Yesterday I turned 39. I've rarely had an issue with age or growing older. Most years, I truly feel like it was better and more fulfilling than the last. 24 was a little rough. I was out of college but still didn't know what direction I was going. I had youthful dreams that needed to die but they didn't go down without one heck of a fight. The first couple of times one truly faces reality is rough (and often heartbreaking). I'm not melancholy about 39, but the closing of a decade is certainly a time to re-prioritize. I've never been the kind of person who is okay with just surviving. If I find myself in that situation, were I am merely treading water and not actively becoming a better person, a more loving wife, a stronger parent, a greater influence for good, I start to feel trapped and caged and impotent.
Over these past couple of years, what it means to have a fulfilling life has changed and grown and developed. For so long, it was just generically "happiness" but I'm realizing that happiness is really just the bi-product of a truly fulfilling life. Happiness isn't about circumstances, it is a constant choice, a lovely result, but not the core. I've come to realize that a clean house makes me happy. That said, it is the hard work and the diligence to become master over consumerism that really makes me happy; the external ramification being a clean house.