A to Z Challenge 2013

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Thoughts - Not As Old As The Number Indicates

Just a couple days ago, we celebrated my oldest son's 17th birthday.  My wife had a harder time of it than I did, saying she felt really old.  Here I am almost 40, and yet I have difficulty feeling old.  I just don't see 40 as being old, in spite of the fact that so many people seem to see that particular milestone as a big deal.

One aspect of getting older I notice all the time is my inability to remember things from days long past.  For example, I tried to picture my son when he was a little guy, and I drew more blanks than an old Western action flick.  Thank you for pictures we've taken over the years.

I thought back to what our family was like when we first had the little tyke, and it amazes me that we survived.  When our first son was born, I was working as a rental sales agent at Avis Rent-a-car.  Since sales have never been my forte, I only made the basic wage - not the sales incentives we got from helping renters purchase the insurance.  Yeah, don't get me started on what a scam that is.

Anyway, I am stunned when I think about the fact that our little family survived on only $800 a month.  That's net, not gross.  Our rent was like $375, so that meant one whole check paid for it.  The other check then had to cover food, diapers, formula (since my picky child wouldn't take anything but the most expensive can available), gas, etc.  And that had to be spread over the entire month.   I'd love to tell you we survived it without incident, but the truth is, we screwed up our finances and credit more times than I can count.  Don't pay this bill so we can buy diapers.  Don't pay the phone bill so we can have groceries.  Somehow we managed not to get evicted every month, but don't ask me how.

Though there have been some challenges we've faced over 18 years of wedded bliss, I have to acknowledge that my family has seen more blessings than troubles.  And through it all, I've somehow managed to keep my attitude more positive than negative.  Which is where I'm going with all of this.  Bear with me, I'll get there.

I'm headed to 40 next April, and I still have to grin.  I've got a 17 year old son and an almost 12 year old son (and I couldn't be prouder of them both), a beautiful and wonderful wife (who is still the most selfless, caring person I know), and we're all still together.  I have the capability and opportunity to work towards my Masters degree, which is no small thing.  I even find time now and then to enjoy a good video game - a definitive indicator that I've yet to grow up in some ways LOL.

At this point, 40 is just a number.  Maybe when I hit 50 I'll feel old, but I hope not.   I kind of like staying a kid at heart.  That way I have an excuse for why I refuse to grow up and join the rest of you adults out there :)

As an FYI, I may or may not be posting over the next four days.  The fam and I are headed down to Santa Fe, NM for a small vacation.  I will still have my laptop since the pressures of homework never stop, but I don't know that I'll remember to put up any posts.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll see you all when I get back.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love your attitude, Eric. Being able to see past the difficulties (like living on $800/mth) to the blessings is a huge key to being a happy person. Your family is lucky to have you! :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I struggled with forty but got over it. The right attitude helps. So does the wife telling you to go buy that sports car you've always wanted.
Congratulations on your family. So few stick together these days.
And enjoy your road trip.

Michelle H. said...

Age is just a number, and shouldn't be dwelled upon. A happy belated birthday to your son, and have a wonderful trip in Santa Fe!

Indigo said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your son!

As for age I agree with Michelle, it's a state of mind.

I think our earlier struggles help us appreciate our ages. I know looking in the mirror I catch a glimpse of a wrinkle and think to myself I earned that mark.

Then again I've never really looked my age. Let's just say I'm halfway to 50 now and have a married 22 year old. Funny thing is I'm the woman wearing destroyed jeans and t-shirts with converse. State of mind. (Hugs)Indigo

DEZMOND said...

Teachers in my country earn around 5,000$ a year, so $800 a month doesn't sound that bad :)))
Have a lovely time in Santa Fe!