If you are interested in reading part one you should go read it now. Go on, I'll wait. Five years later and I am still running the race, except I ran so far and so hard that instead of being ahead I am somehow behind. Should I be frustrated that I am still working on some of the same projects. Should I give in to the frustration and throw my hands up in the air.
Or should I follow the advice that I give my children. Should I remember that sometimes you have to take big risks for the great rewards. Should I accept that sometimes heroes fail, friends let you down and your plans are for naught. Or maybe should I take the other perspective and remember that I am on a journey and that it hasn't ended. Should I look up from the computer with a huge smile because I know that hard work, practice and a good attitude will get me where I am going.
Because now when I look at my world I see things through a different lens than I did. I see children who aren't babies or toddlers anymore. They're school kids now. They read books, learn about life, people and he world around them. They spend hours outside of the house and are exposed to millions of different things and they don't always learn via the filters or prisms that I would like them to use.
They know about death and divorce and have witnessed our fallen soldiers come home. They ask questions of me, hard questions that I cannot answer. They pepper me with them one after the other and it is all I can do to try and keep up.
But they know much more. They know about the joy of life and how much fun it is to laugh and love. They know the sweetness of a puppy licking their face and the beauty of nature. They have seen good and know what it means.
I see these things and when my heart is heavy they lift my spirit. When I find myself dancing in the fire I see them smiling at me and I gain strength.
What I see five years later is a boy who became a man who is still a boy at heart. Five years later there are more stories, more scars and more joy. I suppose that you can say that some of this journey can be attributed to experiences that started 7.5 years ago.
Five years ago I was just beginning to see the possibilities. Five years ago fear and uncertainty held me back from taking a chance. And now five years later I still see the possibilities, but there are clouds and mist around them. So, I face decisions, hard decisions about the future.
But now, five years later I see that time and life experienced has hardened me. I celebrate the rough edges and sharp points because they are necessary. Part of a practical tool kit that will help ensure that when I step into the void I won't fall into a bottomless pit.
What I see five years later is a contradiction of joy and pain, both bitter and sweet. There are more tears to be shed, but not all will be painful. There will be much joy and celebration...one day. When that day is I cannot say, but five years later I see hints of the fruition of my labor.
And so now I sign off wondering what the next five years will provide me with.