I’ve taken birthdays for granted.

Well, I haven’t taken all birthdays for granted, but the last 30 or so I have.

The first 16 birthdays got a lot of my attention. So did my 18th and 21st birthdays.

But, once I got my driver’s license, registered to vote and bought my first glass of beer, birthdays began to blur.

It was after this last birthday that I had an epiphany that was pretty deep: My life is way past half over.

I began to take stock of my accomplishments and what was left on my bucket list.

My accomplishments include:

  • 1) Outliving Elvis
  • 2) Seeing part of the Smithsonian
  • 3) Jumping out of an airplane
  • 4) Not going to jail

My bucket list includes:

  • 1) Outliving Keith Richards
  • 2) Seeing the rest of the Smithsonian
  • 3) Not jumping out of another airplane
  • 4) Continuing with accomplishment #4

Now, I realize that one of my bucket list items is completely unrealistic. Keith Richards has already outlived Keith Richards, so the likelihood of me also doing that is minimal. I’m pretty sure Keith died around the same time Elvis did, it’s just that no one told him.

When you’re 15 or younger, birthdays creep along. The next one is almost as far away as Christmas morning. They can’t get here fast enough.

Hitting the half-century mark and then passing it gave me pause to reflect on what the ‘old people’ used to say when I was a kid: “Enjoy every moment. It goes by way too fast.”

I can remember my dad giving me my first driving lesson on the backroads of Arkansas in a ’66 Mustang 3-speed just as clear as I can remember the punk, kid waiter who gave me my first unsolicited senior discount.

It was like yesterday.

And the older you get, the more yesterdays you have and the fewer tomorrows you have coming.

There's a lot I should've already done and I intend to get right to it.

Today.