My daughter, Jacqueline, just celebrated her 30th birthday this past week. As I was wishing her Happy Birthday, it dawned on me that I had turned 60 this year myself and she was exactly half my age. As I pondered this concept a few more moments (while she mentioned, “yes dad, that’s how math works), I then realized that this meant she was born when I was her age. Now that was a sobering thought.
The first half of my life was kid-less (I was a kid). I was untethered, had just finished school, was newly married, had three different jobs in the first five years of my career and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to accomplish with my life. The second half of my life, my career in investment banking and philanthropy was heavily punctuated with school plays at Woodward Academy, ice skating tournaments around the Southeast every other weekend and, eventually, two to four volleyball tournaments each and every week for over a decade (for those who do not know me well, I have four daughters, three of which played volleyball from middle school on and one continued through college). Now I am beginning the third half of my life…whoa. At this point, I know Jacqueline would say, “dad, that is not how math works.” Now that is a significantly more sobering thought.
I could write about what this means for me, but instead, let’s focus on something important, what does this mean for my kids? My oldest is 30 and my youngest is 23 (the math for her is easy, she was born in 2000)! All of them have significant others (two are already married), they have finished undergraduate, and in some cases, graduate school, they have skills, maturity and have begun their careers. They stand where I stood 30 years ago with their whole lives in front of them.
My wish for them, shoot for the stars. Spread your wings, do what makes you happy, set goals and have fun along the way. The world is your oyster, you can achieve anything you set your mind out to accomplish. You are young, you have a vast array of tools at your disposal, you have a partner at your side, and you even have a reliable income. I think the world has a lot to learn from our children and I am specifically counting on my girls to help lead the way. Shana Tova.