Today I sit here a father of 2 beaming daughters, one is 3 1/2 and the other is chomping at the bit of being 2, and still to this day I have to tell myself to quiet my mind and slow down. There are so many moments in becoming a parent that you will never see again. There are so many things that are new. There is so much learning and struggle. There is also an immense amount of joy and connection. I urge you to slow down and enjoy these days. The professional, career oriented you might have to take a little step back, but this is not to your demise. Life is not a job, life is not money. Life is about our relationships with people, its about the journey. Don’t let yourself get lost in the race, don’t let these precious moments slip away from you.
My wife and I have both switched jobs, left careers, moved away from lives we had worked hard to build. Our focus was family, our focus was our time together, and neither of us could be happier. Granted we find ourselves presented with new challenges, and new struggles. But I can tell you our girls are thriving, and this feels good way down deep. This makes it all worth it. I still get in a rush, I still have the anxious feelings, I still feel the heat. I still have to tell myself to pause and enjoy the moment, and when I do its like a rush of calm hits me. Its getting easier almost 4 years later. It was pooring down raining this morning, and I chose to stay in bed. A few minutes later my youngest came and snuggled in for the better part of a half an hour. I wouldn’t trade this for anything. This morning I will never forget, and its because I allowed my mind to be quiet, I left the phone plugged in to the wall. We listened to the rain and laughed. I feel like our heartbeats were in sync. Today is a raging success already. These days when they are young will expire. Soak them up.
Getting in touch with the reasons for your behavior opens doors that may otherwise seem locked. Do you know why you push so hard in some aspects of your life, and seem to let others go. I guess its in the name of progress. Thats what it was for us. But to what end? Are you ever going to have enough? In the end do you know what will be there? Or maybe a question “Who” will be there. You can’t take a suitcase. It seems that if we could peel back the layers of the bulls*** onion that is our public lives, and forget about the Joneses, it would be really easy to live the life we wanted, and foster the connections that matter.
A huge part of our lives now has been the stripping away of things that we don’t absolutely need. We downsized our 2 bedroom apt into a motorhome and drove it across country. We have purged our belongings 10 times over and still have too much stuff, its unbelievable. We have been paying off debts and spending our days outdoors with the animals on the farm. Truly working to get in touch with what we want to do is quite the challenge. But its been immensely freeing, and thats way better. The constant pull to just find a job, just be stable, just appease whatever fleeting thoughts of security you might have are ferocious. I would encourage you to look at the reasons you are choosing things. The people in your life are what matter. Foster relationships that build you up. Cut the chains of the others. Support and love those in your life that are on your side and in your corner. We all have experiences that seem to reframe our perspective. We had one recently and this further emblazoned the drive to choose each other. Make our time quality time. Pursue those things that burn inside of you.
Be intentional with your time. Do things and do them with soul. We all want to be valued, we all want to feel purpose and feel needed. Don’t let distractions dilute the quality of the time you spend with your kids or each other. We all battle the phone thing, we all battle the money thing, we all battle the health thing. Allow yourself to thrive in the things you choose. Be simple, Be in the room. Time is expiring, Quality wins every time. The moments you have may be all you have. Don’t be the one full of regret. Be in the room. Allow yourself to Be.