I love it when bloggers I admire start feeling more like a friend than like a “reader”. It is with great pleasure that I share with you Jim Chaney. His writing style is both witty and charming as well as honest and heartfelt. I am also inspired by his list of 30 Before 30
, making me consider devising my own list of 40 before 40 (apparently I am ten years his senior, ouch!) I hope you enjoy Jim as much as I do, and wander over to his neck of the woods too.
A little bit about Jim
With a love of writing and an even greater love of family, Jim brings his readers along for the ride as he shares stories of his life as a husband and father. His humorous and engaging writing style is on display as he recounts tales of his kids (Iz and the Jakester), his love of sports, and many short stories and creative writing exercises as well. The cornerstone of his blog, the “30 Before 30”, is a list of 30 things he hopes to do before turning 30 later this year. He updates his readers regularly on his progress with pictures and funny stories of his exploits that are always good for a laugh. But at the heart of Jim’s page is his passion for his family and about telling a great story. The array of subject matters that you’ll find there will be sure to entertain you, no matter what you’re looking for. So after reading his piece below about what his life will look like 10 years from now, hop on over to 30 Before 30
and enjoy the ride!
A Glimpse into the Future
So it took some rather embarrassing groveling on my part, but I finally got Emily to accept my guest blogging request. I promised her that she would not be disappointed and then I quickly uncrossed my fingers and got to brainstorming. After many painstaking seconds, the storm in my brain knocked out the power and I was forced to procrastinate by playing Angry Birds for several hours. That’s when I realized two things: 1) Angry Birds is more addictive than crack, and 2) I was blowing my opportunity to be featured on this great blog.
Having arrived at this realization, I first congratulated myself for doing so (since I was so doped up on the Birds, it’s amazing I was able to develop a thought at all), and then reached out to Emily for any ideas on what to write about. She responded with several prompts that she found interesting and even offered to let me pitch an idea of my own. This felt like a trap; like there was a good chance I would offer up something idiotic and have the key to her place taken away. That’s when I noticed one final suggestion from her that struck a chord in me.
“Where will you be in 10 years?”
It appealed to me right away because I had recently contemplated a blog post about what I would tell my 19 year old self if I could go back 10 years and talk to him. The answer is, I would tell him not to be such a tool and stop acting like his whole world hinges on whether a girl will go out with him…but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Where will I be in 10 years? The short answer is I’ll be happy, I hope. You see what I’ve learned about myself over these last ten years is that not much else matters. A high-paying job? Sure, that would be great. A big house with a lot of land? Even better. But the most important thing to me is being happy with my life.
Five years ago, I married my best friend. I’ve been happy every day since. Now I’m not going to naively sit here and tell you that there haven’t been bad days or sour moods along the way. But being married to a wonderful woman has made every day that much better than if I didn’t have her.
Two years ago we had our first child, Isabella. You can call her Izzy or Iz…we do. The priorities of my life changed that day. No longer was I concerned with doing everything I could to make my life better. No, now I just wanted to do everything I could to make my child’s life better. Since then, my wife and I have welcomed our second child into the world, Jacob (Jake, the Jakester, etc.). With an incredible partner to help me navigate parenthood, and two incredible children that will no doubt test every fiber in my being as time goes on, I am happier today than any day before.
So where will I be in ten years? I will be 10 years happier than I am right now.
It’s hard to picture life that far in the future. Back when I was a teenager it was easier because I had dreams and visions and a blank canvas on which to paint a path towards them. I could dream of being married and having a family because I didn’t have either. Today I have both and so I dream of providing everything I can for them and watching as they grow with me. In 10 years, Izzy will be 12 and Jake will be going on 11. What’s that, middle school? Yikes. There’s also a very good chance that our family “two pair” will have grown into a “full house” as my wife and I would like to add one more munchkin to the mix.
As far as the rest of my life goes, I’d prefer to let it unfold as I go. Maybe I’ll still be working for the same company or maybe I will have moved on. Maybe I’ll still be writing my blog or maybe I’ll be writing my 5th novel. There’s no doubt that unexpected events or experiences will come about that will steer me in one direction or another, but it’s the not knowing that makes things so interesting.
What I do know, is that I want writing to be a part of my life going forward. Since starting my blog at the end of 2010, I’ve re-ignited a passion for the craft that I had forgotten I had and it’s been rejuvenating. I’ve been introduced to this world of wordsmiths that we call the blogosphere and I’ve been able to notch a little corner of it for myself. Now I’m able to combine two things that I love, my family and writing, which has only added to the feeling that I am blessed with the life I have.
So as I look to the future, it’s hard to imagine being any more blessed than I am right now. But that is my new dream; my new vision for myself as I sit here, about to turn 30, thinking about what my life will be like when I am about to turn 40.