Life is funny. Everyone talks about getting the most out of it. Make something of it. Make it what YOU want it to be. But there are so many obstacles in the way. In MY perfect life, I honestly don’t know what I’d do. Would I live on a beach somewhere? Would I have millions of dollars? Would I own 9 swanky cars and have a mansion stocked full of bling and have bikini-clad women hangin’ out by the pool, dancing and spraying champagne all over the place?
I think not. Well….at least I don’t THINK I would.
The tides of life aren’t that simple. To be truly happy, I think it takes perseverance. It takes hardship and hard work. It takes motivation and a little bit of a leap of faith to get you through the rocky times. If I’ve learned anything in my 41 years it’s that life isn’t handed to you…you have to earn it. Those who DO earn it get so much more out of it. The ones who are handed it don’t understand what it’s really about.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Some I’m okay with, some I’m not proud of. But with each one, I’ve learned something. The ebb & flow of life can be downright maddening with each passing day. You hit some highs, you hit some lows and then you move on. The tides continues to crash in, the sand washes away and there you are…still living (hopefully) and ready to take on the next wave.
My life has, by most accounts, been relatively easy. I’ve worked hard. I’ve tried to be the best parent I can be. I’ve tried to be patient. I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes. All in all…I’m doing the best I can considering the limited gifts I’ve been given. And although it hasn’t been the rockiest road, there have been some unseen bumps along the way. Life does that occasionally. It’ll throw you a curveball amidst a flurry of fastballs, just to see if you’re awake.
So I’m awake now. This summer has been passing by way to quickly and the ebb & flow of life continues on. I had a great 5 days with my family. I had a great week long vacation with my wife & kids in Williamsburg. And now…I’m working again. Working a lot actually. I miss my wife. I don’t think she even realizes how much and I know me being gone has taken its toll on her. I miss my kids. They have grown up quite a bit in the last year and I haven’t been there for them. I miss my family. They are the cornerstone of my life and I get to see them way too infrequently. I miss my friends. They are always there whenever I come calling, never turning their backs on the friend who is hardly ever around.
My life hasn’t been physically demanding but it has taken its emotional toll. I don’t know that this lifestyle is the best one but it is the one I have chosen. It has it’s ups & downs, just like every other occupation, and just because it’s not a physically demanding job doesn’t mean it hasn’t done some damage. Working on the road and on weekends, not having time to do family events or to be around just to BE, are demanding in a totally different way and it hasn’t been easy. So I do it and I enjoy it…but at what cost?
The ebb & flow of life continues on. I make my decisions and I live by them. I chose this and I live by it. But is it what my LIFE is all about? I hope not. I hope that when it comes to memories of me, someday my son will remember the games I DID make it to. My daughter will remember the times I DID make it to her ballet. My wife will remember the laughs we DID have on vacations past. I don’t want them to remember me for the things I did at work…because that’s not who I am. I am so much more and I think I have been doing what I can and I hope it’s good enough.
Ebb & flow…in & out. Every day is different yet always the same. Maybe I’ve learned a thing or two along the way? Maybe…or maybe not. Guess we’ll find out eventually….right?