Life has been really painful lately. As a matter of fact I would say it’s probably been one of the hardest time of my life so far.
All because I made career choices that would affect my family’s financial situation in a negative way but seemed like the best thing for me and my family at the time.
Let’s just say – I took a HUGE risk and the risk (so far) hasn’t paid off.
And now I am feeling an overwhelming amount of pressure to correct the situation which has caused me pretty severe anxiety and you know, I’ll be a man and tell the truth, I’ve been in a functional depression.
It’s the kind where people talk to me and I hear the words they are saying…but they don’t register with my brain until a few minutes later.
I know I should practice what I preach – stay present and be thankful – but it’s been really fucking hard.
Then last night, I was awakened out of my haze.
I sat down with Leah to eat dinner while Jodie fed the baby.
As I sat down with Leah, I had to force myself to realize that THIS MOMENT with my sweet little girl Leah was THE MOST IMPORTANT THING in my life at that very moment.
And the most important thing for me to do right then was NOT to worry about finances, but to be PRESENT with my little girl.
Totally present – not thinking about anything else but spending quality time with my little girl.
That’s ALL I needed to think about right then.
Can’t treat these little moments like they are ever going to happen again – the next moment is never promised.
So that’s what I did.
I decided to place my worries on hold for just that brief period of time while I ate dinner with Leah and really got PRESENT with her – really listening to her, really thinking about my responses to her and really enjoying this moment in my life that I get to share with my daughter.
And man….what an incredible experience it was.
I don’t even remember exactly what we were talking about I just remember having a real, true, connected conversation with her.
I was completely present and totally absorbed in the conversation and man did we laugh!
We laughed out loud hysterically.
And it was at that moment (during our first big laugh) that I realized something.
The look on her face said – “Hey Dad, it’s nice to see you again.”
My heart melted.
I felt mixed emotions – pure joy to be experiencing this moment and at the same time, I felt guilt that my mind has been somewhere else for the past couple of weeks.
Our kids can see right through us.
No matter how much we think we are fooling them, we’re not.
Our mental state affects their mental state.
We can speak and act like everything’s ok – but they know when it’s not.
Anyway, we finished dinner and she asked me for an ice cream cone of course 🙂
As I was making her ice cream cone my mind drifted off into worry again.
It got really quiet, so to break the silence I came up with a question I typically ask her:
Me – “So what was the best part of your day babe?”
Leah – “Dinner Dad”
Me – “Oh yeah? How come?”
Leah – “Because I got to spend time with you Dad.”
Damn. That hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have physically been here with her a lot lately – but I haven’t really been present with her.
And she knew it, but she didn’t say a word about it.
Moms and Dads, life is way too short to miss out on these moments with our children.
Please don’t make the mistake that I made – letting minutes, days or even weeks slip away because we are too stuck in our heads to be really present with our ids.
When life sucks, do whatever it takes to be present with your kids when you are with them.
They can read you better than anyone and they can feel your pain.
Don’t let them.
Appreciate them and love them by being present with them.
Because in that moment….nothing else matters.