Maybe We All Need More Cowbell

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head by ELO has been somewhere among my top 40 or so favorite songs decades now, but I try not to watch the video.

That is because the fine folks at Saturday Night Live and their I need More Cowbell skit have managed to earworm their way into my consciousness.

It is not like I watch the video often, but if it comes across my screen invariably I start thinking about Will Ferrell playing that damn cowbell.

Got to give him credit, if I played it, I’d play the hell out of it too.

When Icons Die

Some of the boys and I had a short conversation about Prince, Glen Frey and David Bowie’s deaths and how strange it feels.

I wouldn’t ever claim to be the biggest Prince, Bowie or Eagles fan, but I was a fan. I knew their music and all of them had several songs that played substantial roles in my life.

All of them were part of the fabric that helped make me into who I am now and it feels strange to think they are all gone.

It almost feels strange to say that because I am well acquainted with death. That is not supposed to be morbid, it is just an observation.

In almost 47 years of life I bet I have been to 50 funerals and some of those were for friends. Not everyone is lucky enough to have live to the proverbial ripe old age so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this.

But then again, maybe it is better that I am because we shouldn’t be so accustomed to people dying younger than we think they should.

I suppose if anything it is more of an acknowledgement that when we are honest with ourselves some of these moments that make up the fabric of our lives are recent and some are decades ago.

Hell, I can’t call myself a recent college graduate, newlywed or new father anymore and it has been years since I could.

That is not a good or bad thing, it just is but it is still kind of surreal.

Age sneaks up on you a little bit.

goodbyesrumi

The Comments You Don’t Get

There are always going to be critics and people who tell you why you shouldn’t do what you are doing.

If you really listen you’ll often find the reason they say don’t do something has more to do with their fear or discomfort and less to do with whether they think it is good or bad for you.

That is why I am often slow to listen or respond to some of those remarks. I don’t wear sweaters when you are cold.

****

With kids in middle and high school this sort of conversation has become a regular guest and or visitor in our house.

I often find myself thinking about who I was when I was their age and wonder if I should share some of the stories about my experiences.

Will they be helpful or hurtful?

Some of those stories are best left unsaid because the reason I can tell them now is dumb luck and some are best left unsaid because, well they are still embarrassing.

Not to mention the question of whether the kids will really believe I lived a very full life long before they were born.

****

The funny thing about looking at how much time has gone by since I first heard Purple Rain, Space Oddity or Hotel California and recognizing my own aging is seeing a future that had been too far away to stare at.

I still have a solid chunk of time before my kids are out of the house, but it is no longer impossible to imagine.

My oldest is only a handful of years away from going to college and my youngest is only a handful more.

That empty nest thing isn’t next week but it could be here in as little as six or seven years.

Of course that depends on how you define it all.

Some of the conversations I have heard have said you aren’t a true empty-nester until your kids have graduated college and are employed.

Others say it starts as soon as they leave for college.

It is too early for me to spend real time forming an opinion on it but it is close enough for me to recognize it will be here before I realize it.

Kind of funny to think about how slow time goes when you are young and how it starts to speed up as you age.

Some days feel like an eternity and then I look at the calendar and wonder what the hell happened to the year.

So Much To Do

The picture at the top of this post is a shot of the Northern lights that was taken in Norway.

I haven’t been to any Scandinavian countries yet, but I will. It is on a long list of things I have to do and see.

The big question to me isn’t will I do it, but when.

Reflections of My Life is playing now and I can’t tell you if it is coincidence or fate. I can only tell you what I know and that some of it is nothing more than instinct.

There is no manual, no guide for life. There is only the path we create for ourselves and the choices we make.

Got to run now, got to get some sunshine on my back and fresh air on my face. Got way too much to do and see and too little time to do it in.

But it won’t stop me from trying, there is always another door to try, window to climb through or wall to tear down.

See you on the other side.

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2 Comments

  1. Joshua Wilner May 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I hear you loud and clear. I don’t feel old and every time I look in the mirror I am surprised.

    It sounds silly but I expect to see a wrinkle free face with a full head of hair. On the other hand I earned the few wrinkles I have and the flecks of gray so there is that.

    It is surreal to me to think about how fast it all goes and how much really has gone by. Most of the time I get excited about that because it makes me think how very cool the future will be.

    But there are moments where I hear the tick tock of the clock so damn loudly I feel pressured to do more and do it faster.

  2. T Hopkins April 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    We are about the same age, having grown up in the same eras, so I guess it isn’t all that strange that so often, your posts describe thoughts that go through my head just as often. (We saw “The Jungle Book” at the theatre the other day, and one of our favorites, Christopher Walken, was in it, which sparked a whole spiel about The Cowbell, and our kids love ’70s and ’80s rock as much as we do, cowbell and all).

    So many people who were movie or music icons to me are passing away–dropping like flies, really!–and yes, too many of them seem far too young to be moving on so soon. This is one of the many things that give me a sharp, painful dose of reality. Sure, I have taken on a boat load of more responsibilities and have grown up, so to say, and my hair is going gray here and there, and I get tired a lot sooner and a lot harder than I used to (but I held it at bay really, really well until this last year! 🙂 and it all seemed to catch up to me, rather rapidly, I think…) But it’s a weird thing; inside, in my heart, in my soul, I don’t feel any older. One day years ago when my dad was still in the here and now (he passed away suddenly at a very young 58) we were talking about all of this sort of thing and he said the same thing: he still felt like a kid inside, and it was sometimes a shock to look at his reflection in the mirror and wonder who the hell that old person was looking back at him. Oh, God help me, I know how he feels now! Haha!

    Those guys–Bowie, Prince, Frey, and so, so many others…their music was part of the soundtrack to my life, and my slow process of coming of age. So when I listen to it, I am eternally young, in a sense, and I completely forget, for a while, about the passage of time. But it sure does go by a LOT faster than it used to! I don’t enjoy stewing about the future as much as I used to, because before I know it, the future is past. I am working harder on enjoying the here and now, while it’s here. Hope you are, too.

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