50I was born in 1950, and for years dreamed of being 50 at the turn of the 21st century. I imagined there would be immense personal and world changes when the clock stuck 12 on that millennium; but as we all now know, the hype was more than the reality. But what’s happened since then has been pretty amazing and fulfilling.
In the intervening years, I opened more hotels, spent time in Las Vegas, China, Laguna Beach, New York City, and the Adirondack Mountains, met lots of interesting people and clients, played a ton of music, became an avid blogger, read voraciously, and enjoyed the arrival of a granddaughter.
And now, 13 years after that millennial milestone, it’s the 50th anniversary of my bar mitzvah; in fact, I celebrated that momentous event 50 years ago this weekend. 50 years ago tonight I began the transition from being a boy to becoming a man. That ritual, which most young Jewish men and women go through on their 13th birthday, is similar in many ways to other rituals that mark the passage to adulthood. And while it was cool to think that adulthood starts at 13, I’ve since realized that it only begins then.
For me that beginning began by reading from the Holy Scriptures in Hebrew, then making a speech, opening lots of presents and having a fun party. But now I realize that the best part of that event was the awakening of my sense of religion, and then learning things that have stayed with me all these years. On that weekend so long ago, I read the only portion of the Torah named for a woman (Sarah, the wife of Abraham), and how she shaped the history of the Jews. I recently found the speech about this that I gave back then, and it spurred lots of memories and got me thinking about the richness of life after all these years.
And now, on this 50th anniversary of that long ago event, I’m literally standing by for the arrival of my second granddaughter. As I write this, my daughter is down the Hospital hall giving birth…. to a girl, and this is reminding me about the women in my life and the woman in that Torah reading. Sometime tonight my 92 year-old Mother will have a new great granddaughter, and my wife of 37 years will have a new granddaughter, and my 34-year old daughter will have a second daughter, and her 18 month-old Daughter will have a sister. Life really does go on, and truly is a blessing!
My message this week is about enjoying the wonders of life:
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” Ruth Reichl
Every day is full of experiences, challenges, and opportunities. Those experiences are nothing if you aren’t aware of them, and wide open to their breadth and depth, and possibilities. They often present challenges because without a crystal ball we can’t predict what’s going to happen, and must be ready to react appropriately and effectively. And rather than thinking of these as distractions, we should see them as opportunities to do great things. There’s rarely a day that isn’t filled with one or all of these elements, and there’s excitement and renewal in each and every one of them. If you find a day that’s missing one or more of these, it’s probably something lacking in you rather than the day itself. If that happens, stop and examine what in you may be obscuring them. Then pull up a chair, take a taste, and join fully in your endlessly delicious life!