It is my birthday. It is a birthday that ends in a nine. That means the next year
I turn the big something or other O. I have no problem sharing my exact age except
for the name of my e-letter and blog: This Side of Fifty. Anyone that knows me has no
problem surmising exactly which side of fifty I am on. Actually no one on the younger
side of the half century mark would choose this name for their blog.
I never really worry about turning any number that ends in zero. I freak out
when I turn 29, 39, 49, etc. When I hit the ninth year of a decade, I start worry about
what I need to do in the next year to feel good about myself. It borders on the idiotic but
it is how I tick.
On this day in 2002, I when I was still on that side of fifty, I made a decision. I
thought I would transform my life and keep a journal the transformation every day of that
year. The journal would turn into a book that would become a best seller for my aging
generation. It was a great idea and a good plan. I dutifully hand wrote a page every
day. It was good except for the writing was uninspired, complaining, meandering, and
as a result most uninteresting.
I thought I had another still born idea in a long line of still born ideas. That was not the case. There was an ancillary benefit; quite simply my mind was stimulated. I was thinking in ways I had not thought since college. I was soon able to articulate myself better in emails. I was even better at
speaking extemporaneously. I experienced first hand that if you don't use it you lose it
and I am talking about my mind.
That book was not to be. But, I wrote everyday. I have written everyday for,
as of today, ten years. It has been the single best personal habit I have developed by
design. (There are several blogs and books on habits that developed by accident or circumstance yet to be written). This is a testimony to discipline that I was not normally known for. I certainly
have my share of habits that developed one their own. I can count the number of times
I have missed on one hand in these ten years. Then I always doubled up the next day.
It all began handwriting a single page. Over the years the handwriting of a page has
turned into the typing of five-hundred words.
That book was not to be, but after nineteen months of writing, I started sending
out an e-letter. This e-letter. Five short years after that it turned into a blog. I upload
everything I had written to date into the blog. In 2010, I started posting more to the
blog. These days I post four times a month to this blog. It is a lot of fun. It is something
I am committed to continue.
I was going to make this posting my monthly e-letter. But no. It is better to have
this anniversary marked by one single page... five hundred words. I would have even
handwritten it if it wouldn't look silly on this website.