I’ve been enjoying this 31 days of writing so far. It’s forced me to quickly write on a variety of topics in a short period of time. It doesn’t allow for a lot of editing and drafting, so what you’re reading is pretty much a first draft. One other element that I like, is that within each topic, the ideas that I wrote about on the previous days immediately come to mind, and can be used for drawing on. ‘Life is short’ for sure, and some of the topics I’ve already written about this month (perspective, choices, health, God) and how we think about them, obviously dictate how we think about the amount of time we have.
The average lifespan for an American is currently about 79 years. Hopefully, by the time I’m up in those decades, it’ll climb higher. In September of 2017, I wrote a piece called #roadto40. It was a manifesto of sorts, declaring my dedication to living a more fulfilled life…one on my own terms…and one that when I arrived at the age of 40 (which I describe as the approximate half-way marker in life) that I’d feel very content. I want to look back and be proud of the choices I made. I don’t believe in living without regret, but I don’t want to look back thinking, ‘I wish I tried that’…especially if I had the opportunity to do so. Looking back and saying, ‘Ugh, I wish I had purchased my beach house by now,’ isn’t realistic, nor helpful. Saying, I wish I tried jiujitsu when I was thinking about it some, and then was introduced to the owner of a martial arts business…is quite another story. Life is short in the sense we only have the opportunity to do or try a certain amount of things. I’m a renaissance man or sorts, and have many interests. So it’s important for me discern what’s worth my time…what truly is a passion of mine, and what is more novelty, fleeting, and unworthy of dedication? I also want to look forward and think…’wow, I feel set up nicely for the next half of my life.’
Life is short when it comes to parenting. I heard it many times that, ‘it goes so fast’, and to take advantage of the early times with my daughter…as they would be gone too quickly. Because I heard it from so many people, it hasn’t at all been a surprise to me. It baffles me that some people don’t soak up the early time with their kids…if they’re aware and concerned with the inherent fleeting nature of that precious time. When a wide range of people say the same thing…I take stock in it. I apply it to my own thinking. I adjust my mindset. It’s a conscious shift. Now…if you’re unaware, unwilling, or incapable of making that change…that’s a different story.
One tendency within the phase that my child is aged in, is that she is beginning to detach more from me. When we drop off at school, she’s already requesting that she get out of the car herself and walk in with friends…instead of me parking the car and walking her in. It’s a natural shift. She started kindergarten 3 months ago, so she’s becoming more influenced by peers, and a little less influenced by me. I’m happy and proud of this, as it reveals the growth and tendency to become more self-reliant. We as parents have a short window of opportunity to influence within a given phase. Life is short. My ability to parent within that early phase, in that particular style…is dwindling. I now have to accept this new phase. I need to adjust my approach. If I hold on, and guard, and overprotect as I did in the earlier stages more so, I’ll do more harm than good. I’ll hinder her process of self-reliance, making the subsequent stages much more challenging.
Life is short.