The name Robert comes from Old High German word Hruodberht meaning “bright with glory.”
I’m trying to focus on that little tidbit today as I mark my 56th birthday. I’m not feeling terribly bright and I’m a little short on glory right at the moment, but I’ve decided to enjoy this day nevertheless.
I’m doing my best to banish all negative thoughts and self-criticism today. There’s plenty of time to be miserable some other day.
I’m finally feeling better after suffering from some nasty cold for the last two weeks, but the weather has decided to crap out here in the Northeast with temperatures predicted to slip into the forties tonight.
It’s been a relatively quite day. I went to work, enjoyed the good wishes of friends and loved ones, and went home. Tomorrow I’ll be having a birthday dinner with my dear sister and auntie.
I can remember what a big deal my birthday used to be when I was kid, how my mother always put together these great parties. She made me feel like my birthday was some kind of national holiday.
Reality has since muscled into the picture and I’m forced to admit that this day is not the world-stopping event I once believed it to be. But I am grateful for those beautiful memories.
Speaking of reality, I finally cracked down and signed up for a long-term care insurance program at work this week. I hemmed and hawed because I wasn’t anxious to take on yet another expense. And I would really rather not think about such cheerful topics as broken bones, Alzheimer’s, and strokes.
The Long Haul
I know aging is a part of life; I’m just having trouble accepting it as part of my life.
But my company had mailed me a booklet on the program that advised me to “help protect your future from one of life’s uncertainties” and I started thinking that maybe I should acknowledge the passage of time instead of pretending that things will never change.
“Living Longer Has Its Own Set of Challenges,” the brochure proclaims.
It’s own set of challenges? I got news for you, pal—living longer is the challenge.
I was thinking of letting this offer lapse and putting off the long-term care business to…whenever. That’s my usual approach with just about everything in my life.
But the other day I saw two elderly women with walkers standing outside a local diner. One was speaking while the other leaned in closely to hear what her companion was saying.
These women were once young, vibrant and healthy, I thought, and now look at them.
But I have to give them credit, they were going out; they were socializing, despite their physical difficulties.
I’m in better shape than they are, but how often to I sit on my rear end watching the TV when I should out in the world doing things? How many big projects and great ideas have I started yet failed to finish? There’s a set of challenges right there that I should be facing.
I don’t like getting older, but I realize that I’m lucky to have come this far. Every day is another chance to make great things happen, another opportunity to burn bright with glory.