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Friday, June 6, 2014

Life is full of choices

I realized walking the dog the other night that childhood really is the best time of your life. No responsibilities. People take care of you. They feed you, they clothe you, they make sure you’re happy and healthy. 
I started working at 15 years old and now, almost two decades later I'm ready to retire. Nobody sat me down and told me to slow down and that once I took my first job I'd be stuck working for the rest of my life. I learned all about responsibility but was way too young to understand anything about money management.  Then, I went to college where there are stands of people just giving away free stuff and all you had to do is quickly fill out a credit card application. Well, I'm now 32 and I just made the last payment on that debt about 6 months ago--that was an EXPENSIVE "free" t-shirt. 
These are the lessons we learn as we grow up and we're responsible for our own crap. If you're lucky, you've managed to retain two of the twenty or so best friends you made growing up but good luck getting in touch with anyone when you need them because grown-ups have little to no time on their hands.
I look at my 9 month old and don't see worry or stress or tired frustration and most days he wakes up with an ear to ear smile on his little chubby face. I want to make sure he goes through his whole life waking up like that. I realized quickly that try as I might, there would come a time when I wouldn't be able to control his happiness. This is probably the toughest part of being a parent.  
The toughest part of being a person is realizing that only you can choose to wake up in the morning and be happy. It's a personal choice to greet people with a smile rather than a grimace. Being angry and bitter and remorseful will get you nowhere but more angry and eventually physically sick. The Universe deals the cards but you're the card player. You're the one with the ace in the hole.  Your feeling about the game is relative to the mood you've put yourself in. In life you choose to either be the vulture or have vultures feed on you. Or, you can choose to fly away. As long as you realize the choice is still yours to make.  

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