Well friends, this weekend I celebrated my 60th birthday, and it was a time of reflection, celebration and renewal. I have been thinking through the major milestones in my life over the past six decades, and if you will indulge me, I have listed them here:
Six Decades of Luck
Decade 1: Formative Years – These were the beginning years for me, influenced by family, a bit of identity attached to swimming, and a strong connection to the Western Hills neighborhood community in Flint, Michigan.
Decade 2: Soccer Years – These years were my teens, and identity attached to my high school and college soccer communities.
Decade 3: Early Career Years – These were my twenties and foray into work and building a professional community, with a late decade, life-altering move to Taiwan.
Decade 4: Family Years – This decade was an inflection point in my life, characterized by my dream marriage, two fantastic kids, a whole new multi-cultured family community, with a move to an evolving China to test my leadership skills.
Decade 5: China Years – This was my forties decade, focused on raising kids, settling into Beijing as a home, with much travel, and enjoying a tight-knit Ogilvy global community, Real Ancient old man’s football group, and many friends from all over the world who were living and working in China.
Decade 6: Repatriation Years – These were my fifties, that I just left behind, focused on winding down a 30+ career from a base in the Greater China Region, and a move back to the USA (Los Angeles specifically) to be closer to family, and to begin a whole new phase of my life.
I have had a storied career and life, influenced by several people along the way, many of whom are part of this Monday Morning Mojo community. I am most grateful and appreciative to all of you.
I have written a lot about the importance of community belonging and its link to happiness and I consider myself a very happy and fulfilled person. So, thank you!
Celebrate Your Wins
When I was working in Asia over the past 30 years, I tried to make it a point to celebrate the wins, whether they were new clients, new people joining, successful campaigns and more. Taking time to celebrate was important to creating a winning culture, and that is my message as I turn 60. For your own mental health and those around you, take time to celebrate, whatever you consider your “wins” to be. In fact, thanks to my wonderful wife and kid’s arrangements, we had a great weekend of celebrations with family and many friends in Los Angeles. Here are a few pictures of the weekend and thanks to Fritz Libby for flying down for a few hours in the afternoon to spend time with you (very grateful), and Erin and Ned and Lisa for also making the journey.
Lisa stretched her creative abilities and produced this T-shirt for those who attended that I am now worried where they will show up :-).
Now, what is in store for this next decade? I have less of an idea. In the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” :-), so I am just winging it for the time being. I did visit a nutritionist with Lisa as part of my 60th birthday, so I hope to be healthier in this decade. It doesn’t help, however, that I used my “cheat day” on Day 1.
Celebrating Friends And Communities
In the spirit of celebration, Lisa, Jacquelin, Samuel and I participated in the most fantastic destination wedding last weekend of two very special people, Max Holdsworth, a friend from Beijing, and his new wife, Ana Carolina Silva Holdsworth. The wedding was held in in Guimaraes, Portugal, the birthplace of Portugal, and it was an iconic event. The entire Holdsworth family are very special people, and we had a wonderful experience, so great that Samuel and I missed our flight home. Beijing friends Mike and Miranda Allen, and their kids Luke and Katie also joined, and we experienced a wonderful comedy routine by the very talented Luke Allen. Here are a few pictures of this celebration.
This weekend I also missed a very special gathering in Syracuse, New York, where our Syracuse University 1992 Big East Championship Team was celebrated. I loved playing with these guys and many of the people in this photo have become lifelong friends.
Celebrating Inspiring Stories
For this Monday Morning Mojo I also want to offer a shout out and celebration to Spain’s 19 year-old Carlos Alcaraz, and the US 24 year-old Francis Tiafoe for their outstanding, inspiring performance in the US Open this past weekend. I want to live several more decades just to watch these guys play. If you don’t know about them, google their names. This is the next generation of tennis greats. Hugely inspirational.
Finally, my Aunt Ricia shared a very touching story of her grandson, Josh, and his Bar Mitzvah at the age of 30 in Israel. A Monday Morning Mojo congratulations to you Josh on this important celebration and thanks for being such a mensch.
A Time To Reflect
With all of the celebration, it is important to also take time to reflect. This weekend did have its element of sadness as the world mourned the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen lived a full and celebratory life, and her commitment to the throne, her overwhelming generosity and servant mindset was most inspiring.
I also learned last week of the passing of a good friend from Beijing, Geoffrey Enck, who was also an incredibly generous person and brought a different perspective to everything he touched. Rest in Peace Geoffrey, and I am celebrating knowing you.
It’s been a full two weeks for me, and I hope the same is true for you. Let’s make sure we celebrate those around us, the communities we belong to, and the events, people and lessons that serve as the momentum for our lives.
Closing out this Monday Morning Mojo with some multi-media input. Here is Kool & The Gang with “Celebration”, and a personal favorite of mine from Joni Mitchell singing “Both Sides Now” at the Newport Folk Festival earlier this year.
Have a great week ahead.