“My body is my home.” ~ Lygia Clark
My house will be 50 years old in a few days. I’m not referring to the house made from wood, stucco and concrete that stands in Overland Park, Kansas; I’m referring to the house that stands deep in my heart and made from materials that are even stronger.
To be honest, the age of my house is a little overwhelming right now. I’ve been dreading my 50th birthday for the last several months. It’s the first time I’ve had the awareness to think, “Holy crap. I am getting old.”
Mary Beth and the kids have been under strict orders not to celebrate too much. And until recently, I wanted my birthday to come and go unannounced, like any ordinary Thursday.
But next Thursday won’t be ordinary. It will be a milestone day in my life. It will be a day I’m reminded of my mortality; it will be a day I’m reminded to count my blessings; and it will be a day I’m reminded that I’m still building my house. It’s not finished yet.
Choosing new tools
The hands of our parents laid the foundation to our houses. Our belief systems, sense of connectedness and feelings of worthiness were established early in life and lies somewhere among the rebar and gravel.
After the foundation was poured, many of us were handed the tools to finish the job. We weren’t given the choice to pick the tools we wanted. But now, we do have the choice to select the tools we think will help us accomplish any necessary repairs, renovations or new construction. One benefit of turning 50 is I’m finally finding the right tools for me.
When I see the condition of my house, I feel confident it’s becoming strong enough to withstand the storms it encounters. In this house, I still have children to raise, a wife to love, more words to write, and a career to finish. My house may have been built on a shaky foundation, but at least it’s keeping me warm, safe and dry today.
Sometimes the simple path to building your house begins with understanding that it’s never too late to tend to the areas that need a little repair – no matter what type of foundation it was built on.
Next Thursday won’t be an ordinary Thursday; at least not for me. It will be a day I get to wake up in my house and consider new ways to improve it, make it stronger and figure out how to add some additional windows so more beautiful light can shine in it. After all, there’s still plenty of time to finish the job.
I think I’ll let Mary Beth and the kids celebrate my birthday however they wish.
What is A Simple Path?
This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.