(No, there are not thirty candles on the cake, but a man can't be expected to plan everything right, can he?)
Tim McGraw said it well:
And here's my cute son, Grant, chowing down on an ice cream cone. Check out the ice-cream soul patch . . . What's he going to do in his next thirty years?
I'm coming up on the big 3-2 this summer, and unlike most of my previous 10 or so birthdays, some major changes will be taking place. Mainly, a real job and a new home. Career-wise, I've spent my first 32 years preparing to be able to now go and practice medicine in rural Wyoming. I've gotten so accustomed to being in school or training, to always preparing, to always looking beyond what I'm currently doing towards a more distant goal . . . how am I going to handle actually being there?
I remember after my mission and before I got married, my younger brother Jeff and I went on a couple of long summer roadtrips across the west, to Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Mt. Whitney, Death Valley. These were highly anticipated, loosely planned summer adventures that were to appease a pervasive sense of Wanderlust, the desire to explore and experience the greater world out there. They were wonderful, funny, memorable trip: camping secretly in the rain on someone's private property, scrounging up gas money from the change we dug out of the carseats, surviving major mechanical failure of our car in Death Valley, and seeing some of the most beautiful country in the world.
But even though I was where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to be doing, I was still driving 95 mph across desert interstates, restless to get to wherever I was going next, even if it was just a barren, windy campground in the middle of the Montana plains called Dead Mand's Basin. There was joy in the journey, but it seemed to be mostly in anticipation of the journey's end.
So, now I'm approaching the end of one journey and then starting a new one. Here's to finding peace and joy in the here and now.
Here's to the next thirty years!