50 Revolutions

50 revolutions.
50 trips around the sun.
50 years living on planet Earth.
50 birthdays.

What do I have to show for all these years? A home. A few used cars. Lots of books and music and photos, print and digital. A good job. A lot of other stuff. Possessions. If all of those things went away, I’d still have the most important thing to me: my family.

I have lived a lot of places in my life. Some more exciting or beautiful or exotic than others. Some I never wanted to leave. Some I didn’t appreciate until I’d left and could reflect back on. All of them helped me grow and learn and become who I am now.

I have met a lot of people in my life. All are/were different in the way they spoke or behaved or thought or looked. Some I thoroughly enjoyed having in my life, even if too briefly. Some I would like never to have met. But, again, all of them helped me grow and learn and become who I am now.

So, who am I now?
1. I’m a man who loves his family and friends dearly. I know that I define those differently than the dictionary and social media. If I count you in that list (you know who you are), you should know that I’m here for you. To quote Bon Jovi’s lyrics, “Through the years and miles between us, it’s been a long and lonely ride, but if I got a call in the dead of the night, I’d be right by your side.”
2. I have a strict moral and ethical code. Sometimes that causes stress on me, sometimes on others, and sometimes it doesn’t jive with “the rules”. Have I ever broken my code? Of course. There are rare times when you have to put your own sense of right and wrong aside.
3. I believe in a work-life balance. I believe in taking time off or adjusting schedules to make it to important events in the lives of my family and friends. What are important events? Soccer games, band concerts, birthdays, driving lessons, awards presentations, retirements, promotions, helping with moving, funerals, visiting friends and family in hospitals, vacations -long and short, or just coming home to spend time with my wife when she’s not having a great day. “Believe me, nothing is trivial.
4. I’ve learned to not worry so much about what other people think. If you have a job, it’s likely important that your leadership think highly of you. If you are on a team, it’s important that your mates know they can rely on you to pull your weight. It’s not important to worry about what the Internet trolls think or what every person you pass on the street thinks. It took me way too long to figure this out and I still struggle with it now and then, but I wish I’d figured this out decades earlier.

So, getting back to “what have I got to show” for my 50 years? I have many years of growing and learning, about the world and myself. I have a small core of friends and family that love and care for each other, that have each others’ backs. And I have lots of memories…of places lived, people met, vacations taken, and of many, many much more mundane events that have shaped me and helped me have a positive impact on the people I love. In the end, what more could I really need?

 

On a lighter note, here are some other things that describe who I’ve become over these 50 revolutions around the sun:  I try to appreciate all the beauty in nature…sunrise, sunset, flowers, trees, the animals, the sky, the views from mountains; I enjoy good wine, good bier, and good conversations with friends and the occasional stranger; telling dad jokes; I could listen to my records (yes, LPs) on a good turntable, my CDs, and digital tunes for hours on end; I enjoy watching movies and TV shows, esp. with my wife and kids.  I few t-shirts that I own that lend a hint to my personality read:  “I speak fluent movie quotes”, “That’s what I do: I drink and I know things,” “Save Ferris,”, “The lower the latitude, the better the attitude,” and “Hike more, worry less.”

 

This is probably rum mug Arsenal socks
Maybe? #Gunner4Life
#GoGunners
Welcome to Dublin My Adidas at sunrise
I didn’t want to return from this trip.
Hope to one day retire here.
Coffee, sunrise, and my Adidas.
Slow down and enjoy life!

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