This year's birthday thesis is that life still seems to be getting better.
I make an effort to take a look forward and back on my birthday and evaluate how I am doing in life. It helps me justify breathing air, eating food and taking up space and resources on our little planet. by "how I'm doing," I mean the amount of suffering I'm reducing.
Personally, I'm not suffering very much. Most parts of my life (emotionally, relationally, financially, intellectually) are advancing, and measuring progress against yourself is the best thing for me. My business is is doing well and I am doing well at my business. At work I am doing what I need to and occasionally making mistakes, but I work hard to correct those mistakes and ensure that the same mistakes aren't made again. I feel like I have a plan that I am working towards, and that plan is yielding the results I want it to reveal. That, in itself, makes for a very satisfying life. I am feeling less want in my life and I know most of my needs are already taken care of.
The others in my life are suffering less for my actions, too. I am watching the end result of my influences on my daughters and seeing
some positive results. Kate and I are communicating well, enjoying
each others company and helping each other be better people. Even those that I have conflict with (my ex-wife and my Dad, specifically) are being dealt with in a manner that will help them, too.
On a very high level, I am quite satisfied with my life's path and can only see things improving from here, even though maintaining my lot in life would not be that bad.
I've reconnected with McMonk this year; grown my adult relationship with Banana; finished the stress of having non-adult children with The Warden; deepened and developed friendships with interesting people (my neighbors, my buddy Ron, my in-laws); traveled to Cuba and South Africa (big wanna-sees on my list); chunked down mortgages and made big strides towards making work more and more optional.
There are still challenges and goals for next year (and next decade), but seeing the fruits of some of my plans starting to ripen is pleasing.