A Birthday Reflection (08/12/2012)

Today is my birthday, August 12th. Annually I take time to reflect on the prior year, and more importantly, look forward to the upcoming year. Many people make New Year’s resolutions, resolving to change behaviors, break habits or accomplish something new. About seven years ago I took the same premise and started to reflect on my birthday instead. First, it is a special day to me, not everyone is doing it. Second, if I decide to work out or lose weight, the gym is not crowded with others doing the same. During this annual journey I have made some important discoveries.

I have previously written of goals and planning. One of the key requirements to achieve goals is passion. Throughout the last seven years several items have appeared on my list repeatedly: learning to scuba dive, and learning spanish. Although I want to learn those skills, it appears I am not passionate about them. At the same time, I have listed several items that happened, but almost accidentally; flying for instance. In 2008 I was jobless and had sold my airplane. At the time I thought I would never have the opportunity to fly again as it is very expensive. However, I got a job in 2009 where flying was an integral part and the last three years have been hugely satisfying because I could fly. Similarly, I last year I was determined to add a new rating for flying and was able to accomplish it. I have passion about flying.

My annual list demonstrates some commonality, probably exemplifying who I am or want to be: be a good father, be a good husband, and be fit and healthy. To ensure I accomplish those behavioural goals I tie action items to them like “date night” or taking my kids out without their siblings; the alone times gives us a chance to talk. Other goals, like learning spanish and how to play the guitar look like television re-runs as they make the list annually, but never seem to progress.

This year I opened an old photo album, a gift given to me when I graduated college. I was struck by a how young, and in shape I was, ironically I had no idea at the time. Now, looking at pictures I see a young man with abs and pecs, a head of hair, and no wrinkles. More importantly, a young man who had not experienced the defeats nor the triumphs life throws. It is those ups and downs that put the look of time upon us and give oopportunity to reflect like this. As I reflect this year it is the young man I was who I consider, and wish I could warn of hazards and advise what to savor.

When I look back on August 12, 2013 I want to be proud of my actions as father and husband. I know each of my five children will change much in the next year and I cannot wait to watch them grow more. I can’t wait to see how my wife is a year from now; with the CPA and starting an unknown job behind her; I want to be her biggest cheerleader. My proudest accomplishment will be completing my book, “Born in ’67,” of which I have barely scratched the surface writing. If I can remain fit and healthy, learn a few spanish phrases and how to play “Happy Birthday” on my guitar I will have crossed the finish line. Several other goals remain, but they are icing on the cake; getting my CFI, retaking the LSAT (and scoring higher), and playing a few rounds of golf. Regardless of how I do, I want my reflection to drive one feeling: contentment.