Windblown And Whimsical

Friends, please understand that there are plenty of people who envy the simple accomplishment of being able to relax, pay bills on time, and eat a good meal. Life is not a movie or TV show. This is just life and the secret is enjoying the passing of time. If you had turkey every day, how would it taste on Thanksgiving?

6. Put off decision-making, and life will make the decision for you.

A soccer mom was talking recently in the stands about how the economy has always been against her and her husband. She complained how he couldn’t get a football scholarship because he wasn’t one of the “coach’s pets,” which blocked him from going to college, forcing him to take a manual-labor job, and now, 20 years later, they still feel the effects.

I wanted to scream at her, “You mean to tell me the excuse you guys developed when you were 18 is still the one you use today? You never found a way around that measly story to rise up and do well for your family? You want me to buy that story? I am trying to believe either one of you still does. What once kept you down is no excuse for today. That oppression you speak of is also known as opportunity!”

I have also observed others who recently turned 50. They are proud when someone tells them they look younger than 50. When someone says that, they say, “What?” just to have it repeated. How cheap. How petty.

Personally, I seek “expert” testimony.” Although many men say they’ll “never pay for it,” I do. At the county fair every year I cough up two bills to have the carni guess my age, weight, and birthday. He tells me I look younger than 50. I have been doing this since I was 40.

Here’s the system. Approach the carni alone–no wife, no kids, no parents, no friends, nothing he can gauge you by. Looking fit and energetic, say, “Hey, guess my age.” He writes a number on a slip of paper, palms it, then looks squarely at you and says, “Tell me.” You states your age, and he reveals his guess. If he misses by 2 years or more, you win a prize.

Last summer when I was 49, he guessed 44. When my wife saw me approaching with a teddy bear in my arm, she knew why I was smiling. “Does this mean you’ll stop falling asleep in your chair at 7:30 every night?” I just smiled at her.

So, yes, I am 50. The above revelations didn’t occur to me on my birthday. They have been woven into my lifestyle for many years. What do I know for sure?

Well, I know that still pictures used to evoke romantic memories and stories, and now they have been replaced by video. Although I now have a more accurate record of the past, I will never again be able to have a truly romantic one.

I find Facebook to be nothing more than an absolute violation of privacy, and have steered as far away from it as possible, but the pressure to join from friends and family mounts daily. “Follow the sheep, follow the sheep,” they seem to say.

I know my 13-year-old’s obsession with Internet-fact-checking every time I tell a story has ruined some of my best laugh-getting whoppers, and I hate him for it.

I know that waking up at 5 a.m. to take my dogs to the park to run free in Christmas snow during my holiday vacation was as fulfilling as scoring a game-winning touchdown.

My friends, life’s blessings are many, and all I can say at 50 is what I hope to be able to say at twice 50. What a lovely ride.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at rdc@clevelandmetroparks.com.

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3 comments on “Windblown And Whimsical

  1. Roger Armstead on said:

    Thanks for the article! I am 55 & wished someone told me this stuff years ago. At least I can pass it on to my children. May we all be blessed for the next 50 years.

  2. Paul Sandefur on said:

    Thanks for the article. I can relate to everything he said, especially about taking chances and have a wife that took my breath away also. I am still a year away from 50 but hope to approach that big day sliding in sideways, on two wheels with hair a mess and yelling “Wow, what a ride! What’s next!”

  3. Meredith Kimberlin on said:

    (I know it’s May, but I’m catching up on my magazines) You hit the nail on the head once again, Ron! I especially like #4 & #5 !

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