On most birthdays, I am reflective. I look back on the past year and find fault in nearly everything I have done and promise not to make the same mistakes.
Not this year.
I turned 40 yesterday and it was undoubtedly the best birthday I have had as an adult. Instead of reflecting, I sat back and enjoyed my day at work, enjoyed my four daughters, and had found great peace in the time that I spent with Jen.
It couldn't have gone any better. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am truly happy. I have everything that I could possibly want at this time in my life.
Despite major budget concerns, I still have a great job. I have great kids that still drive me nuts, however, I wouldn't want it any other way. And, I have a meaningful, loving relationship with a woman who allows me to be me.
As great as all those things are, the most important aspect of my happiness falls directly on the fact that I am content and happy with myself as a person. There is no better feeling to have.
I recently ran into a friend who used to read my blog when I posted on a regular basis and he ended our conversation with a question. His question was simply, "Coach, why don't you blog anymore? You used to write all the time and I really enjoyed your shit."
Seems like an easy enough question to answer, however, I was stumped. It is isn't because I am too busy with work or being a single father. I probably have more free time than ever since I stepped down as my school's head football coach in December.
The answer came as I was driving home and it was answer that I hadn't expected. Simply put, I don't post as much now because I no longer need the affirmation that I received from the readers with their comments and emails after I finished a post.
When I started blogging, I was in a relationship with a woman that I loved dearly. However, the relationship was unfulfilling for us both as we never seemed able to find time for each other. There were other issues, however, it came down to the simple fact that neither of us were truly getting what we wanted or needed in a relationship.
Also during the start of my blogging experience, the constant losing in football made others and myself constantly questioning my ability as a coach and left me miserable more times than not. It was ugly for me in every sense of the word, as my feelings of self-worth centered around what we did on the football field and how people thought of me as a coach.
While myself and a lot of the other people ridiculed me on a daily basis on my team's performances, people who read my blog had no problem complimenting my writing and complimenting me as a father, and with it, I felt good about myself again.
I fed off the comments and would run to the computer at all times of the day, hoping someone left me a comment. It felt good to feel good again about something I was doing.
Two years later, I don't need any one else to make me feel good about myself. All I need to do is look at the relationships I have with my kids, my students, my co-workers, and with Jen, and that is all the affirmation I need now.
If there is anything that I would like to change from yesterday to my next birthday, it is this: I want to blog again on a consistent basis. This time around, I am going to blog because I enjoy writing and I enjoyed getting to know so many of you who I would still consider friends.
Hell... this time around, you don't even have to leave me a comment.