Friday, February 17, 2012

On Beginning my Eighth Decade

As the seventieth anniversary of my birth draws to a close and I bask in the warmth of the day (even though it snowed most of it), I wonder at the choices I've made over my life that got me to this place, with Carol sleeping beside me for the last thirty plus years, with the great kids we raised together, with the five fantastic grandkids, and with all the wonderful friends that have made my life a gem.  In any of the many places where the road of my life forked, had I taken the other path, where would I be now?

I'm sure we all can look back and see the momentous ones, the obvious life-changers, and speculate on a future in that other direction.  But there are, in all our lives, the tiny decisions, as easy to make as taking the next breath, and as seemingly inconsequential, that have a profound effect on our future.  Like the time we decided to come home instead of staying out after an early dinner on May 13, 1988, to find the house on fire.  Our arrival saved the lives of several pets and kept our home from being totally destroyed.  

It may not be productive to speculate, to ask "What if?" but it does make ones mind wander - at least in my case.  For example:  When I left the Air Force, I was offered a job as manager of a hunting lodge near Indian Lake in the Adirondacks.  I opted for a postiton with Computer Sciences Corporation instead.  What would the past half century have been like had I taken that other road?

As my eighth decade begins I thank whatever, whoever, helped me choose the paths at those zillion decision points, because I'm a happy old man.  I couldn't have asked for more than that.

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