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A year older and a year wiser

Today is my birthday, and as always, it’s a day of reflection. A day to look back on what I’ve learned about winning and losing, about giving and taking, about living beyond expectations.

 

Like every year, this one was different, because it gave me perspective. It allowed me to measure the dangers of the present against experiences from the past. And when you can do that—when you can look back at what you’ve already lived through, the challenges don’t look so scary. Your enemies don’t look so mighty. Your problems don’t seem so big.

 

I did things this year that I didn’t like. Made mistakes I’ve made before. But hopefully, while I was stumbling to the finish line, I learned some new lessons. But along the way I achieved some things. I wrote a new book. Was named one of Philly’s Power 100 by City and State PA. Won a broadcasting award for my on-air work. Preached a word that was mostly meant for me.

 

In doing all those things, I hope I impacted someone’s life, like so many people have impacted mine. From our work at ManUpPHL to the columns that appear in the Inquirer, all those things are wonderful, but the things that matter most are the people I love, the ones who love me, and the moments we spend together.

 

When I look at them through the rearview mirror of this year, I realize that the things I treasure most are closer than they appear. My wife on the couch watching a movie. My son in the car learning to drive. My daughter in the kitchen making me laugh. My parents, my aunt and my extended family keeping me grounded even now.

 

These are the things that make my birthday happy. These are the things that make this day a gift.
Photo: Rauls birthday cake By. Lokate366

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