So far I have lived 22538 days (give or take a few);
had around 2,531 million heart beats,
and taken 288 million breaths.
Slept for 169000 hours.
Dreamed 14000 dreams.
I have spent at least 15000 hours reading all sorts of things;
over 20000 hours at school or studying at university;
and 10000 hours on a computer keyboard.
I have driven 1,500,000 km.
Owned maybe 15 different vehicles,
and driven to work about 10000 times.
Enjoyed maybe 3200 weekends,
and experienced a handful that were miserable.
Mowed the lawn about 1200 times.
My working life?
I have delivered newspapers by bicycle;
Worked night shift on newspaper production
(while my friends partied);
Grease Trap cleaner
(learned that some jobs are very humbling);
Drive-in Bottle shop attendant
(learned to read people and stay out of trouble);
Commissioned Officer in Army Reserve
(learned that to lead is to serve, and that I was not a natural fit for the army);
Secondary school science teacher;
I stood and sat for 17500 hours in front of classes;
and influenced 2600 students for good or ill
(learned that interest and curiosity don't always accompany discipline and application);
(re-discovered that to lead is to serve,
and learned that trying to keep everyone happy satisfies nobody).
(free . . . just to be)
(possibly the most satisfying thing I have ever done . . . but maybe that is overreach)
(Travel writer in my own mind . . . our next trip begins tomorrow!! Stay tuned for a few travel blogs)
And more recently . . .
Volunteer at a local palliative care hospice
(Also a very satisfying place to be; where people are real; where falseness and pretension evaporate)
Milestones along the way:
I have seen the sun rise maybe 500 times,
and the moon rise 180 times.
I've made embarassing social gaffes, about 100 times;
Submitted more than 20 unsuccessful job applications;
Lived in 12 different dwellings;
Had about 10 different hobbies.
Have 6 grandchildren (so far);
Had maybe 5 close friends;
Survived 4 traffic accidents;
Fallen in love 3 times;
Held new born daughters in my arms twice;
Acted irresponsibly and selfishly in leaving a marriage . . . once.
Did things I now regret, . . . many times.
Spoke before thinking, . . . many times.
Drank too many bottles of wine . . . many times.
I find myself married for the past two decades to a person who overlooks my blemishes, loves me,
and has faith and trust in me;
a person I love and would give my life for.
After all that –
Finally . . .
I've learned there is nothing stronger than love,
and that love has many forms;
that forgiveness is the breath of life,
and that I matter no less (and no more) than anybody else.
This with times of inner peace that I cannot predict, control or explain.
To have found my place in the order of things. . . . So wonderful.