I expected more.
Turning 50, it seemed from a distance, was an event signifying something great. When it happened to me -- if it happened -- I figured 50 would arrive with profundities about the meaning of life and my place in world.
When I wake Thursday -- if I wake -- perhaps Ill feel differently. But so far, Im like Eh.
Believe me, Ive tried. During the past few weeks, Ive looked for ways to relate even the most mundane of events to larger pictures of existence and the essence of time.
Saturday, I watched as my 6-year-old pedaled off to her friends house down the street. She was barefoot, as usual. I flashed to my childhood and the injury I suffered while barefoot on a bike. My foot slipped off the pedal and I lost a toenail.
That, in turn, led me to another bike incident. Several of the neighborhood kids were riding to the nearby park. Most of us had our own bike, but one guy was riding on his brothers handle bars.
Make sure you feet stay out of the spokes, the older one said.
Seconds later, in an effort to either confirm or discover the danger of such a move, I stuck my own foot in the spokes of the front wheel of my bike. Climbing back on the bike with bloody knees and elbows, I turned to the younger brother, Thats why you dont want your foot in the spokes.
Maybe theres something there. Ive never been afraid to question authority, but I stop short of making waves. Its dangerous to muck up the machine, so keep your hands and feet inside the ride.
But what does safety get us? I hopped on my bike thousands of times, but the only ones I remember are the times I fell. Its my failures I remember. Its challenge that define us.
So Im older. No biggie. Ive already been old. The picture attached to this column -- one of the best Ive ever taken, IMHO -- was made about eight years ago. I havent looked that good for a long time. Im often asked if I want the senior discount. My wife, who endured this milestone a few months ago, is frequently mistaken for my daughter. (While difficult to hear, its preferable to the opposite arrangement.)
As things stand now, I plan to get even older, but there are no guarantees. And maybe thats the most noteworthy fact about turning 50. When youre over the hill and gaining speed to the finish, nothing is mundane.
Contact Deighan at email@example.com