The Zero Years

Leading up to my 50th birthday today I have been reflecting on the past five decades and what has transpired in my life. Not since I first added a zero (and a digit!) to my age at 10 have I spent so much time focused on my age. It’s just a number, right?

At 50, I am fit. I have beautiful, healthy kids; a wonderful and loving wife; a good home; a great job, family, and friends.

At 40, I was less fit and in the thick of it with two much younger (but still beautiful and healthy) kids, the same loving wife, a good home, and a job that was secure, somehow, in an economy that was not at all conducive to landing new professional prospects. I told people I was 28. Hex.

At 30, I was single (but not for long). I told my mother that I did not think of myself as a single 30 year old, but rather as 3 ten year olds.

At 20, I was still a kid, living the college life. Notably, I was legal in Massachusetts, having turned 18 before they raised the drinking age to 21, and so was grandfathered.

At 10, I got a new watch, an erector set (all metal!), and a trip to Washington, DC with the family. How could my life get any better?!

Five headlines do not sufficiently sum up 50 years on this planet for anyone. The zero years are easily identifiable landmarks though. It is interesting, if not obvious, to reflect on what was “important” in each of those years, and see how my priorities have changed. I guess that comes naturally with age.

What I do know for sure is how lucky I am to have made it this far, unscathed, and for who and what I have in my life. I wouldn’t change any of it. The next decades will surely be as exciting and unique as the previous five have been. The headlines will likely write themselves.

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