Mr. 44

Tomorrow I turn 44. It’s not one of the big ones people like to talk about, like 50 or 75. It’s just another turn on the counter, another 365 days in passing. It’s not a big deal, and I won’t be making a huge deal out of it.There’s no party, no cake. Just a nice dinner out somewhere and a movie. Honestly, it’s getting to the point where I can just be happy making it to this age. Truly, the best thing about turning 44 is that I won’t be 43 anymore.

Forty-three was rough. I look back on it like the first time people my age saw Phantom Menace. Yes, it looked good at first, but then it got all Jar Jar and Midichlorians. And much like Phantom Menace, it had a lot to live up to after 42. Forty-two wasn’t Star Wars level, but it was certainly Return of the Jedi. Bought my first house, had my first short story published, and did my first book signing. So really, 43 had nowhere to go but down. I won’t go into the details, but it seemed that everything I tried at 43 failed. I’ve had more rejection from publishers than ever. The guys who published my first story got out of publishing.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but what actually turned me around this time was a wrestling documentary. If you have Netflix, go watch the CM Punk documentary, “Best in the World”. Or go buy it. I recommend it even to non-wrestling fans. It came out last fall, and I think I’ve watched it six times since then.I find inspiration in a guy who has been told since day one he wasn’t going to make it, but who followed his dream, and made it ¬†through hard work,brains and a little bit of luck. It also inspired me to make some changes myself.

New Year’s resolutions are for fools, so I didn’t do that. What I have done is make a concerted effort to be more positive. For those that know me personally, you realize what an uphill battle that is. But every change begins with steps, and I’ve taken some. The wife and I are eating healthier. I’m trying wearing colors other than black when I’m not at work. I’m embracing the optimism found in the works of Napoleon Hill, H2O and Rob Brezsny. I’m working hard at developing the Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) that has inspired people like Toby Morse and Les Brown.It’s not the fluffy bunny light of the New Agers, but it’s there. It’s tough, especially in this day and age. But the alternative is sinking into darkness, and I don’t want to go back there again, thank you. I have an amazing kid and a great wife, and I think they deserve the best me I can be.

By the way, the title of the last post is the first line in the movie “Penn and Teller Get Killed”. If you can ever watch it, do so. Penn Jillette may be the only militant athiest I’d kill to have dinner with.

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