All posts by Gary Poole

One Year Older

     I observed another birthday yesterday.  Our expectant daughter, Kate, and her husband, Kris, visited with us over the weekend.  The rest of the kids called me.  Our son, Walker, and his new bride, Tina, managed to serenade me with a stellar version of “Happy Birthday!”  It was great fun and I’m enjoying my wife’s birthday gift of a Kindle Fire.

     When I was young I looked forward to birthdays, not because of some anticipated gift, but due to the fact that I was getting older.  As a kid I wanted to get older.  Older meant getting taller and, hopefully, more independent.  I wanted the days of the years to move quickly so that at the age of 16 I could get my driver’s license, or at the age of 18 I could register to vote, or at the age of 21 I would no longer be classified as a “minor.”  There was always a sense of great anticipation that something marvelous was about to happen.

     Nowadays, I’m not so sure I want to anticipate the next age marker.  Sure, the Social Security Administration informs me that I can qualify for full benefits at the age of 66, but who eagerly awaits the passing of those years to achieve that dubious status?  I no longer count the days.  All I desire is that each day counts.

     This year I had to renew my driver’s license, complete with a photo ID.  Guess what?  I no longer look 16.  The presidential primary is today and I have never missed a chance to vote.  I am now an official adult, but I still act like a minor once in a while.  I guess some things never change.

     The blessing of the celebration of the anniversary of the day of my birth is two-fold: (1) I receive the privilege of being in contact with loved ones, and (2) I can express my gratitude for the days of my life that enable me to enjoy the people around me.  I am happy with my birth day, but I’m even happier with each day that still offers possibilities.

     So I thank all of the people who have showered their personal congratulations upon me.  Now it’s off to the daily race, but, quite frankly, I’m more into enjoying each step of the journey!

New Year – Old Habits

When I was a kid, somehow I managed to find myself in a strange church on a Sunday morning with my parents.  We were visiting my mother’s hometown of Franklin, Indiana and I was dragged into the church where she had grown up.  It was the first Sunday after New Year’s Day.  Not only did I have sit through a boring worship service, but I was also escorted to a Sunday School classroom filled with kids my own age.  They looked at me; I looked at them.  They didn’t want me there; I didn’t want to be there.  Such is life.

The teacher had a simple lesson plan for the day.  She handed out paper and pencil and asked us to write our resolutions for the New Year.  I looked around the room and knew immediately that I wasn’t going to write anything because I didn’t know these people well enough to tell them of my shortcomings!  After several agonizing minutes the teacher called for our responses individually.  When she got to me, she innocently asked, “What are your resolutions?”  My response went something like, “Well, I didn’t write anything down.  Resolutions are so lame.  If I need to do something differently I’ll just do it.  Writing them down is just a waste of time.”  Nothing like being defensive!

The teacher just leered at me.  Finally, she uttered words that I obviously still remember to this day.  “You are the youngest cynic that I have ever met!”  I wasn’t sure what a cynic was, but I was sure that once I found out I would wear it as a badge of honor.  Perhaps that’s why when people talk about resolutions today my body enters into involuntary spasms.

Little did I know that my early childhood experience would become the logo for Nike footwear.  You’ve seen their swoosh symbol and you’ve heard their motto – “Just do it.”  Wow, maybe they’re cynical, too.  Cynicism aside, I think that all too often we talk about getting something done, rather then actually doing it.  I’m sure there is a lesson in there somewhere to learn.

Anyway, now that we have been around “Robin Hood’s barn” (an old farm saying) a couple of times, I’m confessing to you that I’ve been really bad about blogging on a consistent basis.  Somehow blogging is the always the last thing on my “to do” list.  So, I’ve made a resolution for 2012.  I’m going to blog more.  But I’m not going to talk about it.  (That would be blogging.)  I’m just going to do it.  Swoosh!