Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Rob, 54, Where Are You?
And so I’m now 54 years old.
I’ll skip all the “I’m so old” and “where did the time go?” crap because this is a day for celebration not flagellation.
A lot of nice things happened today. My sister treated me to a delicious dinner, I received some very nice cards, and I got a ton of birthday wishes from all my friends on Facebook.
Plus Modell’s sent me a discount coupon in honor of my birthday and if that isn’t cause for unrestrained merriment I don’t know what is.
I started the day early with a 7am boxing class because even though it’s my birthday, it’s also gym day and I never miss a chance for a little self-abuse.
I pushed things today as I tried to keep up with a much younger classmate during a heavy bag workout. I survived the class, but towards the end I began to understand how the bag felt.
My niece likes to tease me about not straining myself "because of your age and your condition." I'm starting to think she may be on to something.
We had our annual health fair at work and I sat down for a five-minute Reiki session. It was fantastic. I could feel my body relaxing, my shoulders coming down, and my breath slowing. And this woman hardly touched me. I have to investigate this further.
I was listening to an interview with the talk show host Tavis Smiley and he mentioned that he does not make resolutions on New Year’s Day. He said he prefers to take stock of himself on his birthday, “the day God brought me into this world.”
I like that. On January 1 it’s you and all the other losers making grand promises. But your birthday is your day to make plans for the rest of your time here on earth.
I made a friend last week while attending a one-to-one session at the Apple store on Prince Street. His name is Jack and he is 91-years-old.
“My kids are all older than you,” he said when I told him my age.
Jack is a kind of local celebrity at the Apple store. All the employees seemed to know him and anyone who doesn’t will soon make his acquaintance—a shrinking violet he ain’t.
He started the conversation by asking me if it was still raining out and pretty soon he was pumping my hand and telling me about his years making instruments for the shipping business.
Jack lamented how people today have no idea that the shipping industry really built New York. Jack told me that his grandson, a TV producer in L.A., had treated him to a $2,200 laptop when Jack wanted a cheaper model.
“I asked him why he did that,” Jack said, “and he said, “because Grandpa, you’re the only one left.’ I kissed him on both cheeks.”
Jack recently called his grandson and asked him when he was coming to New York again. When the grandson asked why, Jack told him, “I need a new camera.”
Jack showed me photos of the New York waterfront he had on his laptop and told me stories about the great shipping lines. I could’ve listened to him all night but I had a session to attend. I gave him my card and I hope I see him again.
I’m thinking about all the times I whine about growing old and then I look at this man, who will be 92 in December, and see how happy and vibrant he is. I’m so glad I met him and I'm proud to say that I know Jack.