“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
I was thinking last night about all the of Presidents I have lived through and where I was in my life at the time of each;
John F. Kennedy – January 20,1961 to November 22, 1963
Me: Two years old at the tragic end of his term.
Lyndon B. Johnson – November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969
Me: Eight years old at the end of his term. In Elementary School.
Richard M. Nixon – January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974
Me: Thirteen years old at the sudden end of his term. In Junior High School.
Gerald Ford – August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977
Me: Sixteen years old at the end of his term. In High School, and I just got my driver’s license.
Jimmy Carter – January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981
Me: Twenty years old at the end of his term. In College.
Ronald Reagan – January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989
Me: Twenty-eight years old at the end of his term. Married, working, mortgage, trying to find our way.
George H. W. Bush – January 20, 1989 to January 20, 1993
Me: Thirty-two years old at the end of his term. Married, working, mortgage, car payments, and a baby with another one on the way.
Bill Clinton – January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001
Me: Forty years old at the end of his term. Married, working, mortgage, car payments, another baby, swim lessons, dance lessons, basketball, birthday parties, car pools, busy.
George W. Bush – January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009
Me: Forty-eight years old at the end of his term. Married, working, mortgage, more car payments, children driving, and college tuition.
Barack Obama – January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017
Me: Fifty-six years old at the end of his term. Married, working, mortgage, even more car payments, more children driving, more college tuition and a wedding.
Donald Trump – January 20, 2017 to ?
If, and given recent events this possibly could be a big IF, Donald Trump completes his term I will be sixty years old. As I have gotten older my “wants and needs” have changed to “hopes and dreams”. Yes, I still need to pay the mortgage, make a car payment, some college tuition and I probably have another wedding on the horizon. But rather than the frantic pace I seemed to be living between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama I am ready to slow down and enjoy what remaining deep breaths I have left. What I am hoping for is stability, security, health, a grandchild or two or three, and time. Time to enjoy my family and myself. Time to see other things beyond my horizon. Time to learn, time to think and reflect.
I am in the twilight of my years. A twilight I would prefer to spend with a little more certainty than our current President is providing but I can’t control any of that. What I can control is my outlook, a future I view through the eyes of my children, one that gives me comfort and hope.
“If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.” – Khalil Gibran