It’s birthday week – again. It seems like it comes around more quickly every year. Someone asked me how old I was, I told them 46. Michelle and Stephanie reminded me I am actually 48. Never was that great at math.
I took my annual birthday jog today. I do it every year for two reasons:
1) I want to make sure I can still jog
2) I like to ponder the year, think about the ups and the downs, recalibrate.
There is never a year that I can’t see blessings – well, there was one. But I less think about what I do or don’t have and more focus on what I’ve accomplished over the year. Sort of where I stand with myself. Think about where I was 12 months ago and where I want to be 12 months from now. A gut check, some accountability.
As I pondered my year, I was fairly satisfied. Gave myself a B+. Then I began to ponder the future. This is where I want to grow:
1) Next year, when I’m 47 or 49 or whatever, I’d like to be a more consistent dad. I harp too much. I stress them out. I’m impatient. I seldom raise my voice, but my tone is telling. “Do you need more help with that math problem?” (tone – you are not very smart, why can’t you do it yourself? I am too busy with important stuff). Sometimes I bet my kids think I’m schizophrenic.
2) Next year, I’d like to be in better physical shape – I’ve worked out all year, but I haven’t done P90X! A two-mile jog at a snail’s pace isn’t exactly gonna keep me from having a massive heart attack at age 62.
3) Finally, I’ve really noticed a difference in my kids’ social lives over the past 12 months. I’m finding they’re becoming much more independent than they’ve ever been before. DJ has her car – we don’t see her so much anymore. Stephanie has plans, always. Mind you, she never makes them until an hour before the event, but plans she does have. And sweet Michelle has at least one sleepover per weekend. I think there’s a mandatory quota for ten year-olds. I gotta figure out how to reengineer my life now that they don’t need me quite as much as they did before.
That’s a significant adjustment – my idea of a Saturday night out is a G movie and leftovers from the Happy Meal. Imagine a restaurant withOUT a kids’ menu! A movie with unanimated characters. A glass of red wine, not Cheerwine.
Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t going anywhere. I plan to be here as much as they need. But taking the annual inventory sort of brings to light the things I’ve let go -
48 may be the best year yet!
Purchase Danny’s book: Laughter, Tears and Braids