The Long Game
Who am I? What have I become? Are our personalities determined by nature or nurture?
I used to think that you had to live in the moment, you needed to be spontaneous, a free spirit. Well, things don’t always work out the way you want them to. I used to think only about myself and screw the rest of the world, but now that I have a family that isn’t an option. Especially with kids, you need to check your needs at the door and get ready to live a life of indentured servitude. They are your master. It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not, I would do anything for my little girl and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I’m just realizing how much she is changing me as a person, and as I move on with my life, I realize how much the old model doesn’t work for me anymore. That kids need to be stimulated and for that you need a plan and time cleared off on your schedule regularly. Any daddy stuff you thought you wanted to do like drink beers with your buddies, pales in comparison to teaching your daughter how to ride a bike, kind of a no brainer if you ask me.
The lesson here is how do I make these decisions without losing the person I am, but still help my daughter to be the best person she can be? It’s called compromise. I need to sit down and find out what is important, where do my priorities fall and for what reasons, then how do these goals dovetail with my families goals. Tricky but worth it.
There are so many things that I need to do and one of them is to start thinking of my families goals as a group. My wife and I sat down one day and just wrote down what we thought we wanted, didn’t matter how petty or stupid it sounded, it all went onto the big sheet of paper. As we wrote more, we could start to see how things connected. If we do this, we can do this. The picture started to come into focus. That is what I need to do, focus. Get rid of what is holding me back and move towards what is working for my family and I.
Sometimes we get to close to the bigger picture and we can’t see how all of the pieces come together. You need to step back and look at the overall mosaic and make hard calls. It is a long game scenario, if you think short term, you get short term wins. Why not take a few of those short term goals and turn them into big wins. Skip going out to dinner everyday and take your family out for a fancy-smancy dinner on the weekend instead. It’s small adjustments really, nothing that is going to kill you. My brother and I had a discussion about this on the weekend and it didn’t make much sense to me then, but now that I have some perspective, I realize you wear yourself out if you don’t slow down and enjoy the wait. Anticipation every once and a while is a good thing. Hold off and it becomes worth so much more.
So wish me luck, I have some hard decisions to make and lessons to learn, but hopefully for the right reasons and definitely way overdue.