20 Years

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Contemplating the last twenty years, and the changes almost all of us are forced to reckon with.

For example: As you get older, which requires your attendance more and more; funerals, or weddings?

Submitted: January 01, 2013

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Submitted: January 01, 2013



20 Years


Copyright 2013 by

Bill Rayburn



“Twenty years now
where’d they go?

Twenty years
I don't know
Sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they've gone

And sometimes late at night
When I'm bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin' a ghostly white
And I recall
I Recall

Like A Rock”


-- Written and sung by Bob Seger



Think about the last 20 years. For me that would be the years from 32 to 52.


Think some more.






Where were you at 32? Happy? Married? Single? Divorced? Depressed? Suicidal? Ecstatic? Euphoric? Rehab? Prison? Obnoxious? Sociopathic? Drunk? High? Stupid? Smart? Alone?


All of the above? Let’s hope not.


Now…..the truly heavy shit.


Where are you RIGHT NOW? Do any of those words above apply? Do you listen to Amy Winehouse and wonder ‘what if’? Do Brittany and Lindsay upset you…or oddly attract you? Does Mel Gibson seem only “semi-disturbed?” Was Michael Jackson simply misunderstood? Did Hitler indeed like dogs?


Do you see clearly that every human being fucks up?


I assess my shit all the time. Obsessively, even. Daily. I put an intellectual and emotional thermometer in my mouth every damn morning. The mercury rises with the sun. Or doesn’t. But the weather of my soul is analyzed when I eye that thermometer each morning. I get a reading. It is quite like reading my personal newspaper, all about me, before I read the tactile, hand-held newspaper that tells me about the world outside of me.


The last twenty years are pregnant with meaning, interpretation, pain, anguish, tears, laughter, and knowledge. And I truly believe reliving them, rehashing them, is vital. That is different from obsessing.


The concept of ‘focus’ is a slippery slope. Too much spills over into neuroses. Not enough? It edges over to denial.


The right amount, that exact balance, is not easily achieved. In fact, I bow to its elusiveness and am resigned to a lifelong pursuit of it.


Idealism. How oddly ironic, but that may be at the root of this entire piece.


So as we assess, we are bound to meet face-to-face with regret, sorrow, loss, maybe some sardonic laughter, but as we grow older, the incredible irony is that sadness and death increase with age. It is a given. Think about it. Funerals versus weddings. As you grow older, which column increases?


I think we can all sadly agree on this aspect.


Is it possible to put a realistic positive spin on the back nine of our lives? The key being realistic, of course. I think there is.


Keeping it simple may be the key. Keep it non-mathematical. Measure it not by quantity, but based on quality.


Laughter with loved ones.  Not measureable even, in my book. It should trump everything, even death.


So pursue it.






© Copyright 2018 Bill Rayburn. All rights reserved.

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