Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy birthday to me

As I've been saying all day, I'm way too young to be 40. Although, as my wife has said, maturity has nothing to do with chronological age.

Let's recap, shall we?

20 years old, August 1994: entering my junior year of college, starting to rethink whether or not I should be a music major. Taking a lot of music ed classes in the fall to make up for entering the program a bit late. Still was pretty sure that, if I was going to teach, I'd be an amazing teacher. Disenchanted with baseball because of the strike.

25 years old, August 1999: just finished my master's degree in Michigan, just finishing up getting a job teaching in the Detroit Public Schools. Still pretty sure that I was going to change education as we knew it. Received an excited call from my mother in the middle of David Cone's perfect game to get to a television set. Rooming with AB, introduced him to the mother of his children and our good friend S.

30 years old, August 2004: just married, house hunting, about three weeks away from being told I wouldn't come back for a fourth year from Columbia High School because politics. Starting to become violently disenchanted with education as a profession; I was always a great teacher, but a crappy professional. I was never mature enough to handle the professional indignities and subjective supervisor behavior.

35 years old, August 2009: one year into cancer treatments, Little Bear was born, finishing the last three months of my education career (excepting the dead cat bounce of teaching in Pittsburgh, which confirmed my desire to leave education) with an amazing successful concert under incredibly adverse and stressful conditions. Four months from moving to Pittsburgh and desperation-Hail Mary selling my house in New Jersey.

There's more gray in the beard, which is kind of distinguished-looking, I guess. It hurts more to get out of bed in the morning, and it takes longer to recover from workouts and long plane rides and stuff like that. Yet, my relationship with my wife has never been stronger, and I'm confident enough in my professional career and my personal life. I'm in good enough shape to play and run with the kids, and - knock on wood - even my asthma seems to be getting better right now.

Guess I'm more mature than I thought, darn it. Haven't turned into my father yet, fortunately. (Sorry, Dad.)

Could be a lot worse, right?


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