Today is a new day. I’m 55. I’m done lying to myself. For the better part of the last year I have been telling myself a big lie. That lie is that I don’t have enough time.
Over the past week I’ve become keenly aware that as humans we live a large percentage of our lives wishing for “more” of so many things. If I were to ask you to fill in the blank of this sentence, what would your answer be?
I wish I had more _________ !
My guess is that at least 80% of you would give me one of these five answers:
So what’s my answer you ask?
I am surrounded by love in so many ways. I have a loving partnership with my wife, a Divine daughter, my Mom is the best friend I could have ever dreamed of, I have amazing family and friends and co-workers and so much more. I’m good in the love department.
Some people say they don’t believe in luck. I TOTALLY believe in luck AND I believe that we play a huge part in creating so much of what we call luck. Sometimes what could be called “dumb luck” or “blind luck” finds its way into our lives, but mostly I believe that the actions we take create the opportunity for “good luck” to find us. For most of my life I’ve been a pretty lucky guy.
If you know me well then you probably know that most people consider me pretty high energy. I move fast. I get a lot done. I work hard and play hard and while being a parent has given me more days of being tired than I am used to, I still have an amazing amount of energy so I’d say I’m in reasonably good shape on that front.
I’d like to have a lot more money! In fact I think that so many of us live in a space where we believe that our lives would be significantly better if we had more money, yet as of late I’ve shifted my mindset as it relates to financial abundance. Don’t get me wrong! I am more than happy to reach a level of financial abundance where I can share more with others and live in a state of confidence and peace. That being said, I think we need to ask ourselves if we are chasing wealth or status. If we are seeking wealth, then we will find that in a place where we are free from the tethers to things that bind us. Anything outside of that and we are just chasing status. We can find true wealth if we get more – OR – we can find true freedom if we live within our means no matter how much money we have. This is a new view for me so I’m learning, but I think the shoe fits nicely. I’d like to have more money, yet in so many ways I already have enough.
And the there is time….
At this point in my journey, time is the most valuable commodity. There are so many days when I reach bedtime and find myself wishing that I had a few more hours. I’d love to have more time with Emma. I wish I had more time to be alone with my wife Christiana. I wish I could get out and do more things socially. I would love to be able to talk to my friends more often or for longer periods of time. I’d love to be able to invest more time in writing and speaking and coaching. The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say that my definitive answer to the fill in the blank question is:
I WISH I HAD MORE TIME!
When I woke up this morning and thought about what I would like my birthday to look like I came to a quick and easy decision. Some things were already set in stone. I was going to go to work in the morning. Christiana was going to work at night because we decided we would rather wait to celebrate my birthday until the weekend. I was going to go to the chiropractor after work while Christina’s mom watched Emma like she always does on Thursday afternoons and evenings. What I needed to decide was how I wanted to spend my “me” time in the later evening after I got home. My “me” time is rare and precious and on my birthday it would make sense that I should do something particularly special.
The interesting thing is that I didn’t even want to try to go out and do anything unusual. I didn’t want to have a fancy dinner. I didn’t find myself wishing that I could have a big celebration or party. I wasn’t even feeling the desire to settle in on the couch and watch a movie like I often do when I get a rare chance to stop the world these days . I just wanted to have some quiet alone time to write…something I havent done in ages!
I started to visualize what it would look like. I would get home after riding my bike from the chiropractor. I would visit with my mother in law for a while and then give Emma a bath. I would put her down and then grab my computer – and probably a glass of wine even though it’s a weeknight – since it’s my birthday! I would go out on the back deck and watch the sunset. I even had a pretty good idea what I might write about because I’d been thinking a lot about Emma’s first trial swim class and wanted to share more about that special day. It was all going to be so perfect. I was finally going to stop telling myself the lie that I couldn’t ever find the time to write!
And that brings us to this moment in time. This is where things started to move in a direction that was outside of my expectations. Ah yes, that tenuous word – EXPECTATION!
So here’s when the blog within the blog starts. Up until now this has been the story of how I wound up at my computer writing in the Jim’s Whimz blog for the first time in over a year. Now begins the story within the story – it’s a little piece I like to call Emma’s gift. It’s not the blog I intended to write which would have been titled Things I learned in my Daughter’s first swim lesson, but it’s the post that God/The Universe intended on this day. And it is oh so good to be back at the keyboard!
Our daughter Emma was born on February 4th, 2018 at approximately 2:30 pm. She came into the world strong-willed and sturdy at nearly 9 pounds after an intense 30-plus hours of labor. From the minute she got here all could see that she was going to be very independent and determined. Eighteen months later nothing has changed.
