Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Look Back at the First Fifty

This is likely the last post before I officially become an AARP target. This Sunday I hit 50 and I'm having a little problem with it, frankly. It's not even because I feel old, per se. It's more about what else it means. It means when I read in the paper that someone died at 61, that I'm only 11 years from that. I can remember vividly the surprise party for Donna's father's 50th birthday. Her father. He was old then. That would make me...old, I guess.

A list of things I was glad I did in my first 50 years:

1. Worked and paid my way through my last two years of High School and all of College. (With ZERO debt, mind you.)

2. Lived in a dumpy first apartment. It allowed me to appreciate the nice ones more later.

3. Took a job in mapping for $5.00/hour out of college to gain some valuable experience. If I would have snubbed that job I might never have known the joy I've had working in GIS/Mapping all these years.

4. Moved away from home to take my second job. I never wanted to move, but a job change required it. Waukesha/Milwaukee is home now.

5. Wrote letters to Rob when he was in college. It is how I met Donna. From pen pals to husband and wife.

6. Waited 5 years to have kids after marrying. Those years seem so long ago, but it was important to build that marital foundation first.

7. Took lots of vacations with my family. Mercer, South Dakota, Poconos, NY State and City, BWCA, Colorado, Myrtle Beach, Orlando. Those are the things they'll always remember.

8. Stayed with Elmbrook Church. Our church has seen 3 head pastoral changes and has had multiple programs come and go. The focus is still clear though and "church" is about a whole lot more than a building.

9. Stayed with the house we're in. We looked at moving about 5 years ago, but only would have bought more house than we could have afforded anyway.

10. Took writing classes. It has uncovered a love of mine that was untapped for so long and is finally being put to use.

I cannot say I don't have any regrets of the past 50 years. There are some stupid things I've done. Some foolish things too. Most of them were minor things and I am not ashamed to say that some of the stupid foolish things I've done are the things I'll remember when I'm old and in the rocking chair. Of course that's a long way off, because I'm still kicking and I'm certainly not old.

But I am blogging off...

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