Another year and another birthday. This one brings me to the age of 45. I don’t really get worked up about my own birthdays much these days. I do tend to reflect on my parents, as without them, I would not be here. This morning on the drive in to work my thoughts were on my late father. Lung cancer took him at the age of 69 and when I think about that sometimes I get angry. I wish he were here so we could talk about the things my family have done since his passing. But then I look back on his life and realize that even though it was not as long as it could have been, it was a very full and rich life, and I can only hope that my own life will be as worthy.
I don’t really have any mid-life crises trauma at the moment. I love my wife and my kids and I even like my job. I suppose if I felt the need to leave my mark on society or the future it would be through my writing. I still pursue that passion.
In these hectic times it is often important to slow down and take notice of the world around you. Marvel at the flock of geese flying low on the horizon, level with the sun swept foothills or sit on your fresh cut lawn in the late afternoon and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. I try not to take my life for granted and get so caught up in the details of day-to-day living that I miss the little things happening all around me. Like the pride in my son’s eyes as he tells me about something he did at school that he was proud of and that nobody else noticed. Or watching my dog and cat egg each other on as they “play” fight around the house.
Last year I took note of my expanding waistline when my kids both told me I needed to start exercising. Since then I have gotten back into lap swimming, lost a few pounds and have never felt better. We’re more active as a family and we are doing more things together than ever before. Sure, we’d like to go camping more and maybe do a few road trips, but there is always room for improvement.
Since my wife’s place of employment was dismantled by petty and immature government officials, I’ve become more involved in my community by volunteering my technical assistance in seeing that the people responsible are brought to justice. This more civic minded move on my part is perhaps a byproduct of age and the urge to make my community a better place.
I have also taken on more active roles in the writer communities that I participate in. Accepting positions of leadership in two local writing groups. I continue to lead my son’s Cub Scout den and coach both son’s baseball teams.
In retrospect, the past year has made me realize how important community and family are in my life. I guess that’s what happens when we reach middle age. So in that case, I’m right on track.