"Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, "What happened to my twenties?" Your forties, you grow a little pot belly you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering "how come the kids don't call?" By your eighties, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama. Any questions?" Billy Crystal playing Mitch Robbins in the 1991 movie City Slickers
This quote pretty much sums it up. Sure there are a couple things different for me. I remember too much of my twenties. I grew another chin and blew past pot belly well before my forties. Not to mention, I am not headed down the mid life crisis path that his character was on. I have already found "that one thing" worth living for. In my case it is my family.
Your mother asked what I wanted for my birthday the other day. My response, "I don't know. Socks, underwear? You know we have two batteries for the weed whacker but only one charger and by the time I use up the fully charged battery, only half the job is done and the other battery isn't charged yet. Do they sell battery chargers separately?" It is amazing how times have changed. When I was real young, I would have a list and catalogs of toys and figurines that I wanted. I never got many of them, but I had high hopes every year. At that age, I figured you could take that "It is the thought that counts" bs and shove it.
Nowadays, I don't want anything or if I do get something it is going to be practical and useful and make my life easier. We already decided that birthdays from here on out will be low key and impromptu. No restaurants or destinations, just a "Hey, we are ordering pizzas for a birthday. Come over. Bring beer." It wouldn't bother me if it was just cheese sandwiches and water. Honestly, there is no way of disappointing me on my birthday. As long as family is around and I get a hug or two from my son and a big ol' birthday kiss from your mom, I am set!
I wish I had grown up sooner. I wish I had learned to value time and family and love over presents and parties at a much earlier age. Everyone usually laments losing their youth and growing old too fast, but what they should really be sad about is that it took so long to figure out the important things in life. Imagine if I knew then what I know now. I hope you, my son, figure out these type of things at a much earlier age than I.
Sincerely with love from your dad,