Musings on turning 30

I think this is going to be another good year :-).

Photo: sunset in the Ozarks, taken late last month.

Intro: I’ve heard that you if you watch someone you can see the story of their life. I’m not talking about what kind of car they drive or how expensive their watch is, I’m talking about whether they are kind to others and whether they believe in themselves. I mean are they as healthy as they can be and do they live life to the fullest, as in have they lived each year of their life as a new experience and learned from their mistakes, or have they just repeated the same years and mistakes over and over. I desire to live a worthwhile life and to tell a fulfilling story with my life, I have a lot of work to do to get there but I’m working on it :-)..

Turning 30: Surprisingly Exciting

Though I must say never really imagined being thirty years old, the number just seems too big. I realize anyone that’s turned 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100 has already passed this milestone and to them 30 probably seems/feels like 21 did to me.

But still, the biggest thing for me about turning 30 is the continued realization that we each can do what we want with our lives. The main limitations are self imposed by choices voluntary made, they are not imposed by others. Likewise, the areas where we excel are generally self-achieved and not handed to us on a silver platter (achievement, by definition, is not a gift).

The older we get… the more we have molded our lives (for good or bad)

It seems the older we get the more responsibility (or opportunity) we have in how our lives become and what we’ve done while we’re on earth. This is somewhat different than when we’re young. When we’re a child our parents and teachers have a large impact on who we are and what we do. High school brings more freedom, post-high school and college bring even more, and then when we’re in “the real world” there’s almost complete autonomy.

So, if I find that I’ve developed a gut/belly then I’m the only one to blame. Likewise, if I’ve got six-pack abs then I’m the one primarily responsible. But this is not limited to physical things.  It can be intellectual: have I educated myself? It can be spiritual: do I feel at one with God/The Creator/The Cosmos/Myself? (take your pick) It can be experience-based: have I done the things I’ve dreamed of, am I actively working towards them? It can be relationships: am I good to the ones I love?

This independence is complimentary to the mutual benefits of family and close friends. They can provide inspiration that would be tough to find alone and I never want to discount their importance.

For me  having a wonderful wife has made life even more rewarding and enjoyable. Samantha is a great help to me in improving myself and learning more about life. Without someone to balance out life, it’s very easy to assume “my way is the right way”. When you have someone you’re sharing life with, whether it’s a spouse or close friends or whomever, it helps you keep a healthy balance of self-discovery and learning from others (rather than getting in a rut). Likewise having a supportive family and friends makes every day easier and more fulfilling.

Achievement

Back to opportunity, I am finding that the only thing that separates me from my goals is simply inaction or action in the form of bad habits. For most goals the deciding factor doesn’t seem to  be money, power, or ability, instead  it’s simply having the will to accomplish what we want (and to avoid things that are detrimental to our goals).

The goals that I am happiest about don’t have much to do with external factors, they are almost wholly a result of desire embodied in simple and consistent work. If something is important enough to us, we can most likely achieve it.

So if our story is a beautiful one, we have ourselves and our loved ones to thank for it.

Being a father

Samantha is due to have our baby on September 1st, 2010. Being a good father is at the top of my goals and it influences many of my other goals as well. It is an amazing motivator that helps me continue striving for: improved physical fitness (I want to be able to play sports or do activities with my child for many years to come), monetary security for my family (for their health and education), good relationships with family (so my  child will know and love their family as much as they can), and many more related  goals

Thank you!

Thank you to all the people in my life who have helped me get to this point, I look forward to many more years together and many more goals dreamed and achieved together :-).

2 comments

  • J.D.

    Thanks to my cousin for this insightful comment:
    An excellent introspective message, JD. It brings to mind something else along the same line, something my mother always said…..’before you’re 40 you have the face God gave you….after you’re 40 you have the face you deserve’. Since I have passed the 40th, 50th & even 60th milestone, I have come to agree with her. I hope your year is wonderful.

  • J.D., It’s hard to believe that you’re already 30 and a father-to-be. I remember how much I enjoyed your blogs about your college days, and your adventures/good times with the Drury gang. Hope things are going well for you and Samantha. As you may know from my emails, I’ve been wrapped up in political activism. Unfortunately, I think too many people are too passive for the work of a few of us to do much good, and, admittedly, I don’t do as much as could be done. I hope to see some new and exciting photo’s on your’s and Samantha’s blogs, and that all your goals are coming to fruition.

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