42

42

I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling 42
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me
But I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we’re
42, ooh-ooh
42, ooh-ooh

Hmmm… just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Dancing like you’re 42 seems like a good way to bust a hip… not a move. ūüėČ

So yeah, on June 6, 1944 – the Allied Forces stormed the beach at Normandy; the day that shall live in infamy as D-Day.

On June 6, 2014 – I turned 42; the day that shall live in infamy as E-D-Day. What? Too soon?!?!?!?

Last year around this time – I was in the midst of rehearsals for Aria’s annual dance recital. Her dance studio – the great Sally McDermott Dance Center in Charlton, MA – regularly places a Dad’s Dance in the midst of the program which makes for a great break for the audience. They get a few minutes to¬†take a breather and laugh their collective ass off. We’re happy to play court jester if it means making our little princesses smile. This dance is choreographed to a theme. It sees myself¬†and a number of other doting Dad’s going to private after-hours rehearsals to learn what it takes to strut our stuff in front of 700 or so howling audience members. Last year’s Dad’s Dance number was a Western-themed routine set to Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West” which then led into a quick costume change for¬†Psy’s Gangnam Style.

daddydance

This year – I am in the midst of rehearsals for Aria’s annual dance recital. Woah – deja vu. We’re midway through rehearsals and come Saturday June 21st – our friends, family, unsuspecting audience members and MOST importantly – our dear daughters¬†– will get to see a bunch of Dads as Greasers – as we take to the stage alongside some Pink Ladies for a little Grease medley.

Last year around this time – I was in the full-on prep stage for the Fall premiere of my original play, The Lost World.

lost world

This year – I am currently in full-on prep for the Fall dinner-theater production of my original play, The Lost World. It’s¬†deja-vu, all over again!!!

lw2014

Looks like Tom Cruise isn’t the only one who has stolen a page from Groundhog Day – although like that movie, there may be similarities from last year to this year but if you look¬†a little closer you’ll spy something else; minor changes that make all the difference. In essence, I’m beginning to evolve.

Yeah, on paper – this year looks a whole heck of a lot like last year but inside – I feel more free… more ME – and that is decidedly different than where I’ve been since exiting my 30s.

Two years ago at this time, I harbored a little secret that only my nearest and dearest were privy to. I had a divorce on deck – one that wouldn’t really become public until a month or so beyond my 40th Birthday. Fitting, I guess – that such a huge life change occurred in a big milestone year. Guess I’ll always remember where I was when… but beyond that, I remember how I felt at 40. The age and the turning of the calendar page didn’t bother me one bit. For 40, I felt pretty damn good – and physically, I was in a better state than 30 – and maybe even 20. But for that first half of 40 – when my life was changing irrevocably – I carried myself along on false bravado. I let my¬†world – friends, family and strangers equally alike – know that I was a strong, independent man who could totally own this life change. Heck – I knew my way around a washer, dry, sink and stove. “I’VE GOT THIS!!!

That house of cards stood for a while and didn’t really come crashing down until I had battened the hatches for the winter and found myself home – alone – on many a chilly night, despairing about how my life had led to this.

At 39 – I had a home. A family. A yard. A completeness.

At 40 – I was a tenant a town away from my home. My family. My yard. An incompleteness.

At 41 – not much had changed other than I decided that I needed to get busy occupying my time and thoughts. So, as the Summer warmed the land, I stowed all that winter ‘apparel’ and made it my mission to find “The Lost World.” That quest kept my thoughts occupied for quite a while – and once the curtain closed on our early November 2013 production; it was time to give thanks, deck the Halls and usher out the Old while ringing in the New. With my mind occupied on other matters, I didn’t dwell on my stalled reboot.

Then it got chilly again – so¬†this time, I dipped my toes in the waters of online dating. Over the past Winter – I really put myself out there. I had a couple of one-off dates with perfectly fine people BUT not – you know – the right girl for me. I also had one little dalliance that stretched beyond one, two or three dates – and actually seemed quite promising until she pulled the rip cord; realizing she wasn’t ready for something that looked like it was growing a little more meaningful. Like all relationships – so much of it is thrown up to chance and happenstance. Right time and place needs to mix into the chemistry, too. So – that experiment was a bust.

One thing this past year taught me is that 2 years ago – when the reset button was hit and I found myself out there – looking at a blinding white, blank sheet of parchment and searching for just the right words to begin my second chapter – well, I was not ready and didn’t know it. I needed time – but I was so used to being around others; a social creature comforted by the joyful¬†noise¬†and activity of a rich life with friends and family. So much so that the sounds of silence were deafening. At the time, I raced to fill the void not realizing that I really needed to find myself before I sought out another to share this life¬†with.

I didn’t know that 2 years ago.

I got an inkling of it in the past year.

But now – at 42 – I know what I want. What I deserve. What I can offer. What I can deliver. What I can share. How much I truly care.

daddyaria

Last night, I celebrated my birthday with dinner at a local restaurant – a favorite of mine; Enrico’s in Sturbridge, MA. My companions were¬†my precious children; Colin & Aria. We had a great dinner and at one point – I looked across the table at them; as they were laughing at something silly one of us said and told them straight out – “This moment is all I wanted for my birthday.” Cue their collective eye roll.

daddycolin

Not mine, of course – as they¬†were busy – having¬†spotted a happy couple (probably mid 30-ish) a few tables away from us. No rings so I presume no marriage BUT perhaps I presume too much. Regardless, that’s not what caught my eye nor what’s important.

There was just this warmth – this joy of being – that I saw in them. I don’t ‘people watch’ per se, but I notice things – and anyway, there was something about these two that was utterly infectious. This bright, beaming back and forth. She happy that he is in her world and vice-versa. A lot to read into a little conversation spied from half a restaurant away, I know – but that’s just the way I saw it. If I had been a bolder man I would have walked up to them on our way out and just left them with this:

“You two. — Delightful!!!”

I know this much.

I’ll have what they’re having.

If not this year – hopefully somewhere in the days to come. That’s my birthday wish.

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