On that first night we stayed at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois under that care of our amazing midwife team. We had a comfortable room with a bed and a couch and a bassinet so by about 7 p.m. all three of us were sleeping peacefully and getting some much needed rest, despite the fact that Super Bowl LII was in progress. None of the three of us seemed to care much about the Eagles or Tom Brady or Gisele Bundchen or pretty much anything else at all at that point.
Around 8 p.m. I stirred and noticed that our 6-hour old Emma was fussing in her bassinet. I wanted nothing more than for Christiana to be able to get some more rest after a day and half of labor, so I picked Emma up out of her bassinet and brought her over to the couch where I had been dozing. I opened up my shirt and placed her on my chest skin-to-skin just like we learned in our child birthing class to see if I could calm her down and do some special father and daughter bonding with her.
For the next hour and a half Emma slept on my bare chest as we traveled around the cosmos and got to know each other in this lifetime with a deep sense of knowing that we already knew each other so well long before she chose on incarnate as our daughter in this lifetime. At one point I thought to myself, “This is so cool! I’m already teaching my daughter about energy and reiki and spirituality and God!”
And then all of a sudden it occurred to me that I wasn’t the teacher at all…. I realized that I was the student. There was nothing that I knew that Emma didn’t already know. I had thought for a fleeting instant that I was going to teach her about being close to Source, but in fact she just came from Source so how could I possibly know any more than she already knew. It was an eye opening moment in time. It was a life changing moment in time. I sat on the couch and wept with joy for what seemed to be an eternity. I had never experienced a higher level of bliss in my life before that moment…and then it was over.
Since that day, I can count on one hand the number of times Emma has slept on my chest. As I mentioned earlier, Emma is a highly independent being who has made it exceedingly clear that she doesn’t seek coddling or comforting on a regular basis. She is indeed loving and joyful, but she is not at all needy. Most nights after bath time, milk and a story or two she is squirming to get out of my arms and into her crib so she can have her own space and journey into dreamland as soon as possible.
It has only been on a few rare nights when she has been under the weather or in some other way out of her regular routine that she has dozed off on my chest before being put down in her crib. Most of me is pleased and content that we have an independent daughter who is confident and comfortable alone in the dark. Then there is the piece of me that longs to relive that first night when Emma surrendered completely and totally into oneness with her daddy’s chest for comfort.
Earlier today I got up and got ready for work. I opened my cards from my mom and from Christiana. Emma had given me her card last night when I got home from work – a colored page from a Peanuts coloring book that my wife had helped her create. My plan for tonight was to put Emma down just before 8 p.m. just like I always do on our nights home alone together. I was then going to grab the baby monitor and my computer and go sit outside on the deck on a perfect summer night and write my first blog in over a year. I did exactly that and just as I started to type, I looked at the monitor and saw that Emma was standing up and screaming in her crib.
“Not tonight!” I thought to myself. “Of all nights for her to not go down easily why would this happen to me on my birthday? I DESERVED my alone time. I was so looking forward to writing my blog about our free trial swim lesson. This just isn’t fair!”
I went back inside and walked into her room. Of course I was first and foremost focused on comforting my daughter and getting her back to sleep like I have done so many times in the past 18 months, but in truth I still wanted to write. When I picked Emma up she started pointing at the nursing glider next to her crib. I assumed this meant that she wanted me to read her more stories before she went to sleep, so I sat down in the glider and just as I reached over to turn on the owl lamp on the table next to the glider, Emma laid her little head down on my chest and completely relaxed.
For the next 30 minutes we rocked back and forth together in the dark with the sound of the waves from her bedside sound machine playing in the background. I could feel her little heartbeat on my chest stronger than I had felt it since that first night on the couch at West Suburban Hospital just under a year and a half ago. For a few precious moment that world stopped spinning. I was no longer short on time or money or luck or energy. All I could feel was love in its purest form. The blog that I needed to write didn’t matter. The balance in our bank accounts didn’t matter. The amount of sleep I got this week didn’t matter. I had just received the most amazing gift I ever could have dreamed of on my 55th birthday. The gift of my daughter’s love as she slept on my chest.
Some say our biggest responsibility as parents is to teach our children well. I’d say it’s equally important to allow them to teach us well. As I enter this next stage of my life, I am so grateful to have such a talented teacher in Emma. I pray that I continue to be the student that she deserves to share the journey with…