It's 7:30 in the morning and I've been up since five. Nothing extraordinary there, five has been my usual waking hour for the past few years. I stop for a moment before refilling my mug. Just finished my third mug of coffee, nothing extraordinary there, really, that's usually how much it takes to get me going every morning. Except that I've heard so many times that I shouldn't be drinking that much coffee. But today's supposed to be a special day, I will go for that fourth mug. And that fifth stick. Not nice.
Anyway, days such as this one are a great time to take stock.
Be married to the perfect life partner, check. Have wonderful children, check, five times. I have traveled quite a bit, but I'd like to be able to see more of the world. Let's put an asterisk on that one.
Write a play, compose a song, paint a picture. Check. Full nudity onstage, asterisk. Maintain that sense of social responsibility when creating art, no to art for art's sake, and certainly never for money and money alone, honor the honorables, expose the what must be exposed, tell stories that must be told, and do all to tell them well, check.
Never compromise principles to please, because it's popular, or for 13 piece of silver, or even a hundred, check that and keep it in check.
Choose a career path that I can be passionate about, never get bored with, check. And one that can provide the family with financial security. Another asterisk right there.
"You ain't seen nothing yet," the perfect mantra for this day, says a good friend whose turn to sing the song comes in just a couple of weeks or so. I like that, and shall keep that in mind as I write down an outline for a documentary on Cordillera cultural icons and the efforts of a group of young men and women to save sea turtles from extinction.
Love with all my heart. Check.
Other than all of that, it's really all about the five - five wonderful souls that I helped bring into this world. Make sure they will have good memories of how they got to where they're going when they get there. Laugh a lot with them. Make them smile a lot. Allow them to cry when they feel like it, be there to hug them when they do. One of them once wrote me a note that said, "I love you with all my life." Wow. So that's how it feels to be loved that way. That's exactly how much I love them.
So life begins 40, so they say. First day of the rest of it, the remainder of what's left of it. Wait, a message notification on Facebook. "Happy birthday," a dear friend says. Thank you, and thank God for allowing me to still be here today.