42

Today is my 42nd Birthday. Which means my age is now the same as the answer to:

“The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” 

For all you Douglas Adams fans, you recognize this from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. In the book, “42” is given to scientists by the super computer “Deep Thought” as the answer to the “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”  Unsatisfied with just knowing the answer, the scientists endeavor to build an even more powerful computer to provide what the ultimate question is.

This is a fun work of fiction. In reality, the number, “42” probably doesn’t have any extraordinary significance. But this is a special day for me all the same. It’s a good day to pause for a moment and reflect a little on the past 42 years. We are all just trying to find our way in this journey called life and each of us has a unique experience, complete with our own set of challenges to overcome. I don’t think I have a particularly difficult life, but on the other hand, dealing with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD) on top of all the more normal struggles in life hasn’t exactly been easy either. I’m proud of how I’ve handled it.

I’m also very, very grateful for the love and support I get from all of you, my friends, my family…I couldn’t do this without you!

A message I’d like to leave with you today is this…don’t be afraid of a little discomfort. Life can be too comfortable. You have to push yourself a bit.

Consider these recent examples:

  • I reluctantly agreed to install a backsplash in our kitchen. My wife had asked for one for years. And I avoided it because I really had no interest in doing it. I finally buckled down and did it last week. Despite a struggle, (remember, sometimes I have trouble moving) I got it done and it looks fantastic. I now enjoy seeing it everyday.
  • The other day, I was feeling a little down and unmotivated. Then I did a little volunteer work*. I got my kids involved too. Then, suddenly I felt like I was doing ok in life. And absolutely crushing parenthood.
  • I realized that I hadn’t been biking in over a month but it was 25 degrees outside. I went biking anyway**. Two hours and 15 snowy, icy miles later, I return feeling like I can probably do just about anything.

In life, sometimes things are just going to be tough. But don’t run from the discomfort. Embrace it!

Then you’re off and flying again.

*Brighten a day – https://www.brighten-a-day.org/

**Don’t try this unless you have the right gear and comfort level on a bike. Always tell someone where you are going at a minimum. I activate “location tracking” on my phone through google maps so my family can see where I’m at real-time.

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