Almost 50?

(A birthday hike to start the morning today)

Or my (very) late 40s as better framing? I’m passing mile marker number 49 today and beginning my 50th trip around the sun. Wow.

How did that happen? The last thing I remember was turning 40? The years of peak family and peak career tend to coincide for many of us. It may leave you looking around wondering what just happened. Cue one of my favorite Talking Heads songs, “Once in a Lifetime”:

“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

And you may find yourself in another part of the world

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife

And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”

I find myself living in something more than a shotgun shack. A big, lovely house albeit nothing close to what we would build.  

I find myself living in another part of the world. I never would have guessed that we would raise our kids in Boulder. I miss Texas and Texans but Colorado has been good for our family and I always appreciate the weather, especially this time of year.

I find myself behind the wheel of a large automobile. The classic Dad-mobile, a Yukon XL that I don’t really want but serves to shuttle the whole family, a large dog, and all the gear. 

I find myself with a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters. The most important choice you make in life is your choice of partner. I hope Elle and Alex recognize that dynamic in our family.

I find myself asking, “Well, how did I get here?”. All of us would like to think that there is some big, detailed plan that we’re following along a defined path but it’s pretty clear to us that have been around a while that life is a combination of fortune, randomness, and the intersection of actions or decisions. Making, maybe even forcing yourself to be open to new ideas, new paths, and new connectivity can provide opportunities and experiences that we never would have expected. 

“You may ask yourself, “What is that beautiful house?”

You may ask yourself, “Where does that highway go to?”

And you may ask yourself, “Am I right, am I wrong?”

And you may say to yourself, “My God, what have I done?”

I find myself asking if we really need that beautiful house? Can we further simplify to a place that focuses on experiences rather than assets that end up owning your time?

I find myself wondering, where does that highway go? I’ve always had the travel bug and I’m curious to keep exploring while seeing my kids open up to new experiences and ideas. What comes next is a forward-looking perspective: where will life take us? I want to be here for it.

I find myself asking, am I on the right path? While I love the idea of alternate realities, I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly what we missed. So you have to make the best of the path you’re on, right or wrong. Melissa likes to say that she’s a “Glad it happened” vs “Sad it’s over” person. I strive to be that way too.

And I find myself saying, not “what have I done?” but “what can I do from here?”  We all have limited time with an unknowable expiration date. “Time isn’t holding up, time isn’t after us”.  I’m back in a headspace where I want to see and do more after a tough couple of years. I feel the urgency of time at home and in my investing. The kids are with us for another few years and we need to maximize our exposure with them. At the same time, I see incredible opportunities in our network as technology makes recent science fiction a reality. It’s difficult to let the days go by when you realize it’s not the same as it ever was..

I hope my 50th trip around the sun comes with great experiences and great opportunities but you never know because….“Hey let’s all twist our thumbs…here comes the twister”!

It’s only “Once in a Lifetime”.