Chris Doelle

What happened to this guy?

Yes.  I am officially 50 years old today.  How crazy is that?

I understand intellectually that I have indeed hit the half century mark, but somehow I still feel like I’m about 28.

So what is in an age?  What does getting older mean to me? The first thing that comes to mind is gratitude.

No, it is not about, “whew, I’m glad I was able to make it this far.”  Its more about gratitude as a way of life.  I think I become more grateful as time goes by.

I’m grateful for education.  That is at the key to everything I am – an ongoing drive to learn.  From that learning, all my growth has developed.

I have learned who I am as a man.  I have learned where I fit in the big picture.  I have learned how lucky I am to be playing whatever tiny role I have been given in the lives of others.  I am so grateful for my education – regardless of how long it took in some of my more stubborn areas.

I am grateful for the role my family played by instilling in me that desire to learn.  My father would occasionally point out that he only graduated 8th grade (although my mother says that was an exaggeration and indeed he attended high school.)  Regardless, he never went on to college or “higher learning.”  His higher learning was hands-on.

I watched my father devour books and learn by doing so many times that I absorbed that as a just the way it was done.

My mother too, told me from the time I was very young that “you can be anything you want to be.”  Her firm belief in me added to her constant reading also gave me a foundation that the only limits I had would be those I imposed myself.  The only thing I couldn’t learn would be the things I didn’t put forth the effort to learn.

I hope to have time to do more introspection this week on various topics, but wanted to make sure to make some official note that I do indeed realize I’m getting older… and digging it.

by Chris Doelle