As I sit to write this, I am the 28-year-old first-time father to an almost 6-month-old daughter. She is on a blanket surrounded by her toys and her best friend, her dog Abby. Today, she’s working on sitting up longer and has found a new sound to make in Abby’s direction. I break from typing every minute or so to keep her from tipping to one side or the other (I told you, we’re working on it).
As I sit to write this, I am browsing the TV channels. Her favorite is HGTV (thanks, mom) and while I do enjoy Flip or Flop, it’s not on tonight. She takes a moment or two from babbling at Abby to see what’s on the big square. Nothing great on tonight, but I know one thing…I don’t want to watch the news. I prefer to ignore the politics, bickering, bad news, negativity etc.
As I sit to write this, I am trying not to worry about bills, credit cards and other expenses. Trying not worry about health insurance costs or how expensive she’s getting.
As I sit to write this, I wonder whether I’m being a good dad, a good husband, a good man. I hope I have what it takes to do it all: be a good employee, husband and dad. Whether I can give my family the life the deserve. I hope so.
As I sit to write this, despite all of the above, I am happy. I am happy because I have every reason to be.
Preferring not to watch the news means I am fortunate enough to own a TV (two in fact…baller!). Worrying about bills and expenses means that I have things in my life worth spending money on; that I’ve done fun things and put life experiences above the number listed next to my bank account. Wondering whether I’ll be a good dad means I am incredibly lucky enough to have a child, a good husband means that I have found a soul that completes mine who’s worth trying to be great for.
I am happy.
And my greatest desire in life, my sweet daughter, is not for you to be rich, to be smart, to be successful, to be liked, to be loved…it is for you to be happy. If you are happy, that means that everything else is also true: you are rich (maybe monetarily, maybe in other ways), you are smart enough to know what’s important in life, you are successful in that you have found ways to be you, you have found people to like and who like you for you, you have found people and places and moments to love and be loved by.
There will always be negatives in the world. There will always be fighting and politics and environmental dangers and sadness and death. If you let them overtake you, if you focus on them, if you let them consume you, they will. However, if you choose instead to focus on the good…the person who holds the door open for a friend, the kid laughing when you make a funny face, great weather on a day that you were able to be outside, a friend who just makes you happy…there are enough of those things in every single day, Hayden, to consume every negative imaginable.
Not every day will be won by the good. Not every day will be your favorite. Not every day will you want the bad to be consumed by the good. Sometimes you just want to have a bad day. And that’s okay. We’re all allowed to have bad days. Allow it, own it, don’t feel guilty about it. But the next day…find the good. If you can’t find the good, be the good.
I am happy because my life’s purpose is to make you happy. What a great goal to have.