always appreciative of the many blessings life has given but never a thought of the tenure left. The last 12 months have thrown markers for me to consider just that.
Injury has left my on my derrière for 10 months. No three triathlons and three half marathons for me this trip round the sun. No. Twice, something smaller than the eye can see has left my enduring the most uncomfortable journey of my life in the back of an ambulance as the world span faster than a Waltzer spun by a half drunk smelly fair ground worker with a fag hanging out of his mouth and bad tattoos.
Sobering, very sobering.
This year I’ve shed tears for the passing of family members, noted the passing of friends family, some old but some so young that lead you to wonder if there is justice and karma.
And to top all is the realisation is my statistical trip is half over. The days available are less than the days past. And in here lies the wish that comes with my 47th birthday that I wanted to share. I’ve just got this nugget. You may know this already and reading these words give you a Homer Simpson “D’oh Rich. I know”… So forgive me stating the obvious.
All days are precious. You get one chance at each. Choices are easy, they are after all just 50/50 as to whether they are right. Yesterday will never come again and tomorrow may not be what you expected. Expectation often gets blind sided by phone calls at 2am in the morning or things too small for the eye to see tripping you up.
I wish this birthday, that you enjoy the ‘now’. For that is all what we have got. Today is a happy day for me, I wish the same for you.