Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Thoughts on the cusp of 50

When I was a kid, I thought 30 was older than old, so it’s kind of odd that I’m approaching the big 5-0 without an impending sense of panic.

Funny, I don’t feel the way a man of 50 should. I’m overweight but still pretty energetic but not in the “spry” class. I love the new technologies, something the media tells me should be a total mystery to me. Learning new things motivates me like nothing else, and lately I’ve been picking up all sorts of new skills on the fly to get my job done.

I thought back in the 1970s that I’d be 39 when the year 2000 came around: “Old!” Well, here it’s 2010 and I’m going to be 50 on Nov. 1.

It’s an age. When I was born, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy were in the home stretch of fighting it out for the presidency. It was one of the closest elections ever, and I remember my friends who were alive then telling me that it was the first time they went to bed on election night not knowing who won. Compare that to today, when in 2000 it was almost a month and a half before the winner was decided, and there have been fights over who won in 2004 and 2008.

It isn’t like my life is perfect, and there is much that hasn’t been achieved. Professionally, I’ve done well, and my investment in myself in my late 20s and early 30s has paid off dramatically. Going to college and reinventing myself was the smartest thing I could have done. Moving into the news business was a risky endeavor but it’s delivered enormous satisfaction and fulfillment.

Ending up alone has been a disappointment, though I don’t dwell on it that much.

I still dream of being married, but I don’t want kids, but I really think it’s not in the cards. My lack of experience, plus a personality that doesn’t lend itself to relationships, turn making connections into a challenge. Working nights and weekends doesn’t help, and I can’t blame women for wanting a man who is a 9-to-5, Monday-Friday type. It’s just that the kind of journalism I’m in requires night and weekend work.

As for my living situation, I’m trending toward OK on the move from Ellenton to Gainesville. I miss the Ellenton house mainly because of the loss of space and am still not thrilled about having to rent it out, but I think that I will eventually live there again, maybe in retirement. In the meantime, I have a decent place near work in Gainesville, and four adoring felines plus all my toys and stuff.

I have good health, which is always a plus. A while back, when I was working for The Bradenton Times, I was on COBRA for health coverage, and went to the doctor because I was sometimes feeling like I was having a heart attack. I worried because my father had had bad heart attacks in his 40s, and died at 62. I didn’t want to have a coronary behind the wheel of the car and possibly hurt someone.

The doctor did an EKG on me, and assured me that my heart was fine, and the problem appeared to be panic attacks. I took some pills, calmed down and the attacks have stopped.

I have some regrets, some paths not taken, and wish my life had in some respects turned out different. But this is what I have, and I should make the best of it. There’s a lot of living to be done, a lot of dreams and hopes to be achieved, and I am hopeful about the future.

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June 10, 2010 - Posted by | Living in the modern age

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