I used to think I had life figured out.
Not in any larger, esoteric sense of the word - I'm just as lost on the big questions as the next self-aware thinking bag of flesh and meat. No, I thought I had the idea of living figured out. You figured out what you wanted, what you could get, what you aspired to and what you wished for - then you found a middle path where you were content with what you had and you'd still spend some effort to "build" more of that life you wanted.
It's a house of cards, though. So many variables. Who you trust in. Who trusts in you. Decisions you make that seem innocuous at the time end up defining the course of your life.
I've sort of found myself at the bottom again. I spent years trying to build... something. Now... I'm okay with just surviving, and doing the things I enjoy. The only thing I want to build now is a good life for my children - in the end, right now... I've got all I want. Sure, there may be moments where I want a stupid thing or two - mostly guitars and other nonsense knick knacks... but the big things I have covered. I have a home. I have transportation. I don't need flashy versions of those, nor do I want them.
I just want to build stability for my kids - and for them to always know they're loved and they have a home. That's it. I don't really care about me - I've... been there, done that. I don't want any more. The only thing I want is something I can't buy or get - more time and perfect health. There's a timer on me and I cannot stop it, and it gets worse as every year passes. I just... I just want to live to see them into young adulthood. That's my big secret goal inside my soul. I just want to live long enough to be there for them as they grow up, go to school, learn about life. I would be sad to leave them as young adults, but I would spend my time trying to make sure that they always carried a piece of me and my love for them with them as they grow. And maybe if someday they end up finding the love of their life, get married, and have kids... they can tell their children about their Grandpa Steve they never met. And get told they remind others of me. That's all I got to build. You can take your pyramid schemes, your 80 work works to break your back for someone richer than you, you can take it all... I just want my children to be happy and remain the amazing people that they are. I want to have a place in the far firmament of my family, so one day people can look back fondly on me. And remember my good qualities more than my misgivings. That's it. From here on out, I'm just trying to last longer than I think I can. It's been almost 20 years of living with this. My body is giving out and my soul is tired.