Yeah, it’s that time again. Sadly, the older I get the faster they come. What used to be the most special of days as a child, now, sadly, becomes another marker of passing time. And, to be maudlin, a subtle reminder of ones slowly approaching mortality.
Well, now that I’ve set a cheery mood…
It’s time to delve into my annual birthday life review.
Every year at this time the first thing I do is ask the question, “Where am I in relation to where my expectations of where I’d be at this point in my life”? The answer to that is… I am right about where I always wanted to be in life.
I wanted to own a successful business. I have in the past, and I do now. Although my Web Design business has slowed considerably due to my available time, it is rewarding – not only financially, but as a creative outlet that I need for inner peace.
I wanted to work for and with great people. I do. I have a fantastic job that most people just dream of. Challenging, demanding, but always rewarding.
I wanted to have my own home. I do. Again. After a long and painful divorce, I lost my first home in the process. Honestly, I thought I’d never have that opportunity again. My wife and I now own a beautiful home, which we are both proud of and grateful for and I couldn’t be more excited about.
I wanted to be happy. Well, there is a certain person, by the name of Annamarie, that has made that all possible. My wife, my soulmate, my best friend, my love, my inspiration, and my peace. She has completed me, and there is nothing that the two of us cannot do together. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
I wanted success for all of my children. This one, is not as easy as the list above. Are all of my children safe, healthy and alive. Yes! And that’s the big issue. But are they where I want them to be, sadly no. But it’s not their fault. it was a lot easier when I grew up. Things were much more defined. Today, we tell our kids to “Go to college! Get a degree!”, but the truth is that doing that will saddle them with unconquerable debt for decades…. “Learn a trade! ” Again, there used to be a time when that was attainable. It still is, but much more difficult to achieve, and much more competition on the back end. And the world in general has changed so much. The staggering debt, lower wages, uncertainty in every corner…. again, it’s not the world I was thrown into after high school.
So my children struggle. And they are all strong, and they will eventually find their niches and be successful. But after I say all that negative, there is a whole lot of positive in my children’s lives. First, I have three beautiful granddaughters, and a feisty and handsome grandson. They are all doing well, and that’s a blessing. My youngest daughter is just about to be married to the man of her dreams, he is an outstanding chap that treats her with respect, and throws her attitude right back at her. I am excited, but at the same time sad that my baby. the last of the brood is moving away from daddy….
And to be honest, I can’t talk about my children without a mention to the three I inherited through marriage. I have accepted the two sons and daughter into my heart just as much as my other children, and they have brought me much joy and happiness as well. To that side of the family I am, and will always be “Big Mike” and I wear that title proudly. Through this union I have embraced three more beautiful granddaughters, whom I also love dearly and enjoy very much. Not to mention a devilishly mischievous mother in law
Overall, my life is one blessing after another.
So in my annual review of my life at this point in time, I’d say a strong ten out of ten.
Now the reflection. The life reflection.
Wow. What a journey. I’ve been and done a million things in my 56 years. I’ve been a recording artist, songwriter, musician, an accomplished magician, actor, accountant, and dreamer. I’ve worked for restaurants, law firms, manufacturing plants. retail stores, and even a horse ranch! I’ve been the peon, the team player and the boss. I’ve hired people that went on to great success. I’ve fired people that didn’t produce. I’ve struggled with addictions and conquered them, I’ve counseled others to avoid the mistakes I learned the hard way. I’ve loved and lost and laughed and cried and enjoyed every single minute. I have put faith in god and explored my inner self. Again, what a journey.
If tomorrow were to be my last day on this big blue marble, I could pass knowing that I have had a wonderful life, and that I have made a difference. But… not so fast.
I ain’t done yet! No, as I continue to transition from my old life, away from my primary role as a parent, a provider and a protector, and into my new phase as a grandfather, a husband and a man of leisure (who am I kidding, I just bought a house!), I have a million and one things on my bucket list to share with my beautiful Annamarie. Cruises and adventures and making memories with our grandbabies, and… and… and… too much to mention.
Well, dear friends, thanks for reading this far. I know, it’s an experiment in eye rolling, but at least I only get reflective once a year. As the President would say, “The state of the union is strong!” So much life, and health, and blessings… A past year to be thankful for – and a year of promise to be grateful for. Signing off for now…