I get reflective on my personal life at two times each year ... the stronger of those, generally, is my birthday. New Years, I'm usually too busy enjoying the holiday season and the NFL playoffs to spend too much time navel-gazing.
So on the night before my birthday, I look backwards and ahead.
I look backwards on a life I am, for the most part, very happy with. I have been to wonderful places with wonderful people, I have lent a helping hand, I have been a good friend and an excellent husband and am surviving as a father. I have exceeded expectations and surprised myself. I have used my powers for good.
This is not to say I have made no mistakes. The road has been full of detours and missteps. I've wasted countless dollars and hours, I've missed out on awesome opportunities, and I've lost touch with people I care about simply because I'm easily distracted.
But overall I'm happy with where I've gone and how I've gotten there.
I look forward to an unknown world.
I try to visualize my future and fail. I had no idea what being a father to a toddler would be. I am even less prepared to visualize being a father to a growing child. I am powerless to visualize being a father to two children, an eventuality that may someday arrive (or may not).
I have no idea what awaits me at work. So much has changed, so much is still the same. I'm in a state of constant flux. Sometimes I feel like I am incapable of being surprised any more, in that arena.
I can intentionally visualize what I want out of my next few years though. I want to teach my daughter to read, and do it in a way that she ends up loving books. I want my fit body back. I can feel it, my old level of fitness, hiding under this misuse, and I want it back.
I want to see new places, eat new foods, cook new foods. I want to experience new things with my friends and family. I want to strengthen my friendships instead of taking them for granted.
I want to create. I want to write. I want to somehow take this weird imagination of mine and couple it to the urge I have to stick words together, and get something out of it.
The first 18 years of life, you are a child.
The next 18 years of life, you take the hand you were dealt the previous 18 years and make what you can out of it.
And then what?