Next week is Thanksgiving, and I think the older I get the more I am starting to understand gratitude.
When I started out doing improv in my 20s, I was so obsessed about becoming famous. So much so that it took all the fun out of it and affected my relationships. Fame was my higher power.
When friends of mine who I started out together in Chicago got success, I could not be happy for them. I took it personally, and went into a deep depression and was convinced I must be doing something wrong.
By the time I was in my 50s, my anger had turned into bitterness and jealousy, and I was ashamed to admit it, afraid what you would think of me.
It affected my marriage, too. Lauren would get annoyed about me about not being grateful for the things that were right in front of me, including our relationship. My life had never been better, and I could not see it.
Then Betsy was born, and after about six months, after we decided to keep her, things started to change. Before Betsy was born, other fathers would say to me: “Just wait. After she is born, she will change you.” I didn’t know what they meant. But they were right. It happened gradually.
I can’t even put the change into words, but the long and short of it is fatherhood did change me, for the better.
I am happier. Even Lauren noticed I can be easier to be around. She has said, “You don’t seem so obsessed with fame since Betsy was born.”
Thank God. I am not perfect. My desire to become famous still comes back occasionally, but today, I am far more grateful for what I have than I was in years past, and I am no closer to being famous. I would say that is progress.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.