Johnny’s bag of tricks

My fellow midlifers, particularly those who grew up watching WPIX out of New York, may remember Felix the Cat. Felix the Cat was a cartoon about a cat, who like many animated characters of that genre would find himself getting in and out of humorous situations. It wasn’t one of my favorite cartoons, but it did the trick as a decent, occasional after school diversion.

What made me recall Felix was a situation (the details of which aren’t important) that led me to respond to a colleague by saying something about reaching into my bag of tricks for a solution.

You see, Felix the Cat had a bag of tricks. In fact, it was prominently featured in the show’s theme song.

 Whenever he gets in a fix, He reaches into his bag of tricks!

Maybe it’s because I’ve been, shall we say, dealing with a substantial amount of problems lately, but it seems that the reaches into his bag of tricks metaphor has taken on significant meaning in my life.

So metaphorically speaking, I thought I’d take a midlife inventory of the top 5 things that are packed inside my bag of tricks.

Patience: I have no doubt that this is a trick that I’ve been able to hone over the years. It takes a lot to get my panties in a knot. Of course, I’m human and I’ve been known to throw a hissy fit from time to time, and as a get older, I’m less tolerant of morons and jackasses. However, more often than not, when faced with drama, I count to ten, maintain a cool head and proceed without too much stress and strain.

A sense of humor: I can laugh at myself. Sounds simple? Not really. I’m sure we all know people who take themselves a little too seriously. I ain’t one of them! I think it’s possible to be serious without being serious. Life is too short to live it with a scowl on your face.

My optimism: I guess this is in line with patience. No matter how hard it may be, I try to find something sweet in every sour situation. This is another one of those tricks that gets better in the middle ages. I can think back to any assortment of what I thought were problems in my youth and see them now as not as bad as I thought they were at the time, Whew, that’s a long sentence, but you get the idea.

My faith: Don’t cue the organs; we’re not going to church. I don’t go to church regularly, and beyond in the beginning I can’t quote scripture, but despite that, I have a strong belief in a higher power. It’s that higher power that’s brought me this far in life.

My family: If you read my holiday post you know how much I love my wife and daughter. They are the not so secret weapon in my bag of tricks. They make living easy.

There you have it; I’ve metaphorically dumped out some of the metaphorical contents of my bag of tricks. There are a few other things in there that you don’t need to know about right now, but give me time and a few more blog postings!

So, what’s in your bag of tricks???


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