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There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.-Christopher Morley
Great Adventures
By David
Posted March 15, 2010

I was having a discussion with my friend Rubes last week. We know each other since we were teenagers and have stayed in touch all these years. Rubes and his family wound up in Boca. I wound up across the country, in L.A.

"Yo, wazzup??" I have to smile at that expression. When I hear it, I know that I'm about to be instantly transported out of my corporate, suburban, fatherly existence into a much more carefree time of my life.

"Hey Rubes, everything's good. What are you up to, dude?" Even in our mid-forties, we're still dudes... At least in our own minds.

We catch up on our many friends who live in Boca. It's always a mixture of good and bad news, spanning people's financial, health, and family situations. Thankfully this time, I hear good news from Rubes.

"Doing great. Got rid of an annoying client. Picked up another. It's a big account," he says.

Ride Free, Dude.
Ride Free, Dude.

"That's doubly great! Adios to the pests, and hello to brand new, good business. Gotta love it."

"So what's with you? How's the family?"

"Everyone's good. The kids still like school this year, thank God. The wife's great, as usual."

"How's business?"

"Real good. Not breaking any records, but real good," I say. "If only things could stay like this for the next ten years, I'd be thrilled. Less stressful than almost ever and the money's still good.

"We finally made our decision about school for next year and camp for the summer, so that's a relief. I wouldn't say I'm totally thrilled with those decisions, but life's always full of trade-offs," I say.

"Sure is, dude," I can almost hear him smiling.

"Overall, though, I think I'm in a mid-life non-crisis."

"What do you mean?"

"Basically, everything's going well, family is all good, work's good, I'm in pretty good shape. No one in our immediate family is sick. Everything's going really well, knock on wood."

"So???"

"No adventures. That's what's missing. Remember how we used to have adventures when we were younger?"

Rubes starts laughing.

"Having adventures means doing ridiculous, dangerous stuff. Of course you're not doing dangerous stuff these days. You're a family man. You've got a wife and kids, so you stay out of trouble," he says.

Rubes knows me well, and he's right on. Instead of ill-conceived "adventures," which almost always included a brush with death, or at least potentially with the law, I'm now, indeed, a family man.

I've traded it all in for raising children, spending time at home, running a business, and being available for family. It may not be all that glamorous or adventurous, but it's a good life. I never tire from seeing my children running around laughing, or my beautiful wife smiling at me or laughing at a joke.

Growing up in New York City, I never quite pictured myself a suburban kind of guy, shuttling children to school, stopping at the supermarket on the way home from the gym, preparing dinners, and helping with homework. But that's what I've become.

It's really all good. But every so often I do miss the sense of wonder and adventure from my younger days.

The occasional roar of a motorcycle on my block confirms that other men in my neighborhood feel the same way I do. They may ride free on their rough-and-tough Harleys, but in their side bags are baby supplies and groceries. Good for them...

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