I approach events where I am the centre of attention with a combination of fear, ego, dislike, humility and nervousness. I have never knowingly courted attention and sometimes I realize that this is yet another conundrum in my life. The leadership role requires a willingness to stand up and let it all hang out (so to speak) and I have often found myself thrust into the role of leading a group of people. I tend to take on this responsibility with reluctance and yet, I am perfectly aware that this is where I should be. I seem to exist in this state of dichotomy in which I am simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable with speaking in public and being some sort of lightning rod of attention.
Yet again, I find myself reluctantly approaching the limelight this weekend as my 60th birthday extravaganza unfolds tomorrow night. I was asked last evening, after doing a bunch of yard work in preparation, if I was looking forward to the party and my wife seemed surprised by my answer of "not particularly." Whether it is the accumulated weariness of recent travel, catching up at work and party preparations or just stage fright I'm not sure, but it is also mixed up with hitting an age that I thought would look a lot different. I suppose that it is a time for reflection, but I don't feel like doing that right now, yet this blog is probably part of that process. Knowing that there are more years behind me than in front of me, creates a certain sobering effect that I haven't experienced before. The very recent family vacation has also contributed to some realizations that are new for me. It may sound strange to many of you, but over the past couple of weeks, I seem to have found my place in the family, for the first time and it is a place that seems to reflect my feelings about being the centre of attention referred to in the opening sentence. A place that continues to unfold and also seems to connect rather interestingly with a new blog that I am creating called "My Secret Mother" which is part of the roll out for my new book by the same name. The Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times," has always been true for me and I suspect that this weekend will once again demonstrate the wisdom and trepidation of that line.