Monday, October 29, 2007

Bittersweet Aspects of Getting Older

Turning older is bittersweet. You lose the insecurities and foolishness of youth. However, all your friends and family are getting older.

This includes my parents who unfortunately I don't see very often. Three weeks of vacation and a five hundred mile distance will do that. We talk a lot on the phone, but we only see each other a couple of times a year.

When I do spend time with my parents, it's a big deal. I don't take it for granted and I try to make the best out of the time that we do have.

This can be painful though, because I often feel guilty for leaving Michigan in the first place. I'm homesick for my family and friends. I don't like missing the parties, the meals, and what not.

It doesn't help that time is catching up with my parents, which is a bitter reminder. Although they are both not quite 60, I can see that my mom has a harder time walking and my dad's hair is graying. Both have wrinkles which seem to increase between the visits.

It hurts.

I don't usually analyze why I left too much. I guess I had to grow up a little bit and I did have to figure out what I wanted out of life. The distance definitely helped me sort things out.

Overall that is a good thing. The first couple of years living away had no drawbacks, but now it is different. I am bit more into the family stuff than I was when I was in my early 20s. I definitely feel like I lost countless opportunities to bond with my friends and family. That's the hard reality.

I could never ask my wife to move to Michigan. I love her too much to force her to be away from her family and friends for the majority of the year. I would feel like the biggest asshole. For all practical purposes I'm stuck in this area forever. To be honest I would miss her family members too (Well, most of them. Smile.).

Anyways, the purpose of writing this was not to drag people down. I just think it is important to remember that life is short. There is not that much time to spend time with the people we care about.

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Blogger Tom G said...

I understand where you are coming from. While I've very happy in Chicago, it's hard not to notice my family growing old. And what I used to emjoy missing I sorta wish I could attend now.

You never know - you might move back sometime. I've thought about doing it years from now but it's a hard thought given what a craphole the Detroit area has become.

10/30/2007 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mike K said...

Detroit will bounce back some day. The infrastructure and resources are there: proximity to Canada, Large International Airport, strong highway system, cultural environment (theaters, sport teams, opera house, concert venues, etc...), and a business friendly environment (Better than when "you know who" was Mayor.), etc...

The problem really is all the abandoned buildings. Either fix them or tear them down. Build Detroit as a model city with plenty of park land and more police protection.

I think it would be a good idea to build a club/bar/restaurant/store district to attract the 20 somethings. This would have to be a large area (2 square miles) where it would be safe to walk anytime at night. The model should be based off of Philadelphia's South Street, New Orleans' French Quarter, or New York's East Village/Saint Marks Place.

10/31/2007 08:33:00 AM  

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