No, I am not a sultan. I am neither a sultan nor a raisin, although some extended time in the sun could change that.
I have a wife, three daughters, and a female cat. They all treat me as some acceptably odd character who shares their lives. I am no longer at the centre of existence and no longer at the centre of my own small act.
Philip Larkin Knew all about it:
“Something is pushing them
To the side of their own lives.”
You reach that moment when you have dispensed with thinking about life as one great adventure. The French talk about egotism as revolving around one’s own belly button. It’s like a living birth when everything in the universe is centred on the sole issue of that sole issue, you.
Once out in the open, it takes decades to accept that the world no longer revolves around you. You are not the sun, you are not even a sun, you are a speck in the universe, a galactic smote of dust that travels the great distances without anyone taking any notice.
But, I live amongst women. And they care for me. Even the cat, Lucy, nuzzles me when I am a little down.
My ladies don’t give me false support. My ladies don’t allow me to wallow. My ladies keep me planted on the ground. They keep me…
I may be on the sidelines now. I may be but an observer of things that are happening around me, but which I do not participate in. I like it. I like the feet-up approach. I like being relaxed. I like not having to act. My ladies accept me for what I am.
So, in this part of my life, I am prepared to relax and to leave the running to others. I will watch, observe, appreciate. And occasionally, I will cheer.
From Field of Dreams
I will not be in the centre of it from now on, but I will be somewhere, enjoying the moments…
With my lovely girls (and wonderful wife).