At Seventy (70)

Today is my birthday, March 19th, Saint Joseph’s Day for those of you that pay attention to those things. I was born in 1948, the first half of the last century ! Think about that !

What have I learned, what do I know , what would I change if I could ? In some ways I guess I don’t know the answers . I keep trying, I try to keep learning, changing and adjusting when I have to but remaining true to myself. At 70, both my parents had been retired for 5 years from from their chosen professions. I don’t think I could retire although believe me, I have thought about it. Do I want to continue to perform , create and be in front of people the closer I get to whatever the end is ? I will always create, thats in my blood and my DNA. I need to move forward. I love to perform, don’t ask me why. Anyone who really knows me understands that I am basically a pretty shy and unassuming guy. I’m always surprised when people recognize me at this stage in my life, I mean, sometimes I look in the mirror and don’t even recognize myself. On good days I flatter myself and say “ kind of like a senior version of Clint Eastwood”. On bad days I think “ yikes, I look like Don Imus “ ! I am not the kind of person thats ‘ gotta dance, gotta sing’. Could I walk away from it ? Absolutely , if it stopped being fun or if my talent level slipped to the point where I recognized  it. Yes, I could. I have been so fortunate in my life. I’ve sung more songs, played more notes than most people could hope for and yet there are more songs and more notes for me and I will strive to get them ‘right’. I have been very blessed in my life. My Grandparents who either lived with me or almost next door lived well into their 80’s and my parents into their 90’s. I have a wife who loves me and always has my back, a daughter who is smart and funny, a granddaughter who seems to be as crazy about me as I am about her, a fantastic brother and sister plus unbelievable sister in laws. Who could ask for more ? Not me, yet I can’t help but wonder sometimes like Peggy Lee said “Is that all there is” ? What do we expect ? Should we expect anything ? Are we promised anything other than today ? We should expect to be good to each other, to be good to ourselves, to be ‘good’ period .  That’s what will make the world a better place to be. Let’s face it, at this stage of life unless we live to be 150, the majority of our lives are in the rear view mirror but that doesn’t mean that the final quarter  cannot be the most fulfilling  , the most exciting or the most interesting . I don’t plan on going ‘gently into the good night ‘, I plan on standing up, talking straight and pushing back until I’m done. I would like to be as good as I can be whatever that is and in many ways I know that I”m not there yet but I’m going to keep on trying. I hope we will all try to be as good as we can be.

Linda Kelly