It’s halftime of this life…I hope.

by Captain Bradley

As a red-blooded, middle-age guy, I can interpret anything in life as a sports metaphor. Usually, baseball fits best, with curve balls, homers, foul balls, strikes, outs, wins, losses, fellow players, coaches, owners, egos, old and new fields of play…the epidimy of the human condition. However, there’s no halftime in baseball…just a 7th inning stretch.

I feel like my halftime, Lord willing, is here. No actuary, astrologer, or scientist required. Just a hunch. Mid to late 80’s is the guesstimate between my mom and Dad’s bloodlines. This weekend reaffirmed my guess a bit.

We watched our youngest girl graduate from high school yesterday. Her journey so far has been a loving, intelligent, funny, adventuresome, and even relaxed one. Just like her sister, she is brilliant and “dares to be different”, as I have challenged them over the years. Never settle. Never assume that you will be cared for by another. And just enjoy what you do have, instead of the proverbial “grass is always greener on the other side” lifestyle. Strong, independent, thoughtful, and open-minded young ladies are these two. Very, very positive role models too for other kids of divorce…not to mention killer prep for picking their mate someday and making a lifelong marriage work.

Funny thing is…my lifelong love of 17+ years, so far, and I have two very different, little guys who are just beginning their journeys. One is the pleaser and over-achiever (just finished a 300+ page math workbook in 4 days) and the other is a bit more relaxed about such things. Deja vu, all over again. Our second half will be another interesting and adventurous time for all of us. However, we are older parent-players now. Wiser? Maybe so. Experienced? Certainly. In need and living a much simpler life? Absolutely.

Simple living. Much less “stuff”. Fewer bills to pay. Many more simple pleasures. Simple. We camp in Cades Cove (Great Smokey Mtns National Park) as a family for the first time this week. Hiking. Cooking. Reading. Hammock lounging. Just being together.

Our halftime is about over, as we watch our oldest two kids take flight, with full academic scholarships to college in the bank. Who knows where they go from here…but I promise that each will make it interesting. Same for these little guys. Same for the best woman I’ve ever known, loved, and allowed to influence me more than any other, Ginny Lee.

Love. Get outside. Cook. Eat well. Imbibe. Laugh a lot. Cry a little. Just live. It’s just that not-so simple…Lord willing.