March Madness: The snow is smothering my 50th birthday. So I went to the beach.

March madness has overwhelmed my home.  No, not the NCAA basketball tournament…it’s the crazy weather this year.  As I get older, I get more intense about asking…When will the snow go away!?

Last week, as I trudged through a new blanket of snow, an epic beam of sunshine escaped from our mailbox.    Did Steven Spielberg choreograph my morning?  Standing there, in my brown winter Crocks, pajamas and parka…I reached past the coupon booklets, utility bills and Victoria Secret free panty ads to find the golden ticket to life after 50:

Yes, I got my AARP card.

Surreal.  I’m not even 50 until March 28.

I was engulfed in an unexpected reaction, grinning from ear to ear. I found myself enjoying the warmth of seeing my name: PAUL BATZ, computer-imprinted on an iconic piece of mail. See for yourself!

Why did I smile?  I don’t know!!!  Maybe it’s because roughly 150 years ago, the life expectancy of men in Minnesota barely exceeded 50.  Back then, the AARP card would have showed up around age 31. (But it didn’t exist yet.)  So, by history’s standards, getting my AARP card makes me a medical marvel.

My AARP card is perched prominently next to my Grandmother’s clock.

This week I’m in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on Spring Break with family and friends.  My 21-year old daughter Katie texted me saying: “It’s fun to have a 50-year old dad who can still party like he’s 21.” She’s delusional, but I’ll give it the ‘ol college try.

We’re preparing for a beach bash on Thursday, March 28, 2013 to celebrate my big 5-Oh.  It’s the middle mile marker on my 100-year journey. I’m working on my faith, fitness and finances so I can keep hope alive of becoming a Centenarian – like my Grandmother Hunter who lived to 103.  That’s why the weather was bright and sunny in my mailbox.  Half way there.

Good leaders make a habit of embracing the joy, wisdom and perspective that comes with growing older.  And they deliberately celebrate the milestones of a good life.

Please comment and give me a good razzing about my AARP card.  I dare you…