Today is my 39th birthday.
While to many this event may be far too close to one of life’s bigger milestones (turing 40), to me, my 30s have been the best years of my life.
As I look back on this time of life, several things jump out.
- I had no idea what I was doing in my 20s. I was young and dumb and thought I knew what life was really all about. Turns out I was an idiot. So much so that I almost lost my marriage during this decade.
- Kids really do teach you more than you teach them. You hear it all the time, kids will change your life. It’s true. From the tender moments of an infant sleeping on your chest to the times when you hear them in their room unleashing their anger in your direction – they uncover the parts in yourself that you didn’t know you had. Who knew that I could get so worked up over the reactions from someone 1/6 my size?
- Marriage really does get better. Pam and I will be celebrating 17 years this month and I can honestly say that the past 10 years have been our best years together. This is due largely to our own growth as people, as well as wisdom we’ve learned from past experiences.
So why am I writing all this on my birthday?
No, this isn’t to get presents sent my way (unless you want to get me an apple pie – although a pie sent through the mail probably wouldn’t be any good). I wanted to write up a few brief points about what I’ve learned along the way thus far.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Seriously. Most of the things that get us down or trip us up in marriage and life are small things.
- Expect disappointments. In fact, the definition I use for expectation is planned disappointments. You’re going to hear “no” in life. Count on it – but continue on your path.And in spite of all the hurdles and obstacles you encounter:
- Approach life as it is the most wonderful, precious gift you could ever be given. The world was created by God to be enjoyed and reveled in. Or as Donald Miller puts it, God has placed a box of crayons down in front of you (a box of crayons called life), so by all means draw. We get one shot at this life – draw a masterpiece!
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