Calendars are funny, and yet I’m not laughing.
I pulled up my Outlook calendar on January 2 and was struck by the year: 2020. It reminded me again of my own mortality. In 36 years, I’ll be a century old. I really don’t expect to live to that age, and I truly don’t want to, not if it means outliving my wife and family and having to endure the socialism brought on by an Alexandria Ocasio Cortez administration. Dad always said no one wants to live to be 100, except those who are 99. Now that’s funny.
But I’m nothing if not introspective. I know that I have far more years behind me than ahead of me. I took a moment to look 36 years into my past. The Detroit Tigers won the World Series that year, the last time they won a championship; I was in the second year of an already unhappy marriage. Knowing my childhood dream to play baseball was dead, I was looking for a new dream to pursue. Looking ahead back then, in my mid-20s, I realized I’d be 43 years old at the turn of the century. I thought that was old. I wondered what I’d look like—would I have all or only most of my hair, or maybe little of it? Would I still be married? Would we have children? Would I be divorced and remarried?
But my calendar today tells me the year is 2020. I never considered, in 1984, that I’d ever be this age, or that this is where I’d be in my life. Not such a bad place, but certainly not where I feel I should be, career wise and family wise. Never had children, never thought I’d remain single for nearly 30 years after my divorce (certainly not for lack of dating), and I’m invisible to my second wife’s children. My 40-something boss recently left the company; one of my colleagues is transferring to another department, soon to be replaced. A few weeks ago, someone moved over from another department to fill the role vacated by a colleague who became my immediate supervisor…
And so it goes, the musical chairs of life. I’ve seen ten colleagues come and go in the past three-and-a-half years, only three who were there prior to my tenure. And yet here I sit, at the same desk in the same role I was hired to fill. I haven’t had my first raise yet, and I worry about when someone in the company I have never met might decide I’ve outlived my usefulness and decide to have someone else escort me out of the building. It’s happened to me before, more than once. Will that be sometime this year? Maybe next year? Surely, it’ll happen before I’m eligible for my maximum Social Security benefit?
All of which leads me to realize, once again, that I’ve spent most of my life waiting.