Wednesday, April 17, 2024

I never anticipated being at the top of my game in my mid-50s

Three times I asked the AI Blog Post Image Generator for a photo of a "happy 50-year-old white man." This is what I got.

If you would have asked me when I was 18 at what age I would "peak," I probably would have said 30 or 35.

And sure enough, life really was good in my 30s.

But it's even better now at age 54, and I didn't see that coming.

None of us knows what's around the next corner of our lives, but at this moment, I can say things are humming along way better than I would have anticipated.

I have no chronic pain, I get to exercise regularly, I have a job I enjoy at a company that appreciates me, my family continues to be awesome despite my influence, and I engage in hobbies that are a heck of a lot of fun.

Like I said, any or all of that can change on a moment's notice. I have no idea what God has in store for me (read the book of Job for a case study in "whoa, didn't see that coming").

But right now, in 2024, my cup pretty well runneth over.

I have as much energy now as I did 25 years ago, though that's partly because we had a house full of little kids 25 years ago that made me chronically tired.

Still, I remain able to go hard from dawn to dusk and generally accomplish a lot of things in the course of a day that I find satisfying, both personally and professionally.

I have earned none of this privilege, by the way. I am entitled to zero of these blessings. And again, bad news could come tomorrow that puts a damper on all of it.

But right now, at this point in my life's journey, I am happy, relatively care-free, vibrant, and maybe a tad less dumb than I used to be.

(Still relatively dumb, of course, but getting smarter in slow, painful increments.)

And that's enough.

Whatever is coming down the road, my experience is that life begins at 50.

Who knew?

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