Another year has come full circle and I find myself celebrating my 46th birthday. Wow! Sometimes the passing of time is hard to believe. My dad once told me that “the days can be long, but the years will grow shorter as you age.” As usual, he is right. It seems like yesterday I was a wide-eyed kid playing with my friends and daydreaming about my future. While I never did become President or Secretary of State (there’s still time), soar through the universe as an astronaut, solve major crimes for Interpol, play either professional baseball or football, or lead troops as a great general, I’ve had a rich full life. Today is a day to count my many blessings:
- Two healthy, happy, loving children who amaze me every day with their smarts, creativity, and good nature.
- A large caring family who to a person I’ve never once doubted their love and support for me.
- Many good friends (old and new) who make my life richer and much more enjoyable.
- Family members and friends who have passed but left a positive indelible mark on my life.
- An extensive list of pet dogs who have filled my life with joy and unconditional love.
- A lengthy list of talented teachers and professors who opened new worlds to me and encouraged me to expand my definition of what’s possible.
- Meaningful work that I love doing and genuinely makes me feel like I am making a positive difference.
- Many professional colleagues that continue to inspire and educate me.
- The community I live in is a constant source of neighborly goodwill, fun, and contentment.
- A lifelong love of music and literature that continues to fill me with wonder, awe, serenity, and joy.
- Pride in my ancestral heritage allows me to feel connected to the world in a larger way and have a keen sense of personal identity and pride.
- The opportunity to travel and see the world at an early age (thanks dad) left a lasting impression on me and expanded my worldview.
- A country that for all its flaws is still an amazing place to live and allows me to be an individual free to make my own choices and take advantage of unlimited opportunities.
- A solid foundation of faith (thanks mom) that continues to inspire me to be a better person and has also allowed me to navigate the troubled waters of life without losing my way.
- A long-term love that, while it did not last forever, made me a better person, gave me my children, provided me with many happy memories, and introduced me to many other wonderful people.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday living, it’s easy to lose sight of how blessed we truly are in life. I’ve always believed that everyone’s life is novel, and we are all the protagonists of our own story. I, for one, am happy with how my story has turned out to date. Sure, there have been disappointments, pains, and sorrows, but that is as it should be. Not everything works out as planned. We learn from our misfortunes as much if not more than our good fortune. Our character is formed because of the journey, not despite it! I am blessed more than any man could hope for where I stand today. Thank you to all of you who have touched my life in significant ways.
Happy Easter and Passover!