“I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I think many, if not all, people go through a state of reflection each year when they realize they’re about to turn one year older. I’m now 34, which to me seems dirt old when I think about how far I’ve come in life.

There are things I immediately think about that bring me a great amount of joy.

I’m alive.

I have an amazing and resilient family.

I made the very tough, personal decision to come out to the world.

I am, for the most part, a healthy person who very rarely gets sick with anything more than the common cold.

…and then there are the things that can cause me to struggle through life. The things that I don’t necessarily have as much control over.

I have never met that one person who completes me. And by complete, I mean someone who can change the oil in my car, so I don’t have to pay $25 for some stranger to do it for me. It’s getting old very quickly.

I have never traveled to all 50 states like I’ve always dreamt of doing. Yes, even Indiana.

I’ve never had a child of my own. This one kills me.

I’ve never stuck to a single plan I’ve made, when it comes to goals like traveling more, exercising more or making time for a relationship.

…but each time I think about those things, I remember one important fact above all others.

I’m happy. And if I died tomorrow, I’d die knowing that the 34 years I’ve spent on this earth have been filled with experiences I wouldn’t trade for even one extra day.

Unless of course that extra day included an all you can eat buffett. Then I’d at least entertain the idea.

Seriously, I’m not a complete idiot.