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Pressure of the Unwritten List

I’m feeling the pressure of the unwritten list: the list that you use to compare yourself in reality with the you that you think you should be…

The pressure has been weighing heavy as another birthday came and went last week. I’m 33 now and starting to feel the mileage. As I turned a year older, I found myself consulting the list to check my progress. Here are the highs and lows…
1. Have an awesome beard or stubble. This is an epic fail. At 33 my beard is patchy at best. My wife thinks that if I let it grow long enough, it will fill itself in, but I just can’t do it.
2. Have kids. Check twice. And they are awesome, so check it again.
3. Have a cool scar. I don’t have any cool scars. 
4. Be in the best shape of my life. It’s a little harder to get in shape at 33 than it was at 23. When I was 23, I’d get up “early” to go for a run…at 8am. If I want to go for an early run now, I have to go the night before. Getting up earlier than my two-year-old is physically impossible.
5. Be in a happy marriage. Check.
Comparison is a dangerous game, so I try not to compare my life to anyone else’s. I’ve heard the best way to measure your progress is to compare yourself now to yourself in the past. Even so, I’m trying not to give myself too hard a time. Except about the beard – I really should have tried harder on that one. As for 33, I’ve got a lot to do in a year; my list really ramps up at 34. 
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