One day very soon I will wake up a 39 year old. That will be old to some and young to others. I can’t do anything about it – a fact is a fact and time keeps marching on. My birthday has never been something that I make a big deal of. I think I may be changing my mind about that though – each one I get is a blessing – I see that now. Too many don’t get as many as I’ve already had.
What strikes me most and something that has been on my mind since the calendar rolled over to August is that all the years ending in 9 are going to hit me pretty hard. I lost my dad when he was only 59.5. I am grateful to have gotten to the age where the adultness better known as the “I know it all –ness” had worn off and I was closer to his age than not. I got to develop a solid relationship with him. 59.5 is young. So young. It seems that I miss my dad more on my own birthday than I do on his birthday or on Father’s day.
The thoughts that flood my mind sound like this: If Dad knew at this age, that I am turning… 39, that he only had 20.5 years left what would he have chosen to do? Would it be different than how it played out? Was he happy with what he was sowing?
I hope that my candle will last more than the next 20.5 years and yet nothing is guaranteed. So, I ask myself – what is my intention for tomorrow and the day after and the next 20.5 years? What kind of legacy have I already sown and what modifications do I want to make going forward? What is important to me? What lessons am I teaching my son? My nieces and nephew? If I only get 20.5 more years, what do I want them to remember of me?
I remember my dad always telling me he loved me and that he was proud of me. Of all the angst that I may have had growing up – those are two things that I never lacked hearing from both of my parents. That is what I remember of my dad. Of course there are other things – my mantra came from my parents: Be the Best you can be. The silly things like needing to get a snack at a gas station – because you can and it reminds me of any car ride I ever went on with my dad – beef jerky or a snickers bar… it was just part of the treat of going on a ride with him.
So as the days approach and I begin the final year of decade thirty this is what is on my mind. I’m crafting the life I want to live one day at a time. I won’t lie that I’ve spent more time thinking about this since my dad passed away than ever before. I try really hard not to regret – to embrace what I’ve done in my life and learn the lessons. I am learning to spend my time intentionally.