Turning 55: It Ain’t The Destination, It’s The Journey. The View Along The Way…

I woke up around 7:45 this morning, lying still as my brain ran a full diagnostic scan on this body I have been riding in for what is now officially 55 years. “Hurry up” I signaled to the control center as my vision continued its 2-minute warm-up before locking in clearly. My impatience was not so much the eagerness to start the day as it was to empty my bladder after a night’s sleep on two 16.9 oz bottles of purified water.

Diagnostic complete.
Right shoulder pain level = 7.
Back pain level = 6.
Left arm strength = 83%.

Sit up slowly. Stand with caution. Proceed to bathroom, urinate, then lower toilet seat for spouse. Shower.

I pivoted, sat up, leaned to the left and unplugged the humidifier which helped reduced the instances of dry mouth that used to wake me throughout the night.

Yes, getting up is a dedicated effort these days.

No, I’m not like Tom Cruise, who at 60 is still doing his own stunts. I’m lucky if I can get off the recessed couch seat in less than two attempts without assistance. For me, the morning routine includes self-analysis, blood pressure and glucose measurement, followed by a handful of medication from the pill diary.

I’m nowhere near the fireball of mischief that I used to be.

But I smile.

I spent a good deal of time celebrating yesterday’s “double-nickel” birthday on the phone: answering calls, returning texts, emails, replying to social media messages of love and facetiming. I never left the house because both cars are now down. They’re in worse shape than I am.

But I smile.

I looked at the text my oldest son sent me with a picture of my first and only grandchild. She was half-smiling with a humorous message posted beneath it. A wonderful way to start my day. It was the first of many beautiful things I would enjoy between gifts, hugs, laughs, a good birthday dinner and the joy of family.

And so I smile.

I haven’t had the best life, but it’s been quite the ride.

I’ve traveled. I’ve loved. I’ve lost love. I’ve fought. I’ve bled. I’ve won. I’ve slept on operating tables. I’ve tended to the injured.

I’ve written. I’ve read. I’ve screamed from the crowd. I’ve performed on stages.

I’ve played practical jokes. I’ve been taken into custody.

I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’ve succeeded. I’ve learned. I’ve taught. I’ve built a house, and with family, I’ve built a home.

And so I smile.

I’ve lived to see all of my Chicago teams win championships! The Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Sky, White Sox (though I’m not a fan) and FINALLY, my beloved Cubs! Who all can say that?

And so I smile.

I’ve never been rich, but I’ve been ENriched with the love of everyone in my home and everyone I’ve ever called “friend”.

I don’t know how much time I have left.
I don’t know if I’ve done everything God has called me to do.
I don’t even know if everything I’ve done has been to His satisfaction.

But I’m 55 years and a day. Brittle bones, sore muscles, wrinkled/scarred skin, grey hairs and all.

So I’m in the gym. I’m eating right better.

I’ve been given yet another day to get it done. To get it right.

And I pray. But even better, He answers.

And so I smile.

Because this journey is mine and mine alone, and I’m still going, even if at times, it’s a crawl.

Because over the years, I’ve shed the tears, fought the fears and heard the cheers.

I’ve gone from Pop to Popped Knee to RoboPop to RoboPopPop.

I smile. Because I’m still here.

I smile because at 55, it ain’t the destination. It’s the journey. The view I’ve enjoyed along the way.

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  1. Happy birthday!! Loved this post and your perspective on how through all it’s all the ups and downs, it’s always good in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautiful, Kenny…very touching. You caused me to reflect on my journey, friend. We are here because there’s still purpose in our lives, still opportunity to be used by Him, still time to be transformed. I’m glad you (and Connie) are a part of my journey!
    Love y’all πŸ™πŸ½

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad it served a purpose for you.

    Now, if I’m to be a part of your journey, I’d like to be the gas stop: Where you go to get a break from it all! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks so much for reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. [image: image.png]

    Ross knows.

    Happy Holidays!

    Peace and Love Brother


    On Thu, Dec 29, 2022 at 1:43 PM Kenny’s Camera, Cooking & Crazy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My wife is 55 now too. She needs to be a robo-mommom but can’t find a doctor to help her out. Knees and shoulders bad too. Like you most days she smiles, but some days she cries and says, “I’m so sick of hurting all the time!!” I hold her, kiss her forehead and say, “I know babe, I know.” That’s all I can do. I just try to be there for her and do things for her. (I’m 58, not without my issues either, but like you, I pray and smile, because he answers.
    God bless my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a horrible feeling, getting older. Our wills are strong, but our bodies just don’t respond to the signals like they used to. And yes, things hurt that we didn’t even know we had.

    But we have life and another day to devote to a God that simply asks us to serve him.

    Hang in there and keep giving her that love and support. Trust me, it helps, which I know you already know. But she truly appreciates it, as I do you.

    Prayers for you both and thanks for reading, as always!


  7. I loved this blog Kenny. Very beautifully written, the warmth in your writing, your love and gratitude for everything. It’s very inspiring and left me feeling very full of love for this beautiful life and world.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Jyotsna! So glad you joined the party! Don’t say I didn’t warn you – you’re going to need therapy if you hang out in here too long.

    It’s good to know that you got happy feelings from reading this post. I’m just shocked you went so far back (well, not that far). I hope that, if you read anything else, it continues to brighten your day!

    Again, thanks for reading!


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