For Isabel

270288_188814937841313_100001384252896_544466_4572224_nThis is for Isabel

Today you turn 16, and honestly it’s hard for me to believe. Like so many things in our life we never know how much we needed something until we have it and then we wonder how we got along without it. I have to tell you every day of your 16 years has been that way for me, it’s been so amazing watching you become the person you are. I am literally filled with pride in knowing maybe I have played a role in that.

I remember many years ago taking you to the park with your bike and the first time you took off on your own, I knew you could do it and I knew that if I encouraged you enough you would, I also knew that for you to go I had to let go of the bike myself to let you succeed. That is what I’m feeling today. The letting go is the hardest part.

Today I want you to know that I will always be your biggest fan and you will always be my girl, no matter how many birthdays pass. I also want you to know that life is limitless and the only that stops us is us. I always try to teach you no regrets and while there may be a few days in life I would like to have back I wouldn’t change anything from what it is today.

You are an amazing young lady who has insight and wisdom of a much older soul but yet the playfulness of a bright eyed child, don’t ever let that go. Remember that line from Mary Poppins that I always say…”Anything can happen if you let it”. Never let anyone tell you differently and believe me they will try.

I know as days pass the letting go will continue and you will blossom more and more. I want you to know more than anything else that there will be times when you take off and there will be times you fall off the bike don’t stop getting back on the seat and know that I will always be a step behind to encourage you yet again to keep moving forward. Happy Birthday, all my love… Dad

Advertisements

10 Things I know

10 Things I know:

1.)           My experience is mine and I own it

      I am 100%responsible for my life and everything in it

2.)          The past does not equal the future

      I surrender to the past and choose to live in the present

3.)         Whatever I believe I will achieve

4.)         Nothing is so broke it can’t be fixed or so dirty it can be cleaned up

5.)         Happiness and joy are now

     If I can’t be happy in this moment, nothing I can have, want or need will ever make me happy

6.)         Excellence is a habit, nothing more

     Therefore I can cultivate it daily through practice and discipline

7.)        I will persist until I succeed

Honor, grace, courage and humility are all gained through perseverance

8.)         Today must be lived as it is my last

By living in this manner nothing will be taken for granted

9.)         My life is fulfilling when I am living with intention and on purpose

10.)      Mastery is to do my duty, not to strive with anyone

This is the foundation for one of my programs I offer to teens titled “Its your life; 10 things you need to know” . I initially designed and implemented this program several years ago for young professionals I was mentoring and developing for roles in leadership and management. I later applied these teachings to my own parenting more as a guidepost to help me ensure I was talking to my kids in a way that promoted the behaviors needed to sustain them on their own paths. Honestly these ten thoughts have probably done me more good than anyone else as they are constant reminder to me to stay on purpose and focus only on the things I have control over.

 

Why in the hell am I doing this?

Well I got to be honest I was seriously thinking about that today, and whether or not I wanted to keep posting. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and frankly they seem a little different than what I’m doing so I started to doubt if I was doing this right and should keep going. Maybe that’s the point, maybe that’s the lesson to be learned and taught, screw everyone else and what they’re doing and get busy doing what I want to be doing. I want to write not because I think I’m good at it but because I want find my voice and put it out there for the world (or at least the six people who read these). I want to know that at the end of it all I at least tried, I went for it, all in and manned up. It’s ironic that I talk to young people about following dreams, living with passion and not worrying about what other people think and those are the very things I was hiding behind. If I want to be a good dad I have I have to walk my talk. I have to do more than tell my kids they can do anything in this world, I have to show them by my example. I believe wholeheartedly in the art of the possible, I have spent twenty years leading teams and managing people and I know what is possible once people believe. So weather your straight dad, gay dad, divorced dad, deadbeat dad or any other adjective your still a dad and the kids are watching so I don’t know about you but even if it is a one person movement I am going to keep on keepin on and prove to my kids that anything can happen if you let it!

 

What I want you to know

I want you to know; I get it. Kids can be mean; they can make you feel like you are completely alone in this world with nothing to offer it. Muddle (middle) school can be the most vicious battlefield ever created by man with as much causality as war. I want you to know that these tumultuous years don’t last forever and in the grand scheme of your own masterpiece they really don’t matter, that is unless you let them.
I want you to know that you are never alone, and that you have so much to offer this world. Your life is just beginning and you get to decide who you are and are going to be, no one can do that for you that is unless you let them.
I want you to know that you that you have courage inside of you that is unmatched. Most adults, let alone kids are afraid to put themselves out there and be who they really are. Not you, your drum beats loud and you dance your own dance and for right now you may a price for that but in the long run it will bring you joy and fulfillment that you can only imagine.
How do I know this? You teach me this everyday; you inspire me to be who I really am to not hide behind shadows of conformity and other people’s expectations. You teach me patience and grace I never knew existed until you came along.
Most of all what I really want you to know is how proud I am too be your dad, more importantly how proud I am of you, not because you get good grades and stay out of trouble but because you are you and all the great things that come with that. So hold on, keep your head up and never stop dancing to that drum!