At the ripe old age of 47 I am sometimes surprised on how unsure of myself I can still be. Am I raising my girls right? Is my wife happy? Have I saved enough money for retirement? Where did I leave my glasses? And let’s not forget all those wonderful things that happen to your body when you begin reaching the crest of “the hill”. I often reflect back on the choices I’ve made in life, second-guessing whether they were really the best choice I could have made. But I sometimes wonder – could I have done better?
From a very young age I thought I wanted to be a stockbroker. Elbow-to-elbow in the pits of the NYSE or Chicago Merc. I took classes in high school to learn accounting and more about the markets in general. I began college thinking I would pursue a degree in Accounting, but quickly changed back to Finance when I felt my original dream return.
Then I graduated. It was 1990 and the job market was horrible, especially for those in the business/finance/marketing fields. I was too scared to take the risk of moving from the Midwest to Chicago or New York without a position waiting for me, so my dream of being a big-time trader slowly vanished. I still wonder “what if”.
But I can’t complain I guess. I eventually found the nerve to move to a bigger city (with a position waiting) and managed to become a partner in the company I was working for. Long hours had finally paid off, but at the expense of our family – there was none other than Nicole and I. We had tried for years to have a child, hiding our jealousy when we’d get announcements from friends and family that they were expecting.
We were finally in a position to get professional help and began working with a fertility specialist. It didn’t happen quickly, but after another 18 months or so we finally were greeted with the news that we had our first on the way. That’s when it hit me – I was about to be a father. The new level of responsibility was paralyzing at first. However I did manage to find a way to overcome the fears and think I’ve done a pretty good job so far of raising two bright, outgoing, friendly, polite and beautiful girls.
But “what if” we had conceived earlier? Would I have had the ability to provide for them as I can today? What would their childhood be like? What if there had been complications to the pregnancy? What if they had been premature and/or had developmental issues?
That’s why I’m proud to be able to do my part in raising awareness of the March of Dimes’ latest campaign. For over 75 years the March of Dimes has been helping families prevent birth defects and infant mortality associated with premature births, and now through their #imbornto initiative, you can help by purchasing through select retailers. These are not companies that you’ve never heard of, they are powerhouse brands that you are already visiting and using in your everyday life.
Without the help from the March of Dimes, many children would not receive the life-saving assistance they require. What if these children didn’t survive? How many mothers, fathers, doctors, firemen, astronauts, scientists and inventors would the world be missing if it were not for the work of the March of Dimes?
And now I realize that second-guessing myself is a fruitless endeavor. Life isn’t about how much money you make, how many things you buy, what school you went to or how large your house it. It is about what you can pass onto your children. Lessons, knowledge, social skills, opportunities – you can’t put a price on any of these. It is only now that I realize what I was born to do. Be a father.
Let’s help the March of Dimes continue helping our most defenseless citizens by learning more about their #imbornto initiative. Just think about all the “what ifs” you’ll prevent by giving those kids a fighting chance.