What 55 year old uses a Twisted Sister reference?
Fifty-five used to be the age of retirement, an age where one moves to a gated community in Florida, sits on a park bench and throws stale crusts of bread at pigeons. At least, that's what I thought, as a kid.
They say 55 is the new 35.
I never expected to live this long as I have taken a lot of risks in my life and have many friends who did not make it to this age.
Thank God, because I'm just getting started.
Instead of playing golf, I'm boxing and coaching boxers. I have been a student of the sport for fifteen years now, am always learning and still excited to discover new moves and to watch rising boxers make their way. My students go from no training at all, to having a basic knowledge of the sport and some take it further. Boxing is no longer the A number one in my life, but the love for it is always there and I will always use it to make myself and others feel strong and confident.
For the last five years, I have dedicated myself to learning screenwriting and slowly but surely, keep improving. A couple of these projects are moving along. Another documentary project also might break and if it does, I will be busy working extremely hard in a new arena that is daunting, but exciting.
My focus is laser-like in the new avenues I am pursuing and all of it is backed up by years of life experience; years of living my life in varied subcultures, dealing with depression, struggling as a bohemian artist in New York, having early success with my writing and then struggling again. Then, living life in a downward spiral and turning it around; shockingly (to myself) getting married later in life and staying in it for 16 years with a solid guy I wouldn't have dated in my youth because my values were mixed up; learning how to live in a committed relationship.
Then, pursuing a combat sport when most athletes are winding down or retired; accepting certain things about myself in order to rise above them; learning to have faith even when everything is looking bleak and sharing my darkest experiences in order to encourage others that overcoming adversity is a "thing."
I'm grateful to have met so many stunning people in my life. I'm sad for the ones that departed at a young age and hopeful for the ones that are still moving and shaking.
While my parents are getting older, they are still alive and I have the comfort of knowing they are in New Jersey, where I grew up. That part of my life is not gone yet. It's not "Dust in the Wind."
I am lucky that I can remember the 70's but still know how to use Zoom and Venmo. There are still so many things to look forward to, people to meet, skills to learn and improve on.
I guess this blog is somewhat of a cliche reflection of the "age is just a number," but that doesn't mean it isn't true...to a degree. I can see with my parents that their bodies are breaking down; they have physical pains they didn't have when they were young and I have to admit, it's not easy to witness.
Realizing that these aches and pains are just scars from living a long eventful life and focusing on the joy we are privileged to still have, makes it easier.