Milestone Reflections

This March is replete with major life milestones. Maybe I ought to offer each a few moments of reflection before the fact rather than let the weight of the milestones drop on me unprepared.

The tenth anniversary of my marriage impends. Ten years married to MBW. A decade. Imagine that. All those who thought no one could endure my nonsense for more than a few months can suffer the ignominy of error. I can understand the surprise, though. I mean, I know me pretty well and I have trouble putting up with myself. And those skeptics were merely relying on past history. A perfectly justifiable metric.

So, MBW, thank you for ten incredible, eventful years. May the next ten be even more fulfilling.

A week before the anniversary I’ll pass one of the conventionally significant markers. My fiftieth birthday. Half a century of existence. Midway to one hundred years.

It doesn’t seem that long. I don’t feel any different than at thirty or forty. But given average life expectancies I suppose I should assume on the downhill slope. Coasting to the grave. Lovely.

This milestone provides a traditional opportunity for retrospection and self-evaluation. Have I used these fifty years to the best advantage? Have I squandered youth and time? Did I focus too much energy on having a good time? Have I achieved my goals? Those are some ponderous questions and I don’t care for them.

I imagine I’ve met the expectations for an American male born in 1969. Career, check. Wife, check. Child, check. Mortgage on a house in the suburbs, check. If there is a scoreboard somewhere, I’m keeping up with the default pace setter.

Perhaps in some respects I’ve exceeded the baseline. I’ve served in uniform. I’ve gotten my post-graduate degree. I’ve traveled.

And I’ve written. Now, I did not meet my childhood dream of an adulthood spent travelling about the country with a dog in a pickup truck, earning my living as a writer. That, I think is for the best; that was an absurd dream. How miserable and lonely I’d have been. And uncomfortable.

It’s good, I think, that I’ve yet to meet all of my goals. I’m only turning fifty, after all. There remains all the time in the world to continue striving, to continue writing, travelling, enjoying.

So, here’s to the next fifty years.