So you've just turned fifty-two years old. You've written over half a million words, secured your reputation as a leading Oklahoma blogger, and gotten yourself an actual audience for the first time in your life. In the past two decades you've gone from marginally affluent to utterly destitute to marginally affluent again. With a new year ahead of you, what are you going to do now?"

Well, I'm not going to Disney World, for sure.

Actually, the only real answer for this is "How the hell do I know?" While certainly all of the above are true, as the guys say in the fine print at the bottom of the prospectus, "past performance does not guarantee future results." I will note that I probably have more positive signs this year than I've had or than that I've been able to see, which isn't quite the same thing in quite some time. The workplace has finally figured out the wisdom of "When in doubt, do it my way"; I have no reason to expect any new debilitating illnesses; I've discovered that some of my readership is in a position to Do Things, and while I would never (okay, hardly ever) ask them to do things for me, I'm happy to see them picking up on ideas and causes I'd like to see promoted; I've hit upon a reasonably-happy balance between arrogance and humility. (Future blog comment: "I am always grateful for the advice and elucidation provided by those in a position to know better, and occasionally so for that provided by the likes of you.")

Two factors have contributed to this uncharacteristic lack of malaise, and the second, I think, might actually outstrip the first:

  • Getting past the fifty-year mark, and more or less simultaneously buying a house. Either one of these events constitutes a major landmark: the combination of the two is just this side of overwhelming. It is a sign of extreme good fortune that I managed to contrive for both of these to happen within a 48-hour period either that, or perhaps...

  • Divine intervention, maybe? I hesitate to presume too greatly upon the Almighty, mostly because, well, um, I just don't do that sort of thing, but there have been too many instances in my life where I came out a lot better than I thought I deserved to, too many times when I got something I actually wanted without as much effort as I had anticipated, for me to take the credit myself. (This is that "humility" business mentioned earlier.) There is, of course, absolutely no proof of this, and there never will be, which bothers me hardly at all.

This is not to say, of course, that everything is copacetic as I start my fifty-third year on the Big Blue Marble. While I'm not sick or anything, I still have plenty of risk factors ready to sneak their way into the proceedings; I continue to have way too much debt, though it's gradually decreasing; and Empty Bed Syndrome still rears its ugly head from time to time. But you know (and if you read this section five or six years ago, believe me, you know), things could be one heck of a lot worse. For now, I'll take that.

The Vent

  25 November 2005

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 Copyright © 2005 by Charles G. Hill