When I was 12 or 13, our neighbor across the street, Mr. Foster, hired me to scrape paint off his back stucco wall and to then paint that wall.
He paid me by the hour.
Sad to say, I did not work particularly fast.
But he was very patient and paid me for all of the time that I spent scraping paint.
For my prior birthday, my parents had given me a boom box.
Each morning, I went across the street with my thermos, my boom box and my Billy Joel tapes.
My Uncle Chris had keyed me in on Billy Joel years ago.
I once called Jackie McCoy on KADI radio and asked her to play Piano Man, Billy’s most popular hit.
I taped it when the song aired and listened to it over and over and over.
But I did have actual Columbia tapes of some of his best albums – Glass Houses and the Stranger.
My personal favorite was a song called Vienna.
My favorite line – “but you know that when the truth is told, you can get what you want or you can just get old.”
Man, Billy really knew how to put down the aging process.
It was a binary choice – getting what you want or getting old.
And getting old sounded so lame.
But BIlly was right.
We can get what we want.
If we put in the work.
A lot of work.
Much more work and hustle than I did scraping and painting that wall.
But I have come to believe that human beings are amazing creatures.
And that we can decide to make things happen.
And work towards that goal.
Billy was also right in that this is a choice.
We can sit around getting older each day.
Or we can get what we want.
What will we decide today?
What will we decide this year?
As this new year begins, I hope and pray that you get everything you want out of life.