Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Important Stuff

As a Dad, Step-Dad, Husband, and who knows what else, I've come to realize a few things the last few years.

About what's really important and what's not.

I've learned that sometimes the most valuable thing you can do is listen and be empathic. This means to say something like, "I see that would be upsetting", or whatever is most appropriate at the time.

I've learned that as a guy, doing that is not natural. My mind goes into Fix The Problem mode. This is not what my wife needs at the moment. First, she needs a good ear.

I've learned not to hold my kids accountable for their hostile attitudes that they had towards their parents when they were teens. Eventually, they will probably have a reversal of attitudes as they mature and become adults facing the issues of new families, young kids, etc in their own lives. I am often amazed at this, but then I think about the relationship I had with my own parents and how it evolved over the years.

I've learned to cherish moments but not furniture, houses, cars or nearly anything else even if there is sentimental value to those possessions. The only thing that really matters is the relationships.

And one final thought for today, is to be adaptable. The past several years my wife and I are usually on a vacation getaway right now. Her birthday is today March 13th and our wedding day is March 17th.

She works every Sunday and so we will have a small birthday dinner this evening, but even our plans for that changed. I was going to prepare steaks and a delicious dinner but instead we will have leftovers and birthday cake.

These leftovers will be pretty tasty.

Last night we had friends and family over as we celebrated 10 years of marriage (5 days early due to work schedules), and we have some fantastic goodies in our frig that we will enjoy.

Thanks to all the friends and family for the well wishes and continuing friendships.

(By the way, for some silly reason, 2011 seems to be the year we forget to take pictures! So the photo above is from 10 years ago when we were honeymooning in Chicago.)

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