Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

I'm 55 years old today. How'd that happen???

In recent years, my birthday has become more of an occasion to take stock of my life, where I've been, and where I'm going than an occasion to celebrate. And that has especially been the case today----could this be my last birthday?

If it is, I really can't complain. I don't want to boast, but I honestly feel I've had one hell of a life. Let's see, I've written a bunch of books and magazine articles, co-founded a successful technical publishing company, lived in New York City, San Diego, Las Vegas, and in north and south Texas, gone scuba diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys and Hawaii, hiked across the crater floor of an active volcano, survived a few earthquakes, visited ghost towns and petroglyph sites in the deserts of the American southwest, climbed the highest mountains in CA, AZ, OR, and NV, saw a few eclipses, meteor showers, and even the aurora borealis, was on Coast to Coast AM four times, saw Jimi Hendrix perform live, contacted over 100 countries via ham radio, arrived in Kiev, USSR in 1986 the day after Chernobyl blew (we didn't know about that until a couple of days later). . . . . . geez, I've had all sorts of opportunities to see, do, and experience things a lot of people can only dream about. I know I've been very lucky, and I'm grateful to fate for dealing me so many interesting cards throughout my life. And, best of all, I've had incredible love and support from my friends, family, and wives.

I don't have a damn thing to really complain about on this birthday. Yes, I wish I didn't have cancer, but we're all going to die of something someday. And I'd rather have a shorter but more eventful life than a longer, duller one.

The biggest challenge I've had to deal with of late has been accepting that I'm no longer in control of my life. I always thought I could plan for things and make them happen; life was a chess game in which the right moves would bring about the desired results. It's been difficult to get used to the notion that some rogue cells within my lymphatic system and on my liver are going to determine what's going to happen to me in the future and there's nothing I can do about that. But even if I can't control what's happening inside my body, I can control how I react to those events. My spirit can't be broken unless I let it be broken.

As Joe Walsh, guitarist for the Eagles (and ham radio operator WB6ACU), once sang, "life's been good to me so far." Life certainly has been good to me so far, and I think it still has some very good things still in store for me.

Happy birthday to me! I'm planning on having a couple of azul margaritas tonight!