an old man looks at a cake with candles; one candle is a 5 and the other is a 1

By the time this post is published, I will be less than a few hours away from being more than a half-century old.

I’m not usually one to pay much attention to birthdays.  But this one seems special for at least this reason: I’m exactly 30 years older than I — and probably most of the people who knew me — expected I’d ever be.

This has caused me to spend a good deal of today thinking about my life: where I’ve been (to the extent my Swineheimer’s permits remembering), where I am, and where I might go from here.  When I think about the great achievements of my life, from my first “published” poem in the eighth grade to the publication of a book by a Microsoft employee for which I wrote one chapter in 2000; from the time my brother and I won an award in a city-wide talent show for singing “Candy Man” to my cover of “Brandi” (originally by Looking Glass, more recently the Red Hot Chili Peppers) done just a couple hours ago; from fingerpainting “pictures” in kindergarten to seeing my first publication of pictures in the Fresno Bee (Friday, July 31, 2009, an insert called “Talk” in the South Valley Edition); from being possibly the only person in America to have to repeat pre-school (it really wasn’t my fault) to graduating third out of 56 in my law school class — which, incidentally, kicked off the official recognition of my move from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to Career Deficit Disorder (CDD) in 2006 — I’m underwhelmed.

I really thought I’d have done something with my life by now.

Where I am right now is not a place I’m exactly tickled pink to be.  I’m a lawyer.  A criminal defense lawyer.  And I’m not sure exactly why I ever chose to do that, except that maybe it’s because everyone in my family always hated lawyers.  That seems kind of like a silly reason to become a lawyer.  And, since I’m going to be honest about things here, I don’t particularly like being a lawyer.  Fortunately for me, everyone in my family also hates psychotherapists, so I’ve got at least one more career ahead of me.

My family claims not to dislike writers.  This is a real bummer.  Because the one thing I’ve been told that I’m really good at is writing.  Maybe as I embark on the second half-century of my life, I’ll take a crack at writing something a little more significant than a blog, or two, or three, or — yes, I believe I have — four (not counting the photoblog).  As some of my closer friends know, I have at least that many story ideas in my head; none of which could possibly be less than a novel.  I do have an imagination!

I don’t actually know how to write a novel, mind you.  But, as noted, I’ve done a few blogs.  And I once read about a guy who had written so many blog articles he was able to put them together into a book.  Now there’s a novel idea for you!  I’ve also done some short stories, although none have yet been published.

Since I never had any kids — Challah Bobalah, Avi Bobalah, Tuvia Matai Bobalah, Rivka the Rapscallion and Lilith the Demon Kitty don’t count; they’re “just” dogs and cats — maybe I should figure out how to birth a novel or two.

Well, who knows?  Maybe I’ve still got a few years left in me.

So…happy birthday to me.  Happy 51st birthday to me.

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  1. Happy Birthday rick. we love you. have a great day. being over 50 is not so bad. i have 3 years on you. sandy

  2. One more birthday and one more year to love you! I saw an older couple the other day, probably in their 70’s, and my first thought was, “That’s how Rick and I are going to be.” No, not hobbling on canes or pushing the other’s wheelchair! They were holding hands, with the heads close together, sitting on a bench quietly talking. I love you, BNB, and wish many more birthdays for you that we may celebrate together.

    Oh by the way, your cover of Brandi is much better than that of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. They suck.

  3. Hey big Oops -I mean older, much older brother hope you have a happy birthday. I love you and can’t wait to see you again. I’ll wear a name tag, I know people your age forget things easily. Tell Bunny to take you out and have a great time being 51!!!!! And some people said it would never happen!! Oh, maybe that was mom and dad?

    Love Ya , little sis

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