When you are very young, you look forward to birthdays because they mean you get something.
When you grow into your teens, you look forward to birthdays because they mean you can do more things (drive, drink, etc.).
When you grow older you can buy what you want and there are no more age limits (unless you count AARP membership...thanks to Kay Crawford for that little reminder), so the day ends up being more about looking inside than outside.
So here we have me at age 46. Wow, 46. When you are 18 it's almost inconceivable to be this old. The truly scary part is that I'm still that 18 year old inside, all be it more seasoned with the passing years. Even more frightening? I have two daughter who are nearly 18 and one who is actually older.
Where am I now?
Well physically I actually feel pretty good. I've lost about 25 pounds over the past six months without a ton of sacrifice. Maybe that's not such a good thing, as sometimes sacrifice is good for the soul. Never the less, I am trending in the right direction. The only chronic medical problems I have are relatively minor and well under control, so I have no complaints in that department. I've changed a number of habits over the years for the better, including taking much better care of my teeth and not drinking, so I'm hoping that these pay dividends as I grow older.
Mental health wise I am doing well. Yes I've probably been through more than some in dealing with these kinds of issues in my extended family, but that's okay because those trials really have made me a stronger person. In essence you really don't know what you are capable of getting through until you are forced to face the situation. In a strange sort of way I have been blessed by the trials I've had to face.
Career-wise things are okay. I have some responsibility, I'm not underpaid, and I'd like to think that I make something of a difference. Do I deserve to be promoted? Do I deserve more money? Sure, those would be welcome, but I don't think I'm being screwed in any way, shape or form, so I have no complaints.
Intellectually I feel like I'm still learning, so there is a lot to be happy about. I don't ever want to stop learning. I never want to be a physical or a mental loafer.
As a father, I do my best. Most importantly, I try to be here for my daughters in ways that my father was never there for me. They may not understand or appreciate that, but so be it; sometimes you do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. I'm only now really beginning to understand that doing right is its own reward. Yes I wish I had more financial resources to help my daughters, but I have a feeling that you can never have enough of that stuff, so there is no sense being obsessed.
All things considered, it's all okay.