Annual Reminder

I am 51 years old and have known Chick Martin for all 51 years.  Our moms are great friends and our friendship literally began in the crib.  One of the many great things about Christmas is the Martin Brothers Annual X-Mas Party at Sun Ray Cafe.  A grand opportunity to connect with amigos from my past.

In the old days, the bash began around 9:00 and questionable substances usually allowed the party to continue into the wee hours of the morning.  The heels were high and the band rocked the entire neighborhood.  Now, people arrive near the starting time of 6:00, the party reaches a climax around 7:30, and most fade around 10:00.  The few that still choose the substance route have much deeper lines in their aging faces.

Most of the crowd is between 50-60.  Hairlines are receding, asses are widening, and bellies are expanding.  I walked into the room and was somewhat surprised to see my high school friends as middle aged people.  Then, reality set in with the realization that we are a bit past that point. Yesterday’s conversations were gossipy about sex and money.  Now, the chat is about kids in college and even some grandchildren.  Another popular topic is about the health and sanity of our parents.

Tom Thorsen is my second longest friendship on this planet.  Unfortunately, his three year bout with colon cancer took him away about thirty days ago.  The first of my friends to die of natural causes.  It seems like ten seconds ago, I was attending the first of my friend’s weddings.

These parties and tragedies remind me to put things into perspective.  Life is short and gets shorter all the time.  There is really no need to get all tied up with the problem of the day.  Can you even name your biggest problem of Dec 29, 2014?  At the time, it surely robbed you of the moment.  My goal from last year is the same as my goal for this year. That is to accept the moment for what it is and make sure to be there.

Lions are easier to tame than the mind. A head chock full of worry creates an unreal reality. Why do things that have not happened or may never happen seem so real? Why do we allow the ghost of yesteryear to enter the dance floor? Pulling yourself back to reality if the difference between what-ifs, what-was, and what is. A final piece of the puzzle is learning to accept what is.

It is impossible to eliminate the past or avoid all pleasant or unpleasant memories. However, when I visit my past now, I try to go in, learn, and get the hell out! I am not going to be anchored by some event or trauma from my past. The same goes with the future. While hopes and dreams for a bright forecast are always present, I refuse to walk the rest of my life with eyes solely focused on the horizon.

I yield to the current moment.