My freshman and subsequent years performing with Florida A&M’s “Marching 100” band allowed for me to experience playing the sax, dancing and covering catchy R&B tunes all at the same time on the college and NFL gridiron. One of the things I really enjoyed was chanting a line from a particular song before breaking it down for a screaming crowd of 10s of 1,000s of football and marching band fans. Chants like “Who’s Bad?”, “Let’s Get This Party Started”, “W-O-R-D, UP” and “F, U, F-U-N-K, FUNK!!”. And I will always remember the deafening crowd response after firing off the line, “GET BUSY Y’ALL!” before breaking into the Pee-Wee Herman Dance during the song of the same title by Joeski Love.
Well, it’s been close to 35 years (and 200+ lbs) since that show and I still find myself spouting that phrase before getting into something heavy (no pun intended). I’m 52 now and am trying to decide if I want to be incredibly excited or terribly upset with my life right now, because all of a sudden I find myself standing in front of many doors, all of which have opened wide. I know you’re wondering how one can be frustrated about multiple opportunities. Give me a few minutes and I’ll explain (I think it’s safe to assume that you will, or else you wouldn’t be reading)…
You see, it’s been 3 years since I left my last full-time job (25+ year Environmental Safety & Health Director) and have gone through a series of health-related issues and scares, including a near-death episode in the hospital and my second Total Knee Replacement surgery. For health reasons, I’ve since decided to reduce the stress by retiring from the general industry and focus on working for me, myself & I. This has helped me to realize that I need to maximize on my free(r) time to focus on a combination of business opportunities, overdue projects and new hobbies & interests. And BOY have I gotten into some things:
- Photography – In the past 6 years, my interest in photography has developed into a hobby, then a passion, which became a business. Now that I’m doing more portraiture work I’ve been using off-camera flash and creative lighting practices. Always learning…
- Safety Consultation – I started a Safety Training & Consultation business which allows me to continue utilizing the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired over the years, without having to deal with a supervisor or manager that won’t support the system.
- Blogging – This was started for fun back in December, 2018 at the behest of several friends who’ve convinced me to take the things I used to post on Facebook Notes and take advantage of the not-so-new craze. I try to crank out two posts a week on average.
- Fitness – Been doing that for 20+ years, never taking it seriously. Now, my age and health have made it mandatory if I intend to live a long enough life to pursue all of these hopes and dreams, as well as meeting and spending time with future grandchildren.
- Writing – Been writing fiction and non-fiction for years. Again, family and friends seem to see a skill that I don’t. So I’ve gotten serious about becoming an author. I have two books and one screenplay in the works. And now, I have enough in my head to pursue a new screenplay. Now I need to get serious and finish ONE, so I can get on with the others. Currently working on the screenplay, a little at a time each day.
- Cooking – Having posted several of my (created) meals on social media, people have been begging me to create a comical YouTube cooking page. Right now I’m posting each Friday. Let’s see where it goes from there.
- Music – I’ve learned some fascinating things about Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana. I want/need to learn more.
- Travel – Now that I’ve researched and made friends from my continent of origin, I can’t leave this life without experiencing them first-hand. Who knows? I may end up making one of those countries my final stop. Hmmm…
- Songwriting – Been writing poetry and songs since I was 8. After a 5-year hiatus, I’m back at it. I write as inspiration presents itself.
- Business Management – My son Brandon aka “Troy Diamond” has asked me to manage his career as an up-an-coming Hip Hop / Rap artist. And he’s quite good. I’m sure he’ll take on a more experienced manager as his career blossoms, but he’s asked me to handle his affairs in the interim. Currently creating his portfolio and researching gigs. Check him out on his Spotify page.
- Reading – Recipes, Photography, WordPress Tutorials, Music Business Management, Black History, Diabetes Management, Fitness, Africa/Travel, other blogs… Crikey!
- Performing – I mentioned a few blogs ago (and on my home page) that I’m putting a group together for fun because I want to return to what I’ve given up a while back, music. It’s one of my first passions and I’d be doing myself a disservice if I abandoned that after all the love I’ve received from family, friends and fans.
So how do I expect to maintain all of this? Time management and eating that elephant one bite at a time. I’ll do what I can and most important, have fun every step of the way!
But why am I upset? Two words: Fifty Two. That’s it. 52. I’m watching friends and relatives either die at early ages or sustain debilitating injuries/illnesses. The business interests and hobbies that I have taken on are things that I’ve seen people enjoy and master at half my age, a time when they can continue to grow and enjoy a full lifetime of it/them. True, some of these things I’ve done for years, but now I’m seeing where some can either generate revenue or more free time is available to focus on them. If you look at the majority of my endeavors, you can see the business opportunities that lie therein and know that there is great potential to make decent, if not very good, money. If nothing else, there’s plenty to keep me occupied.
So there you have it. My pain in knowing I didn’t really get started at age 25 or younger. The sadness in knowing that no matter what I do and how far I go with it, I’m limited to the amount of years I have left and the quality of life I have to manage it all. And exactly how much time DO I have left? 30 years? 20? 5? 1? God only knows.
You know what? To HELL with that! I’m not gonna let the fact that tomorrow is not promised keep me from doing what I like and love. I’m not going to worry about what happens tomorrow, whether it’s a car accident, plane crash, cancer, heart attack or another stroke (yep, it would be #2). I don’t know my future and I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to take a tip from the song line, “Ain’t nothin’ gonna breaka my stride. Nobody gon’ slow me down. Oh no! I’ve got to keep on movin'” and I’m going to remember the words I shared in my past post: “Living And Loving Life: Never Too Late To Start” (and yes, you definitely want to read that one).
How much will I accomplish? Who knows. I can promise you this though – I’ve come a long way, but I’ve got a long way to go, so it’s time to…
…GET BUSY, Y’ALL!
2020 is gonna be fun…