Stall. Start. Stall. Start. That’s really what it’s been about for me.
I have momentum. We all have momentum. Things are moving in the right direction. Life is good. Not perfect by many standards. What I've realized is that this has been 40+ years in the making for me. And it’s been awesome!
Let me tell you why.
I look back at my experiences and have good memories and bad memories. But never once have I looked back with regret at the actions or experiences that created those memories. You see that’s what creates our perception, our reality. That’s the way it’s supposed to be!
Why do I sometimes have such a hard time with that?
Why do we make attempts to control our experiences so intensely? What’s wrong with having nothing to do, or doing something different? Why must we be “keeping up with the Jones”? (…Who were the Jones and why who made them the standard, anyway? ) Why is there so much second-guessing and ‘Monday morning quarterbacking”? Why must we know what everyone else is doing before we make our own decision? This is uncomfortable to me.
Anyway, by the Jones standard, I’d be an outcast. And in some circles I am.
But I’d never wish to have had it any other way. It’s always been that way for me. That’s OK.
A traditional, married couple did not bring me into this world – a mom and dad that lived together in happy matrimony did not raise me. I do believe they had true love for each other. I do not have a childhood home. I have many of them. I did not have a thriving academic experience nor a rewarding athletic career at any level in school. I did not move into a prestigious 4-year university. I started at a community college and attended college classes like I belonged to a health club – it just made me feel good to be around people that had very diverse experiences and ways of life, but had the same goals. I moved through my young adulthood with some misses, but always landed on my feet.
That’s been the best part.
My experience in the world has been extraordinary. No doubt! But, it’s always been by my measures, not the measures of others. Yep, I've stalled and started again, many times. But every start has been better than the last start. Every stall has had different learning than the last stall. And on, and on, and on. ( – wait for it: …and on.)
I’m not done.
I’ve been a lucky man. I come from a large family tree, or more like a forest – full of personality, attitude, and perseverance. Some branches on the lower part of this tree are stronger than the higher branches, but that’s what makes it fun. Also, it’s this broad family tree that has brought so many wonderful people into my life that would never have come out of a traditional family upbringing. For this I consider myself very lucky, and to some degree, even privileged.
I’m so proud of where I’ve come from. Now I can pass that on.
I have the chance to really cultivate my own family tree. That’s what I’m doing.
I always knew that one day I’d have the opportunity to raise kids, live in a nice home, and enjoy quiet family life. I do have that – but it’s better than I ever thought it would be. The people close to me have been so generous and caring. It’s not perfect; it does have its starts and stalls. And knowing that, being with a partner that understands this about me and that makes it great. Because every start has been better than the last start. Every stall has had different learning than the last stall. What’s next?
No, we’re not the Jones – and that’s best part!
In my little family, we live an ordinary, rewarding life. No exotic trips. No nannies. No prestigious schools. No fancy dinners or wine clubs. No fancy SUVs. No scheduled spa days, necessary girls nights out, or required guy’s weekends away to maintain a connection to lives in the past. Just experiences that create more starts and more stops. Yet without these luxuries, we also get to enjoy low-pressure jobs and just “go with the flow”.
The true best part, I have an incredible wife and life-partner that together we have two healthy boys that go to a great school, play sports, and are growing to be confident young men. Simple.
We do what we love – each of us. And we’re happy. We decide where we fit in.
What’s next? Let me guess.
Wait, no. Let it happen.