Its easy to be jaded with the wonderful life you have, its easy because you take it all for granted – there is no doubt in my mind that 90% of the people I know just live each day like the last and forget the true meaning of this holiday. This holiday season is important to me because of a recent health scare I had… I kid you not – I almost wasnt here today to tell you about why its important to be thankful, to appreciate your love ones, and most of all take time to slow down.
I know the motions, I know the drain that life, work, family, money can put on you… I know there are pressures from every direction but the key is to make sure you have respect for it all. Just think about tomorrow if you werent here, how would your children be? how would your partner be? does it scare you? cause it sure as shit scared me… I woke up thanksgiving morning to a heart attack and since then I feel like my life is one of those Jimmy Stewart movies – I’ve found joy in the small things – I’m trying to reset the balance of my life… and I’m appreciating the time with my family. It’s so easy to be frustrated at a child – they cry and whine, we become annoyed… but if that cry and whine was a remembrance of life and the future you have it sounds sooo different. That’s why I ask to for you to keep this holiday in your heart, its so easy to overlook what the base of this holiday is, its not shopping, its not finding the perfect gift, or that really hard to find one, its being together.
For this holiday season – I ask one simple thing – Take a moment (take two) (take three) create a memory with your children… create a memory with your partner and most of all remember to take it all in. Life is short – we never know just how short until its almost ripped from us. Hug your children – Hug your partner… open that bottle of wine and just sit and relax and start to think about what you want to do this coming year that will be different from the last. For me its take time out – to create special memories with my wife and son… but whats on your list?
It’s not every husband who can sit there and talk about how proud he is of their wife! I was totally that guy this weekend – Suzanne for her second time completed a marathon but this time it was the New York Marathon!
Suzanne’s marathon history started with the San Diego Marathon which was also how I proposed (it was romantic, until the flight was canceled…lol) 3+ years ago. For us it was a different time and a different place in life – no kids limited responsibilities which is why this marathon was so much different. We have a toddler, who greatly limits our good night sleep and we have roles, responsibilities, but that was just small challenges that were easily overcome by my wife!
She had long discussed after San Diego wanting to make a go at the NYC marathon but timing, kids, it never fit and it wasnt until this past spring when she had made up her mind about really wanting to do it! She has been training for months, which is no easy task, as she has changed her eating habits to carb-o-load which isnt our typical meal. She changed sleep schedules to be able to make it to trainings and early morning gym sessions.
The time and energy one puts into training for the marathon is a thousand times harder then actually running the marathon (well I’m not really sure if thats soooo true as I’ve never ran a marathon but from my perspective it is :P) She ran an incredible race – it was really not easy to spot her but I used the subways and some good old fashion running to get to 5 different points to see Suzanne. Of course in a crowd of 100s running past you every minute it wasnt always the easiest to pick her out of the crowd but I was able to clearly see her 3 out of the 5 times. I covered about 18 miles worth of the over all race, she ran the entire 26.2 miles.
I am so proud of my wife, I really cant express it! She has done something that less then 1% of the human population will ever try or succeed in doing and to me thats pretty amazing!
For a while now my wife and I have been talking about the sacrifices we’ve been making as parents. I’m sure you’ve made yours we all have is my take on it. Then it occurs to me that we’re a much more selfish generation (maybe one of the worst in history). I was once talking about how we’re so selfish as parents when another blogger chimed in and said that all kids are more selfish then their parents because our parents want them to be better then how they had and in turn work hard to provide more. I’ve been thinking isn’t that circle making it much worst for the future generations?
In having a similar discussion of the new graduates of college working in the PR industry one senior PR person joked these kids dont even want to get coffee or do real work; they all just want to sit around and try to become celebrities… I get it, clearly look at the cast of jersey shore – right?!
I worry about the future for many reasons – living in NYC I need to deal with education prior to Kindergarten, so we’re juggling the whole 2 income with school or nanny/child care or 1 income and barely making but with a stay at home parent. I know my wife and I are really feeling the sacrifice these days mainly because we just had our second time alone from our child for more then 3 days. It was great other then the fact they were some of the busiest days we’ve had in over 2 years.
