Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Zero to Sixty

“The only way to deal with the future is to function efficiently in the Now.” – Gita Bellin

I can’t believe I said “yes.”

Accepting a simple dinner invitation may not sound like a daring leap into the unknown but it felt like a milestone for me.

I’ll explain in a minute, but, first let’s get right to the big news:

As of today I am 60 years old.

Yes, that’s right, we’re talking six decades here, people. I am amazed, stunned, somewhat frightened, and, above all, thankful that I am still walking the earth and not residing under it.

I’m doing my best not to freak out at that sizeable digit, but it hasn't been easy. I mean, how in the four-alarm hell did this happen?

How in God’s name did that adorable little kid attending classes at Our Lady of Angels Catholic School morph into a hairless crank with creaking bones who hears voices and receives flyers from both senior citizen homes and burial plot salesmen in the same day’s mail? (One at a time, boys, please.)

I would demand a recount but I’m afraid I might actually be older.

Arthur, one of my writing class friends, calmed my nerves when I expressed dismay about my age.

“The sixties was a good decade for me,” he said. “You know what you want. You’re more sure of yourself.”

It felt so good to hear this. I still have lots of questions tumbling around my head, but I do feel a bit more confident than I have in the past. And I’m also caring less and less about what people think of me.

Without Further Ado...

I decided I’d give myself the gift of peace today, liberating yours truly, at least for one day, from the fear, the self-loathing, the regret, the anger, and all those other toxic emotions I inflict upon my poor soul on a daily basis.

I started celebrating early, going out on Saturday with my beloved sister and auntie for a stroll around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and then on to Wing Hing, my favorite Chinese restaurant for a fabulous feast.

On Tuesday, I had the distinct pleasure of introducing and interviewing the writer Neville Frankel, who read from his latest novel On the Sickle’s Edge at the Bookmark Shoppe in Bay Ridge, where I had my own reading.

Louise Crawford, the publicist for my book, Born Speaking Lies, had asked me to help out and I’m so glad she did.

The evening was pure magic. Neville is a fabulous writer and a captivating speaker.

I learned so much during our discussion, particularly about historical fiction, a genre that both fascinates and intimidates me.

I was all set to go home when Louise invited me to join her, Neville, and a bunch of other folks for dinner.

And I said “yes.”

I’ve gotten so accustomed to turning down or avoiding invitations in favor of heading home to my empty apartment that I actually surprised myself by answering in the affirmative for once.

Of course, I have things to do. I want to finish the first draft of my next book by year’s end; I want to pitch my screenplays to agents, and I have to revise a short story I recently completed. And don't even get me started about that short film I want to shoot.

But I knew in my heart that I couldn’t miss out on a dinner with such talented, gracious people.

The years go by so quickly it makes no sense to miss out on good times and good people.

Yes. I like the sound of that.


Bijoux said...

Happy, happy birthday, Rob! I'm so glad to hear that you accepted the invite. I'm finding that one of the benefits of 'advanced years' is realizing we won't live forever, so we need to get out of our comfort zones NOW and take advantage of every opportunity, if only to have some fun. XO

Rob K said...

Thanks, Bijoux! And that's a great observation about getting out of the comfort zones!

Take care!!

Jay said...

Good for you! I'm three years into my sixties and yes at times it scares me and depresses me, but it's pretty good on the whole! We know what we want, we don't care so much about what people think, and I at least am lucky enough to have sufficient money to live quite well. Enough food, a home of my own, holidays in the sun ... it's all good!

Happy 60th year, my friend. Make the most of each day!

Ron said...

Rob, first allow me to say....HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

*cheers and applause*

And your friend is absolutely right..."“The sixties was a good decade for me,” he said. “You know what you want. You’re more sure of yourself.”

I'm 61, and I can tell you that that is true! And to be honest, I've enjoyed each decade up until now because they've all taught me something. Also, I actually feel stronger and better the older I get.

Sounds like you celebrated your birthday is such a great way, you savored it by starting early and made it last. And I'm happy to hear that you were spontaneous and joined Louise and her friends for dinner. Isn't it great when doing something unexpected turns out to be something faaaaaaabulous?

Wishing you the very best and continued success in all your endeavors this next year!

Cheers to you, buddy!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, thank you so much for the birthday wishes!

And thanks for the great insights about your life experiences. It's very reassuring!

The birthday celebration was a blast and I'm so glad I went to that dinner.

Take care, buddy!

Rob K said...

@Jay, thank you so much!

I'm really grateful for your support! It's a little scary being this old, but I'm lucky to have people like you in my life to make things a little easier.

I'm so glad it's all good for you and I'm taking your advice by making the most of each day!

Take care!

A Cuban In London said...

Happy birthday! :-) Years do go by so quickly, don't they? :-)

Greetings from London.

Rob K said...

They sure do, brother! Thanks and do take care!