I have been thinking about that all year long. I realize that amounts to a little over a month of days, but I have spent time thinking about that number.
I have spent time thinking about that age.
Why? Because I never imagined turning that age. I remember when I was little always thinking about turning 30, because I would turn 30 in the year 2000. And who could imagine the year 2000?
But here it is... 2017. And i am 47. I am middle aged for real. And I never thought of that.
This time of year I wax nostalgic about the past 12 months. What was the good? What was the bad? What was the ugly? What do I need to change? Where did I succeed? All of that becomes much personal food for thought.
And I especially begin to think about what lingers on the walls and in the corners of my mind.
And I think about something I saw that has had an affect on my outlook.
A few months ago, I was thinking about increasing the amount of money I save each month. But it required that I pay my bills a bit differently. For some odd reason, I like to pay most bills off of one paycheck. That in itself is a high class problem. But I remember being a bit miffed by this.
And then one day, while leaving the freeway at the exit that leads to my job downtown, I saw a woman.
A homeless woman.
She was under the bridge next to the exit, and she was pouring water from a bottle over her naked body. She was washing up with a soapy rag.
That exit is curved and fast, but I remember thinking... did I see what I thought I just saw.
After a couple of more times, I understood that I did.
And I filtered my annoyance with having to rearrange how I pay my bills through those thoughts. Suddenly it wasn't that important that I had to make a few minor changes in order to meet a goal. Here was someone who lived under a bridge, and then got up everyday to get ready... in view of everyone. That is a sad thing. But it made me more thankful.
I don't see her that much. But I see her things: A black duffle bag, a gallon of water, and a few other items, all sitting on a ledge under the bridge. It is a reminder of Atlanta's homeless problem. It is a reminder to be thankful for the roof over my head. Truly thankful.
At this age, I find that I am thinking of those types of things, among other things that go on in life throughout my day, throughout my year. I feel like God shows us much to think about, if only we pat attention.
And that is what is on my mind this morning.
That is on my mind as I turn 47.
I am thinking about my problems...
I am thinking about my triumphs...
I am thinking about my adventures...
I am thinking about growth.
And I am excited about what is to come.
I took yesterday and today off. I remember all to much of how melancholy I was last year because I had to work (My birthday was on a Sunday, but I usually take that Monday off when that happens). I am at a point right now, especially since taking off 3 weeks in December and traveling to the UAE to spend time with my sister, that if I want to be off, I will be off. I realize that I don't take off much because of a fear of some mess going down when I'm not at work. Mess is going down whether I am there or not. I have had to realize that I have been dealing with some anxiety concerning work, and that ain't good. I am getting the job done. I have met my goals. But when I have to dodge the insecurities of others while dealing with my own, well, that is mentally taxing. I don't talk about it, because no one asks. I don't want to complain and whine. I listen to enough of other people's wailing as it is. I don't want to add my own gripes to the mix. I am learning to pray about it. And watch things change. Period.
One thing I have learned is this: there is ALWAYS a lot more going on than we think is going on... with people, places and things.
Even with our own selves. These days I spend much more time on self introspection and making the adjustments than on pointing my fingers at others. Sometimes I am the problem. Sometimes not. I need to be crystal clear about the distinction.
Those are my thoughts at this moment and time, on the day I turn 47.
Today I am off. I woke up and listened to the radio, and I watched the news just to see what the weather would be. It is going to storm later on, so I better get out and do what I got to do now.
Me and LadyTee are going to go do our Thelma and Louise thing... That didn't happen last year.
Minus the driving off of cliffs.
I want to go to the movies, and there is this high end Mexican place I want to try. That food better be good!
I am thankful for seeing a new year of my life. I am always mindful of there being those that didn't make it this far, so I will make the best of it.
I will make the best of year 47.