Guess How Old I am Today?

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Today is a milestone birthday for me.  

I won't say which one, but let's just say that some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the Boston Red Sox winning the 1975 American League pennant.


Now, I'm blessed to say that physically I don't feel all that much different than I did 20 years ago.


I was in okay shape then and remain so today.  


My recreational passions remain mostly the same too - I still love to eat, to play golf, to watch baseball, football, and basketball, to read history and biographies, to listen to 70's and 80's rock.


And no matter all the years I have lived on the West Coast, I still consider “home” to be Worcester, Massachusetts!  


Most of the changes I feel are mental and spiritual.


In some ways, getting older has made me feel more like a kid again.

When I was younger I sought the "big answers" more, as to professional accomplishments, to relationships, to sense of self.


Now I find myself more focused on enjoying “the process” versus deferring the fun until after the hard work is done.


I try to remember more to avoid false choices.

As a dad, I tell my sons it is not a choice between doing well academically and doing well athletically.


They can do both and enjoy and learn from the challenges, the competition, along with the victories, as they go.


As a citizen, I can be informed and engaged in the issues of the day, and have a private sphere of family, work, and fun.


As an executive, I can think big and "block and tackle" upon the mundane tasks and responsibilities - meetings, travel, phone, text, email - which make up the workflow of a modern professional.

And today I have feelings mostly of peace and gratitude.

Peace with and pride for my life accomplishments so far, and gratitude for the multitude of blessings - health, family, friends, business - and for the peaceful society and era in which I have lived.


I say mostly because there is so much unfinished business!


It is the old Catholic boy in me to always keep going as one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite football players remains - "Wins and losses come and go, but effort is eternal."


My “old man” caveat to this is that to great effort must be directed by strategic choices - as only with both can we create lasting and beautiful things.

So tonight, after enjoying time with family and friends, in the quiet moments of reflection I will most probably think about how to get more done.

Part of this will involve just “keep on keeping on” with those things that have worked well for me over the years.


And part of it will involve minor, but important changes.

Professionally, better time management and focus on the most strategically important projects and relationships.

And less mindspace for the “noise” of modern business - the cycles of “cell phone life” that seem to have just gotten worse in recent years.

And personally, more listening.

Not in just the “I feel your pain” kind of way, but listening for those best selves inside everyone I meet.

Those parts of us, no matter how old we are, that dream the dreams of children.

Of being and doing great, wonderful things.


For the rewards of this world that come from them.


But more so because it is life affirming, and fun, like nothing else!  


I guess when you get as old as me you realize it matters less whether you win or lose but how you play the game. :)


 

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