Chris Dooley

By the time this issue of the paper goes into print, it’ll be just about a week away from my birthday.  The one time of year that feels like a day dedicated to just me and I get to spend it with my family and friends.

This year uncertainty surrounds June 4th because for the first time in my life I’m not sure what kind of celebration I’m going to have.  Everything is very much up in the air besides the fact that I’m hitting my mid thirties, that part is very certain.

But I’d be lying if I said the past three and a half decades haven’t been a blessing.  I’ve had my fair share of ups and there’s been a lot of times where I’ve been way down.  There’s been people come into my life as friends that I didn’t ever expect to be there.  There’s also been a lot of people I expected to be there for me that pulled a magic act and vanished.

But to be able to live the life that I’ve had, it’s a blessing in itself.  Most of my life hasn’t been perfect, but there’s been blessings in disguise in just about every part of it.  I didn’t see it then because I was being short-sighted, but looking back on things I see how many times things could have been worse but ended up not as bad as I thought it would be.

I’m bad for worrying about things.  I think that’s why at 35 years old, I have my fair share of gray hair in my beard.  I could lie and say they’re for wisdom, but let’s be honest here, I’m a worry-wart.  Most of the time the things that I stress myself out over don’t even come to fruition, but that doesn’t stop me from obsessing over the outcomes.  

I think that’s one thing I’m going to try to stop doing as I get older is worry so much.  I need to just relax and take things one day at a time instead of keeping myself torn to pieces all the time.  Sometimes, when you’re in that negative mindset you worry and don’t even realize you are because it comes so natural to you.  

Another thing that I want to do is just slow down a little.  I’m not talking about driving, but more along the lines of taking time to smell the roses.  There’s a lot of things that keep us busy.  It can be our job, someone we’re dating, ball games, movies, even facebook.  You can make yourself feel busy and do absolutely nothing.  One thing I want to do as I grow older is spend more time with the right people in my life.  There’s a lot of people I think of quite often in my mind that I haven’t heard from in awhile.  Most of the time, I think about sending them a message letting them know I miss hanging out but I delete it and never send it.  

When I grew up, my circle of friends was very tight.  We had our own little group and we stuck together really tight.  It wasn’t a day or two at most that we didn’t call each other and talk & laugh about everything.  But I notice, the older I get the more that circle of friendship widens.  There’s people I’d consider a friend right now that I haven’t spoke to in years.  I think I’ll make it a goal the rest of this crazy 2020 to try to get back in touch with people that have slipped away and try to spend a little time together when all this virus stuff is safe again. 

I watch Andy Griffith every night at home now, I have most of the seasons on DVD because I think it’s the best tv show ever by far.  But on a episode the other night I was watching, Andy & Barney were just sitting on the porch after eating one of Aunt Bee’s famous suppers.  They weren’t doing nothing extraordinary, just sitting there talking.  Andy was peeling a apple with his old knife and Barney was just sitting there in his salt and pepper suit with his feet propped up on the porch.  It made me think just how long it’d been since I’d done that with a friend, it’d been awhile.  It’d been awhile since I’d had a friend over period, but it made me miss those times.  Sitting out on a cool summer night somewhere just talking about the latest gossip and spending time together.  I miss those times so bad the older I get.  I need a night like that really bad really soon!

But as I digress, I want to thank God for almost 35 years of a wonderful life that I’ve been fortunate enough to live.  For my friends, my family, my church and my health.  I hope I’ve got 35 more left in me! What a ride it’s been! Whether I have a huge party or a small get together, I’ll feel like a lucky man!


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