Thursday, February 27, 2014

For Savannah, at 11
Savannah, now that you’re 11, there are two things in life that I want you to begin practicing:

First is to continue to think for yourself.  Just because everyone else is doing or thinking something doesn’t make it right? In fact, quite often it makes it wrong?  I want you to trust that little inner voice (your intuition) when you’re thinking for yourself too? It is something that, as you age, people will try to tell you to ignore (so that you can listen to what “they” are saying.) The reality is that voice is there for a reason? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and listen to that voice!

Secondly I want you to become comfortable taking educated risks once you’ve mastered the above? Anytime we (you, me or anyone else) takes a risk, disappointment can and will happen! It’s as inevitable as death and taxes.  I know I’m guilty at times of saying that I hate to see you sad or disappointed and it **is** hard because you’re so precious to me? And, often I’ve been guilty of trying to make you feel better by pointing out that a situation was unfair and you’re smarter or more talented than that? While that is truth…

The reality is we grow and learn through struggle, so it’s not like I don’t want you to struggle? I hope that makes sense?  See, I know I appreciate being a parent more because it was a tough road having you.  And I know we will appreciate our house more one day because we are sacrificing for it now! And, at a point in my life I kind-of took for granted having a nice house.  When we are humbled, we’re a bit more appreciative honestly?  It’s like if you have every gadget known to man you’re never really happy until you get the next gadget? You’re always chasing that next thing instead of enjoying what’s in front of you? Struggle helps you learn to be happy with what you have, instead of what you want….risk helps you find really high peaks of success as well as some struggle to keep you humble.   Sometimes God sends us some humbling times to help us grow in our faith and in our appreciation.  That pride you feel when you’ve earned an archery medal or a really good grade on a test is there because you’ve sacrificed for them?  You’ve practiced and studied and it wouldn’t be the same if those things were just given to you? If you never took a chance / tried out for them you wouldn’t have those experiences either? The truth is risking failure helps you find success. If you never try, you never know greatness?

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those risks can get you into trouble (remember the food fight discussion), but if you use number one above when deciding about the risk then you’ll be okay? And even if it’s not okay and you get in trouble, you’ll own your decision. If you can do those two things with ownership, when you get to the dark side of your 40’s like I am, I guarantee you’ll have fewer regrets? I know I do! I love you!