A day in the life…

I borrowed this outline from a friend and thought it would be interesting to place my thoughts into this outline and share them with others.
1 year is 1/90th of your lifetime if you live to be 90.
1 month is 1/12th of a year.
1 day is 1/365th of a year or 24 hours.
What I have experienced in 24 hours:
I watched the sunrise as I ran along the shore of the Niagara River.
This morning during my run, I witnessed the wonder of the full moon and the way the clouds seem to have highlighted and painted the sky.
I smiled as I watched a patient grasp the understanding that they can persevere through the difficulties in their life and can experience success.
I watched and smiled as my youngest child, Stephen, turned 21.
I struggled to find my balance at several points throughout the day. I experienced sadness and happiness.
I arrived home to see my wife smiling…for no apparent reason.
I went out with my son and had his first “legal” drink with him as he celebrated his 21st birthday. 
I was reminded that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
I felt gratitude as I witnessed an amazing sunset.
I discovered that even though I truly enjoy what I do for a living, it is possible to do to much.
I felt blessed after having witnessed a couple in their 80’s, walking hand in hand their love for each other still important to each.
I have witnessed the day growing short of daylight but still full of happiness and solitude.
I have learned what we think is wrong with others is typically something we want to change about ourselves.  The sun only rises once each day so appreciate it.  Our breaths are limited notice them. Our heart has no limit to the amount of love we have so love with all your heart.  When the seasons pass and days grow short it is all the moments we noticed that warm our hearts.   

Turning 50…

It happened one week ago. I hit a milestone in life and I celebrated my 50th year on this beautiful Earth. The day passed with little fanfare save for calls from my brother and parents and a text message from my sister and a few close friends not to mention the numerous birthday wishes from “Facebook friends.” I guess I expected to hear angels singing or trumpets blaring. Instead my son accompanied me in a 5.50 mile run through Central Park. Frankly, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The end of this run, a hug from my son were in fact the blaring trumpets and singing angels.

What I have learned these many years astounds me. What I have allowed myself to learn astounds me even more. 
This is not a birthday which comes with any anxiety. My only anxiety today arises from not having all the time to do the things which I want to do. I do not want to die, but I do not fear death. I do not want to be unemployed, but I no longer fear unemployment. Today I rise, I look toward the east and cherish the sight of the rising sun. I am thankful for my beating heart and for the breath in my lungs. I am thankful for my wife and children, for a career which I love and the ability to still enjoy the activities which remind me of the importance of enjoying life everyday.
I journal everyday. It’s a practice which I started when I was a teen. Over the years the journal has evolved from a tool designed simply to track my runs to a tool designed to be a mirror to my soul. That tool which causes me to look within and better understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
My favorite time of day is morning. I marvel at the beauty of each sunrise. I listen to the solitude offered by my willingness to wake before most others. A lot of thinking takes place during this time. This is the time of day which has helped foster a deep appreciation for life and all that accompanies my life. I wonder, sometimes aloud why it takes an opportunity for solitude such as which is offered by my morning runs. When my birthday does arrive, I will rise to greet the sun. I will don my running shoes and shuffle off to Central Park and enjoy that day.
“…we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.  Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity.  We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I grew up a scared little boy and grew into and individual who faces those same fears with greater ease and satisfaction. I learned to take risks and I learned to love the energy gained from those events. I learned to make mistakes and to cherish the gifts of those mistakes. I learned I cannot know success without the beauty of those mistakes. Many of us are afraid to make mistakes. I had previously counted myself amongst those individuals. Do not allow fear to rule your life and to ruin your life.

The next twenty-five years

This summer, August 28th to be exact, I turn fifty. Fifty years old!

It feels strange to say in the same way it felt strange to say “I’m turning thirty” or “I’m turning forty.” I’m still trying to figure out where fifty years has gone. I feel as though the time has raced by with little acknowledgement.

I have been told “You’re only as old as you feel.” I don’t feel old but not feeling old does nothing to stop the days from passing. Inevitably I am turning older.

My dad turns seventy-five this year. As the turn of the year arrived, I began to think about his age and my age. In twenty-five years I’ll be the age he is. I began to think about how fast fifty years has expired and bean to think about how the next twenty-five will expire. I began to think about where I am in my life and where I want to go. I began to take stock in my life. I began to clean out the clutter and have begun to move toward a more minimalist, more meaningful life. I have removed relationships which are not beneficial to my emotional health. i have removed possessions which i thought would bring happiness but instead have added stress.

I don’t want to waste the rest of my life, however long that may be.

There are a number of things I would do over but since this is not possible, I don’t dwell in that arena. Instead I focus my thoughts, my energy, my life on making the next twenty-five years more meaningful than the first fifty.

I am lucky, although I am not sure how much of a role luck has played in my life. I have put in a great deal of effort to be a better person; a better husband, father, friend, social worker, etc. For the most part I am happy with my life and with what i have achieved. When I honestly think about the future, I think about building on the successes I have experienced.