September was a very difficult month. The details aren’t important, and compared to others struggling, my difficulties related to career, purpose, fear, value, and future are pretty lame.
However, it has made me pay attention to when I smile…
1) When my daughters choose AC/DC
My daughters are awesome and they like all kinds of music. Mostly country and pop, but sometimes hard rock (Flyleaf). Last week they were searching stations and all these songs blurted out of the radio…”na”, “no”, “ICK”, and then they turned it to classic rock. AC/DC…and they kept it. Later that week they stopped when they heard Aerosmith.
I instantly broke into a wide “Proud Dad” smile. Of all the crap that’s on the radio…they pick the SAME SONG I chose when I was their age, and feared my dad would find out! But this time, their dad smiled, and sang along.
2) When pup catches a frisbee
Ever since this damn dog arrived, I’ve invested countless hours training it so it would behave and be a reasonable member of the household. But beyond all the effort, when I throw a sailing frisbee, and she bolts down the yard…and catches it, it just makes me smile. Lately it’s been the first thing in the day that makes me smile...which is sad when it happens at 5:50pm, but it is just that much more appreciated.
What an amazing dog (dammit)
3) When the band hits the accents
I played last weekend with my wife singing and my oldest son drumming. Just that thought makes me smile, but in one song there’s a big build-up, with an accent on the “4 and”. We all nailed it, and it brought a smile.
Not just in a “love playing” kind of smile, but in a “What a rare treat to be so in sync with this young man whom I am so proud of … who he is and who he’s becoming ... that I cherish every moment I’m even around him... and delight when we’re playing music together and HITTING THE “4 AND”!!
4) When the ball gets past me
My youngest has recently been interested in soccer. Nearly daily when I get home from work, I’m worn out and sad (see above struggles). One of the first things he asks is, “You wanna play soccer?” It’s usually the last thing I want to do, but I go out and do it. I’m not exercising enough so I figured 15 minutes of running around and jogging in place while goalie is something…and then he scores.
What a great feeling to play my best and be bested by my youngest. He scores, shows hustle, and I just can’t keep from smiling.
5) When my wife takes my hand
Lately I’ve been so distracted when I walk from point A to B that it completely surprises me when she walks up and holds my hand. That small gesture reaffirms that she still wants me around. I’m not sure why. I’ve seriously not earned any “you’re worthwhile” points. It sometimes surprises me when she still smiles at me. But it really makes me smile.
Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me…I’m so focused on how to improve career, purpose, fear, value, and future, that I am forgetting that what makes me smile (relationships and music) really have nothing to do with that.
Maybe THAT’S what I should focus on and the rest will work itself out.