Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On Turning 50

Well, I turn fifty years old today, which I guess is a notable event in one's life, although I don't see much cause for celebration. When I turned forty, I still felt pretty young, even though it became apparent over time that my body could no longer do what it once was capable of. However, I find that at fifty I feel much older -- I guess a decade of sleeping badly will do that to a person, but understanding the reasons why I feel old doesn't make it any easier to bear, nor does it make the future look any rosier. I think I read somewhere that Frank Sinatra was fifty when he recorded "It Was a Very Good Year." I'm sure it still strikes some people as strange that Sinatra recorded such an elegiac number at a relatively young age (after all, he lived another thirty-plus years), but I too find myself looking wistfully to the past, wondering if all my best years are behind me and wishing I'd done more with the opportunities I had as a young man.