The happy is easy: I have three wonderful daughters who enrich my life beyond measure. I also miss my dad. He died of leukemia three months before Hayden was born. This Father’s Day I again considered visiting his grave.
It’s in a beautiful spot, just under a mimosa tree that since has grown incredibly.
But it’s not where he is. It’s not where I feel him. I felt him so much more in the years just after his death. I’ve written about things I can’t explain. I feel as if my dad had to expend a lot of cosmic energy after death just to keep me from self-destructing.
I read a blog about cats. Since I was a teenager, I’ve usually had at least one. Cybill (named for Cybill Shephard.) Pumpkin (the kids named her – she was a calico and fit the name to a whisker.) Brownie, Cubbie, Baby, and Leo.
They were siblings I rescued.
I met Anne through a post on Katzenworld. She spun a beautiful tale of a cat she’d taken lots of adventures with. We began a correspondence. I discovered her adventures with cats were only part of her story.
You’re doing it even when you’re not doing it. You’re doing it, especially when you’re not doing it because little eyes are watching you. And also, you’re practicing those characteristics you’ll call on later when you are parenting.
It’s not the big moments, but the incremental tangles and triumphs that lead to what you become as a parent – and what direction your child takes as a result.
This list could have been 55 things, but I kept it to five. Let’s talk about it. Feel free to add to these five, or bring up an observable aspect of your own. Parenting has changed my life and shaped what I’ve become as a coach and a writer and so much more.
I’m on the last page of my first gratitude journal.
The thing’s destroyed. The back cover? Gone with the wind. If it wasn’t Star Wars themed, it might look like something a general in the Korean War might have kept. Or a messenger in the Spanish-American War.
Or just a dad with a messy bag and penchant for kettle chips.
It’s served me well. Not just physically. A completed journal means something to me. It means I had what it took to stick with something. I spent my childhood hearing I couldn’t stick with anything. It wasn’t false. But I’d have picked a different narrative.
It pains me to say that but also doesn’t. Camdyn didn’t give the most glowing review of Solo: A Star Wars Story. What we have feared for years seems to have come true: Disney might just be stinking up our story.
I didn’t ask for details.
We’ll see, though. When Disney first got ahold of Star Wars, I was apprehensive. I ended up crying in the theater! (My girls noted that all the other old dudes in there also cried.) I don’t want to cry sad tears again for the loss of the story I grew up with.
Sarah Gowher and I had been connected on LinkedIn. She posted about tacos, and predictably, I responded. This is how all the strong connections in history are made. Everyone from Brad Paisley, Will Smith to Nostradamus would agree.
I found that Sarah’s story has a lot to love in it.
Finding confidence, getting support from peers and moving ahead – that’s the theme in Sarah’s journey. I love that. I feel like many of you will find parts of her tale to identify with. She has confident mindfulness with hope for what’s next.
Not the writing that pays the bills. Although, that’s been a slough too, to be honest. I read lots of cool newsletters and emails about writing newsletters and emails. They help. They add skills or ideas or just gumption.
You can do stuff with gumption.
I have a secret writing process I’ll never fully disclose. It involved random choices and brainstorming and generally thinking within rules I set for myself so that I can think outside the box. Well, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to describe anyway.
I’m not talking those horseshit half-graduations for third graders, either. Full-blown, leaving this school, taking my game to the next level graduations. Hayden’s done with high school and on to college at Piedmont International University.
Camdyn’s coming to Queen’s Grant High, where I can’t wait to get her on the field.
They’ve both overcome adversity and adverse conditions but found ways to shine in big ways. There’ve been tests of will and tests of character and just a butt load of tests – like, on subjects. We’re ready to get this summer on.
I’m not worried about jinxing it. I never have. Things aren’t perfect. Are they ever? But optimism … it’s tough to cover up. It’s like that first day of warm sun in the spring. That first deep breath of a kickass meditation.
Or how your car smells like pizza the day after you bring home takeout. #mmmm
It’s like having your good shoes on with a huge hike ahead. Deciding on a lineup change your rival hasn’t seen yet. I’m not sure it’s a 2019 thing. I don’t know when it started. I know it was good today. Shifts. Adjustments. Rules set for me.
As long as I’ve longed to write fiction, Sara’s been my guide.
So many of her posts on Sara Letourneau’s Bloghave bookmarks attached on my browser. They’re go-to, guideposts for when and if I get that far with this character or that plot or this other arc.
Sara’s taking her talents to another level.
She’s today’s #GirlsRock interview. I’ve asked about The Heart of the Story, editorial and coaching services to draw out the best writer within you. I’ve had the pleasure to talk about my own writing with Sara via video chat, and it was so enlightening.