Happy 41st birthday to me

There’s a million things I haven’t done… and probably never will. That’s okay.

I slept in today. My wife’s alarm went off at 5:40am, as it always does, and we dozed for another 30 minutes. Murphy hopped onto the bed at 6:10am and then I was awake. I didn’t do my regular core routine (which involves a 4 minute forearm plank — a daily feat that I’m quite proud of) because today is my birthday, and I decided to go on a bike ride instead.

I made coffee, as usual, and my girls wandered out of Norah’s room. They slept together last night because my wife and I were out late, and it would be easier on the babysitter if they slept in the same bed. We had a lovely dinner at Julia’s Restaurant in Berkeley and saw Weezer at the Greek Theater. I pumped my hands in the air and sang along to the soundtrack of my youth. I thought about playing roller hockey in the parking lot in front of Eric Rosales’s house, his Sony boombox blasting Weezer’s Blue Album, the open CD case somewhere on the steps by his front door.

I was happy then. I’m happy now. I’m grilling a ribeye at Pinecrest so thick I can cook it sideways. My Alvarez guitar, the upgrade I gave to the cabin two summers ago, is leaning on a stump. The sun is setting on the ridge across the lake. Murphy is lying down in front of me. And I’m writing this post on my laptop because of an upgrade we added this summer: a Starlink satellite dish.

I turned 41 today. I’m happy. I feel good because I have a family that loves me, neighborhood friends who I love to spend time with and work that I love to spend my time doing. I love entrepreneurship, and I love teaching, and I get paid to do both. I found a way to be successful at wearing all of my hats. Everything seems to fit.

I didn’t have this ten years ago. I was happily married, but there was no community, no roots. I was living in an apartment in San Francisco, trying to build Scripted, looking forward to a sense of stability and signs of success. Those were my goals back then. My friends were my coworkers, and those were real friendships, but we didn’t share a story beyond the company we were trying to build. In a real community, the story is shared at a fundamental level. When I see my neighbors at the bus stop, I’m proud. We’re doing this thing together. We have similar routines, similar challenges, and similar goals. It’s not about building a company or making money; it’s about finding fulfillment as we raise our kids together. That’s a big deal, and whether we acknowledge it or not, that story is huge.

I didn’t know this when we moved to the suburbs. It’s probably been the most delightful surprise of my adulthood. To go through this stage of life with really good people is such an incredible gift. I had no idea.

I became a husband at 27, a dad at 32, a homeowner at 33, and a teacher at 38. I think I was always an entrepreneur. Those five roles: husband, dad, homeowner, teacher, and entrepreneur are the five that most define my life at 41. I’m other things: a son, a nephew, a son-in-law, and a blogger, but those roles don’t define me or influence most of my days. The first five I mentioned are with me all the time.

It’s been a year since I last wrote a piece like this. My life hasn’t changed that much since I turned 40. I started a new company. I’m teaching some new classes. I learned some new guitar songs. But I’m still the same person doing the same things. And that is good.

Leave a Reply