My mom hung out for a while with my wife tonight and she even made a comment about how life’s a sacrifice and she’s proud that hers gave true to the fruits that are now me… and (here comes the mom jab) that I need to step it up and do more with my son…. (if you heard a car crash sound it was just me driving off a bridge)… I’m pushing myself to limits here to build a better life for my son. Talking with my wife day in and day out about how we can do more with less or get more to do more… while others say money doesn’t buy happiness (I completely agree) it does afford you better aspirin! No really I get it – in NYC to live a good life you need some moderate amount of money…
I guess the long and the short of it is – are we always sacrificing for a better life for our kids? or are we sacrificing for our future? or is there a good balance of not just living in the now but not missing out on our kids?
One thing that I’ve always been in my life is giving… I’ve been working in non-profits and Not-for-profits all my professional life, its really one of the struggles I have in my head – do good for many or do good for myself – they seem to be at odds.
Teaching our children about charity even in times like these are important… Usually this is done through school’s community service programs or through a religious school sponsorship of event or their own requirements to give back to the charity.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of charity fund raising for the last 2-3 months its been for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This is important to both my wife and myself that we raise our child with knowledge of giving back – paying it forward ect… we do believe in karma – I’m a huge believe in the cycle of life. Its part the reason why I hope I do right and good by others they’ll do right by me.
I rotate the charities I support some because of direction of my own life and some because of influences like friends or family. Years ago one of those influences came to Suzanne and myself and she searched for a charity to run in honor of someone close to us both… She found the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society she successfully raised over $4,000 and completed the San Diego Marathon. Now years later shes trying to raise money again for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this time its $3800 and she’ll run and complete the New York Marathon. Times have changed and its harder to raise money for a charity, which is why this has been on my mind and I’m blogging about it! Charities are usually based on fund raising and donations which require giving… you dont have to give much but give a little something… every dollar matters. Instead of having that starbucks donate that $3-5, 10 for lunch ect. If 10 people did that thats $30, 50, 100 it adds up and it helps.
Most of the best break though research comes from organizations like Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I know my son is watching his mom run (as we’ve waived from our Apartment once or twice as she ran by) and will watch in person at the NYC marathon! He’ll understand that her commitment was to help others.
If you can give anything that would be wonderful! 100% of your donation is tax deductible To make a donation please click here and thank you.
A few weeks ago New York Magazine published this article “I love my Children. I Hate My life.” [http://nymag.com/news/features/67024/] I was sitting at my desk watching headlines flow by when I just stopped and was like wow – only sometimes… After watching the tweets and blog posts about this article I was surprised to see how many denied ever having a single moment of saying I miss those good old days.
Dont get me wrong – the best thing in my life is my son, with a quick second being my wife. She’ll get mad as she would most likely would have wanted to be number one and having the kiddo being number two. oh well. I do wish for alterations in my life – mainly in the life style department. I really dont know many people at this point in life who dont wish for different things in the lifestyle aspect. Perhaps a larger apartment, maybe some money in the bank, more support to help with the kids, money for private school… ect…ect the lists could go on and on.
One amazing thing when you think about having children is that we used to have child in order to create clans, or in some aspects of the world it was to help with the farm. Now we have children out of the desire to have legacy.
I dont know if I hate my life right now, I enjoy having many different things on my plate and things are starting to take shape… I do know I’m not in love with my life in many of the aspects that I listed above… I would love to have money in the bank, money to put 20% down on a house, money for the best education my child could have… but there are aspects of my life I wouldnt trade for the world – the giggling-laugh of my child, the kisses my wife gives me when she’s happy (I’m sure there could be a joke in this one someplace), the moments I look out my windows on to the sea of people visiting the farmers market in Union Square.
I clearly thing there is a difference between life and lifestyle – I love my life – love the family and friends – love the times I share with my family. Its my lifestyle that I wished was something different and maybe thats my fault, maybe it is a combination of looking at what others have and having a jealous of why not me? (which I really try not to do) but I do know there is things I want and I’m trying to work hard to earn them.
Which goes back to the greatest issue of the modern times of work life balance, unless you have family money (and sometimes even then) you’re still working to make a living. That could be an American concept this live to work not work to live mentally like other nations have….