What have I learned in my 55 years…
This might be the shortest post I have ever made, and then again, it might take a very long time. Let’s see if I can find a happy medium.
First, I am extremely blessed to be here typing this on the 55th anniversary of my nativity. I cannot take credit for that phrase, but I do give thanks for the way that I came to know the person who gave me that phrase. Let me get to the points for today:
- Now that I am 55 I fully realize that people are much, much more important than things. People are pretty much forever, or as forever as this world can be. Rather than go through the entire list, I will just tell you that who I am today is a result of my interaction with so many of these people. More on a few of them as I continue.
- Faith is the essence of life. I have been blessed to have gone through, and still continue to go through, a faith journey in this world. My faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is so essential to all that I do. Every thing that I am I owe to Him.
- No one could ask for a better family than I have. My wife of almost 32 years (anniversary on 9-11) and my two wonderful sons are the cornerstone of who I am and why I do what I do. I also give thanks for wonderful in-laws. I have talked about them before, especially my mother in law, but losing my parents shortly after marriage has afforded me the opportunity to have them step in and really help me. For this I am thankful.
- Mistakes are crucial and I have made many of them. Just as crucial to the making of mistakes is forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness. I am very focused on being the best that I can be and freeing myself of guilt is an essential component of much learning that has taken place. This does not mean there are not consequences, but it does mean that every mistake is forgivable, correctable or recoverable.
- Back to people; There are a few who will bear special mention here. My wife is the “sandpaper” who has rubbed off many of my rough edges in my life. There are so many stories I could tell, but I fully realize that she loves me unconditionally and for that I can never be thankful enough. If you ever consider marriage, find a spouse who loves you for who you are, not who she or he wants you to be.
- Time is the greatest investment you can make. While our sons were growing up I had many opportunities to work with them and their friends and families in youth sports and Scouting. Those memories and experiences will never go away and so much of who I am and what I know has come from these experiences. They have taught me so much and for that I continue to be thankful.
- I have learned that in some cases “more is less”. Earlier in my life I tried to be all things to all people and this is not a winning proposition. All that a man can do is to be true to his principles. I am never going to achieve this 100% of the time, but I continue to strive to focus with greater depth on a few things versus being all over map. I liken this to the “deep dish” versus “thin crust” analogy.
Enough for today. I am thankful for reaching the 55th anniversary of my nativity. I thank God for having Dr. Al Williams share that phrase with me so many years ago. Dr. Al means so much to me and my wife and he and Martha will always be cherished in our hearts. He was the ultimate ambassador and his leadership and mentorship have really helped me, even after his passing from this world.
I hope that you have as much, as I do to give thanks for. I have learned a lot, not all of it pleasant, but all of it essential.
Live your years with the ultimate involvement, not just for your own benefit, but even more so for those you can touch and influence in the world around you.
Have a great day.