Archived Story

Life at 47 is pretty darn good [UPDATED]

Published 10:18am Friday, December 17, 2010 Updated 10:19am Friday, December 24, 2010

I turned another year older this week and received two of the best presents in the world.

First, my dad weathered the snowstorm over the weekend and came to visit. We watched some football, went bowling and attended my wife Kathy’s Christmas party. We viewed some Fergus Falls Christmas lights, had a Monday lunch at the Viking Café and enjoyed a great home-baked birthday cake from The City Bakery.

My birthday couldn’t have gotten any better, or so I thought.

But on Thursday, my son, Jason, came to visit after finishing his last final at Mankato State. It made my day to see his smile and you can’t help but laugh at his sense of home. I’ll get to soak it all in until Monday. Life at 47 is pretty darn good.

I also learned a lot about myself on Tuesday by reading the horoscope for Sagittariuses born on Dec. 14. For example, I’m supposed to be able to juggle a variety of tasks and responsibilities. I’m supposedly good-natured and friendly, make a wonderful cheerleader for the goals and ambitions of others and remain enthusiastic and full of optimism no matter the circumstance. I guess that sounds like me.

I’m supposed to embrace diversity, sentiment, enjoyment. And I should avoid stubbornness, lack of control, resistance. I buy all that.

Dec. 14 people fit this description. They aren’t big on commitment, though if they do become parents they often surprise themselves with the depth of their love.

December 14 people brag about never being sick, though they often take their vitality for granted. I buy that too, except the astrologist never mentions my darn bad knees that can’t seem to keep me out of the operating room.

December 14 people are the original show people. Deep down they want someone to make them a “star.” I buy all of that, too, and it explains many of my outbursts in song and humor in the middle of the newsroom, shopping malls and, probably, anywhere public.

But it was the next observation of the astrologist that hit the nail on the head. Ask my wife. Ask my in-laws. My parents. My three boys. This is me: To be, to think, to do, to express — these are the goals of December 14 people. They have little interest in putting together a linear plan of life and achievement. If it feels good, if it helps someone, if it creates beauty for even an instant, they go for it.

I don’t have a plan. I make life up as it happens. I haven’t saved for the future like I should have. And frankly, I don’t know what tomorrow brings — other than it’s Saturday.

But you know what? Life’s been a blast so far and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Next year when I turn 48, the last of my three boys will be 18 — and that might be the closest thing to a plan I ever had. From the day I got married I wanted to have kids, but wanted them to be on their own while I was still very young so Kathy and I could have a couple decades left to enjoy our wonderful run together.

Someday we’ll put down some deep roots and draw up that master plan — maybe at 50. I have an inkling that it will somehow involve an island!

But today it’s Friday Dec. 17 and that party called life continues. I’m sure it’s going to be a blast.

And you know what, the forecast for tomorrow looks pretty darn good, too.

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of The Daily Journal. You can reach him by email at

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