Four times a year, an occasion comes along when Muri wants to buy me something nice … a present: birthday, Father’s Day, anniversary, Christmas. Tomorrow, by the way, is my birthday. We’ll talk about that development on Monday Smiles. Tomorrow. I’m not easy to buy for. For someone who doesn’t care all that much about clothes, I’m fussy. There are certain clothes that look like Bud and I certainly don’t want to be one of those men who look like they were dressed by their wives (translation: wearing clothes that don’t look like Bud). As I’ve aged, too, I seem to want fewer toys, in spite of being both a techie and somewhat of a geek. So, Muri and I usually shop together for my gifts or I come up with some electronic gizmo and buy it for her to give to me. But for a while now, I’ve had trouble coming up with anything I want. Ah, yes, you might say, the man who has everything … and I certainly do have a lot of things. But when I wander through Best Buy, I see many of the hot guy-toys that I don’t have: 55-inch flat panel TVs, $1000 tablets, $400 Bluetooth soundbars and super-light ultra books. This week, I considered a new bike to replace my aging Panasonic. But a funny thing has happened on the way to 69 … what I have … my old bike … my 36-inch TV … my clunky laptop are enough. What a concept.
There was a time when more … better … newer … seemed like something to strive for. These days, I look around at not just what I have but my life itself and I feel most fortunate. Lucky. But Lucky doesn’t capture the feeling. Another product of growing older has been perspective. At forty, I’d have attributed my good fortune to hard work, and yes, brilliance. Self-made man, you know. But at one-day-short-of-sixty-nine, I see that my talents are a gift. I see that I chose the perfect woman for me as a dumb-ass kid of 21. And chose a profession that led to financial security … if not wealth … because my Dad regretted not becoming an engineer. And a trail of small, almost unconsidered decisions have led to where I stand today. Yes, I made some good decisions, but I can’t help but feel blessed. These days, I can’t feel blessed without feeling guided. That faith is the ultimate gift of almost sixty-nine. Lucky to be blessed by God with this life.
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