Four years ago, I reached out to a friend of mine, a caricaturist, for a favor. I wanted to create a blog about turning 50. I was a year away, and decided that would give me enough time to figure out what the hell I was going to write about. Turning 50 is one or two blog posts at most. Being 50 is a few more, but not nearly enough to sit down on a weekly basis and write worthwhile and/or entertaining posts.
I asked my friend, the artist I spoke of earlier, to draw a caricature of me turning 50, whatever that meant. I googled “turning fifty” and a zany picture of a mannequin wearing giant “50” glasses popped up, like something Elton John might have worn on his 50th birthday. My friend, Dave, took it to another level. It was meant to be.
Now I had to come up with a title, and to do that, I had to come up with a concept. Another three years passed. Life things came up. My cat died. Then my father died, and not without a protracted period of decline. My son went to college. I went through menopause. And that cute caricature of me in “50” glasses lay buried in my email. 50 had come and gone, 53 was coming in fast, and I was still ruminating.
And then one day, the phrase “the back 40” popped into my head, clearly the work of intentional randomness. Using 50 as a benchmark for reflection had been quietly percolating in my brain for three years. But it became clear that turning 50 wasn’t the sweet spot. It was what happens next. I’ve done the front 50 years of life; it’s time to do the back fifty.
To be honest, I have no idea what I’m going to write about next. But the plan is to write something. And maybe include a few pictures, because people like to look at pictures. And maybe talk about food, because who doesn’t like food? And maybe talk about raising teenagers because…no one likes raising teenagers. Come on.
Until next time.