Reflections as I Turn 58

crossroads_newAt 5:30 or so this morning, I turned 58 years old.

Birthdays tend to be a time to take stock, looking over the last year or even more, determining if there’s cause for celebration.

I’ve had a very busy weekend so it’s like one lengthy celebration, starting Friday with our first Bowie Baysox game, taken in with some convention friends. Saturday morning, I met up with other friends to catch an early matinee of Star Trek Beyond (my thoughts to follow this week) and spent last night with Deb catching a wild performance of The Mikado at the Olney Theater.

Today, Kate pays off her Christmas gift by taking me to a ballgame. Schedules being what they are, we couldn’t make it a Mets-Nats game so the San Diego Padres are filling in for the Amazings. We’ll eat Ben’s half-smokes and root for the home team (just this once) and have a grand time.

Still, I look at where I am and find I am largely uncertain and dissatisfied with where I am at 58. I may be among the last generation raised to believe you worked for one or two companies for your adult career. After 30+ years in publishing, I switched to education and lasted all of three years in a classroom. Depending on how you count it, I’ve had 7-8 different jobs, more than I imagined having. While I remain optimistic that some school will need me, I am technically unemployed and uncertain.

Should I not get a teaching position, I return to writing fulltime and have been trying to generate some paying work. Barring that, I have my own writing to do and that will certainly fill the hours without necessarily bring in any immediate compensation.

Either way, I’ll be completing my second Master’s Degree since I’m too close to give up and frankly, have been learning things that will help in a school setting or at my home office. Two courses this summer, then the final one in the fall.

So, I reach 58 and feel I’m at a crossroads, uncertain which road to take. It’s an unsettling feeling which could explain why I have asked for nothing in the way of gifts and remain ambivalent about even wanting anything in the way of a celebratory feast tonight.

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