Its been a while since my last update to this journal. The monthly payment notifications that I receive from subscribers like you feel to me like little nudges, reminders that I haven't published anything in some time. I apologize for not keeping you as updated as I should be.
My life priorities have shifted a lot since the birth of my daughter, who, at three months old yesterday, is at this moment bundled in a soft pink blanket sound asleep in my left arm, my iPhone in my right hand typing this in between glancing out the airplane window at the Earth far below. We're somewhere over Delaware right now, en route back to Boston after spending two weeks in Florida. She has done amazingly well with flying and hasn’t cried at all. In fact, she does better flying than she does driving. Maybe it has something to do with how she flew fourteen times before she was born.
I say that my priorities have shifted, but maybe that's not true. I feel the weight of responsibility in my life has shifted dramatically, yes--suddenly it's no longer just me that I need to think about--but I still have the same personal goals and ambitions as I did before Ananda was born. I still want to write and publish. I still want to find a way to contribute to humanity. I still want to travel. I still want go to Mars.
Sure, I have family responsibilities now--father and spousal responsibilities--but everything else is still there, everything else is pretty much the same. None of it is number one of course, but it's not all irrelevant or unimportant either.
In many ways what has been the biggest challenge for me is finding a way to continue pursuing my personal goals--or for that matter, just finding the focus to work on something--while having someone else in my life to whom I am a father, someone who depends on me and who will, over the course of her life, look to me for wisdom, support, attention, and love.
I'm a big picture thinker. I’m always considering the long-term implications of a decision or an action, but since the day I learned that I was going to be a dad I've felt the need to stay away from the big picture, to not worry so much about the future. It feels too big now, too complex and blurry.
Yes, my decisions and choices will directly affect Ananda as she grows into her own person, but she will be her own person, someone who will make her own choices and blaze a path through life that is uniquely her own. I feel the best thing that I can do for her as a father is to provide her with what I feel are the best tools for trail blazing and to be there for her when she needs me, to be present when I’m present.
It's her future, not mine. It's her big picture and I'm just the lucky dad who gets to make sure that she has the best tools with which to create her life.
It’s interesting how I was have the same general though process recently.
As I sat in the hospital room awaiting the arrival of my son almost exactly one month ago, I wondered how to still achieve the things I wanted to do.
Thinking as you mentioned, giving your child the best opportunity to come out ahead, what ever they decide to become.
I wondered, does this mean my goals are kaput? My thinking soon changed a few minutes later when the father function took over again as my son looked back into my eyes and smiled.
I soon realized as I asked myself “What can I really do for my children?” I want them to have joy, be happy and be fulfilled.
Those three things encompass more than I can reply here, drinking my coffee and thumb typng into my iPad Mini. If I sit and think about it more, I’m sure they overlap, but when I was holding my newborn and thinking about both my 18year old and my new son, that is what I really want for them.
So how could I make it easier for them to achieve such a lofty goal? The short version?
Be An Example…
I need to make sure I live my life as an example of the core fundamentals that make a person happy and fulfilled.
Show them how to work hard, how to be happy, how to smile in the face of adversity, how to be mentally tough, how to be a light in other peoples life, these are not all but just what I felt in these immediate moments.
Raam, good to have you back 🙂
Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It’s so good to hear from someone who has recently gone through (and is currently going through) the same things as I am, with regards to a newborn. You have far more life-experience than I do in this regard–with an 18 year old child in your life–and it’s good to hear your thoughts.
I keep coming back to the same point: the best thing I can do is set an example, to live my life in a way that I’d want my daughter to live, or to at least learn from. I think that’s really the most important thing as a parent: to set a good example. Without living what we preach, what good is anything we teach?