Thursday, February 22, 2018

This is my 40

On the eve of my 40th birthday, I was reminded of one of my favorite movies. I had stepped outside into a beautiful snow fall to do a “cart run” at my part-time job at a local grocery store. The parking lot was mostly empty, and the night sky was magical with the large snowflakes falling.  I imagined one of my favorite scenes from the movie as the main character, George, runs through the Main Street of town happily yelling “Merry Christmas” to everyone and everything.

It’s at this point in the movie that George had just finished an amazing reflection on his life. He was a dad, a husband, and friend. But he had always envisioned bigger things for himself. He had anticipated a different life than what he was waking up to. His daily life stressors combined with the fantasy life he envisioned for himself led to unhappiness. George had narrowed his focus to only what he didn’t have from that dream life. He was at a breaking point when he found himself in the amazing life reflection where he saw all he was able to accomplish; all the lives he had positively impacted by being himself.

I thought about all of this as I pushed a line of shopping carts through the snow. My yellow reflective jacket with the grocery store name shining in the street lights. My hair collecting snowflakes. This moment was not at all what I expected. To be a part-time cashier to make extra money was never in my plan. But it’s also part of my story that I’m proud of. I’m working hard for my crew because that’s what we need. My kids get to see my wife and I hustle to provide and to give back.

And I know that I’m on the right path when my students want to tell me about the exciting things happening for them; when my coworkers at the grocery store wave with big smiles as I walk up for my shift; when my kids run up to give me a hug before I leave to work for the night; or when my wife puts out a survey for my family, friends, and coworkers to fill out for my birthday and over 50 people sign up to share amazing memories, thoughts, and love for this 40 year old.

No, this is never what I expected, and in some ways it’s harder than I wanted, but man, I’m proud of where I’m going and all I get to do each day. I can definitely say that it’s a wonderful life. #theteacherdadis40

Me w/ my Zuzu