When I Grow Up . . .

As long as I can remember, I have had big plans for what I would do . . . when I grow up.

Some things were about my status. I would be President of the United States. I would be a Dallas Cowboy wide receiver. I would be a rock star. Those dreams went by the wayside when I realized that I actually had to invest time and energy to get them done. Oddly, given my lack of physical prowess and musical ability, the only one that was actually even possible was being President. I said “possible,” not “plausible.”

Other things did happen. I married Nancy. I had a family. I became a lawyer.

But as I celebrate yet another milestone birthday, I realize that the “grown-up goals” from the last decade were of a different weave. And, as I look back on the last ten years, I can see that many of the things that I thought would naturally happen as I became older and more mature simply have failed to materialize.

In the last few years, I have learned a lesson that I should have mastered in my teens.

The little bit of this world that I am actually in charge of is me.

I’ve spent way too much time trying to fix others. Too many hours have been eaten up in senseless worry over things I couldn’t control. Too few days have been invested in truly helping others by showing up and, more often than not, shutting up.

I wanna hold your hand

Josep Ma. Rosell via Compfight

As I move forward into a new era of my life, I hope and pray that I can finally be a grown up — mature and complete.

The secret is knowing that the pursuit of such a position in life in never fully realized. The secret is getting up each morning and loving people enough to show up.

So simple. So, how could I have missed it all these years?

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7 thoughts on “When I Grow Up . . .

  1. Dr. Cope,

    “The little bit in this world that I am actually in charge of is me.” What a truthful, profound statement (and reminder to us all)!

    Thank you for your honesty and ability to share yourself and your wisdom. I appreciate it so much.

    • Thanks, Cheri! I am blessed to be surrounded by good friends who share wisdom and example. Blessings on you in this New Year!

  2. So well said, Joey. We never cease in our learning. I guess one of the things I thought would happen is that I would reach a time in my life where I would have just about all of the answers. In fact, I think I know less with each year that passes. Keeping it simple as stated in your column is the answer. Good job!

    • Ken, not having to know all the answers is certainly liberating, isn’t it? I’m finding new joy in admitting how little I know. And, knowing less about many things makes it easier to know with more assurance those few things that are truly important. Good to hear from you! Blessings on you and your family!

  3. As you join us over this hill you will quickly realize that God, family and friends are what matters. The other things are just there to either help fulfill our dreams and desires. I think you have done a great job of helping others see what is important. Here’s to another decade!