• Jeff South

52


My eye gets polished today.


You read that right. I'm 52 years old today and on my to-do list is having my prosthetic eye polished because that's a thing I have to do now. I documented the story of losing sight in my left eye on my old blog, Upstream of Consciousness.


Speaking of my old blog, every July 30th I would post an annual musing for my birthday. This year is my first to do it on this website. My emotions are mixed like a salad with ingredients that don't belong together. Kale. Pineapple. Corn Nuts. Licorice. Some days I miss the old blog. It was the catalyst for my return to writing, which, for better or worse, resulted in the release of Kilroy Was Here. You should order a copy while you're here. Go ahead. I'll wait.



Take your time. Order more than one. I'll contemplate the meaning of the universe and my place in it while you shop. That's what I do when I do when I go shopping with my wife.

Back? Great! I'll get those books signed and in the mail.


While you were shopping, I feel into deep introspection and according to the Affinity Numerology website, that sounds about right:


"The numerology number 52 is a number of introspection and expression of a personal sense of freedom. It is studious and is mentally sharp."


Reading that 52 is mentally sharp may be misleading, though, since I stood in the shower for a solid three minutes trying to remember if I had actually washed my hair. The introspection part is spot on, though. Birthdays are my time to pause and reflect on all that has happened over that last year. I already mentioned the prosthetic eye. Sold a few copies of Kilroy Was Here and had a few book signing events. I have one this Saturday in Arkansas that I'm excited about. And, I became a grandpa for the first time. August grows and changes a little every day. He is the center of my universe.


What is 52? The numerology site has much to say about this. 52 is not a landmark age like hitting 30, 40, 50, 60, and so on. It carries no associated privilege or status like 16, 18, or 21. "The essence of the energy the number 52 represents is curious and adventurous introspection," the site says. "It varies its experiences to understand more about itself and others." That sounds about right. I am naturally curious, which is why I'm so prone to fall into internet rabbit holes.


Once such rabbit hole occurred while prepping this post. I did an image search for the number 52. One result was the cover for Now That's What I Call Music 52, which contains "Bang Bang," by Jessie J., Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj and now that song will be stuck on repeat in my head until I turn 53.


"52 can discuss anything. It generally prefers subjects about learning, experiencing new things, and spiritual or scientific philosophies." They're not wrong. I like learning from other people and I do feel like I can talk about anything, though I abhor small talk. I want conversation that goes somewhere. A very unfortunate side effect of internet culture is the collapse of meaningful conversation. I don't believe it's possible on social media because I'm not sure that's not something for which it was ever intended. So, yeah, I like learning and discussing and hearing about experiences.


But, I do not want to read those mini memoirs attached to online recipes. Holy crap. I'm sure it's a lovely tale about how your Nana used to make this chicken piccata from scratch for you when you were going through an emotional time in your life because you stepped on a Lego or something, but I just need to know how much garlic to add.


The numerological analysis also breaks down 52 as 5+2=7. This means I have 7's essence, which is introspection, intuition and wisdom. I get the curiosity, wit, and expression of personal sense of freedom that comes with 5. And the 2 gives me teamwork, relationships, and diplomacy. I don't see anything associated with smoldering good looks, so I question the science behind this.


Then, there's wrap-up: "Imagine your ability to assmiliate and conclude through introspection provides an intuitive knowledge of what to experience next to obtain more knowledge about yourself. There is constant analysis of yourself in relation to information obtained from your experiences and your surroundings. That's 52."


I suppose that makes as much sense as anything. 52 is promoting one novel out while working on three more simulataneously. 52 is knowing you shouldn't have that bowl of Cap'n Crunch for dessert or that glass of green Kool-Aid because you're supposed to be healthier but you swear you'll work it off at the gym. But, you skip the gym. 52 is looking forward to being an empty nester with your wife of 30 years even though neither has a clue what that means. 52 is working hard at a job you like and wishing those book sales would take off because your 401k isn't at a place where you can retire early. Or ever. Speaking of which, if you didn't order a copy earlier in this post, I'll give you one more chance to do so.


... <runs to restroom> ...


52 is holding your grandson and realizing a whole new kind of love you never knew existed. It's recognizing there is so much more to learn, do, feel, experience. It's looking back at everything that has come before and knowing there are new beginnings ahead. And it's exciting.


That's 52.


Sing us out, ladies.




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