A common theme of my life and something that has always deeply resonated with me.
Growing up in Michigan, I remember how it easy it was to relate with people who talked of moving to places that don’t require dealing with the harsh winter that the north can dish out.
However, in my age I’ve to come to respect and cherish what the cycle of seasons bring. I can see all the outward expressions of change and find that same symbolism inwardly.
It’s only on rare occasions that I don’t have my two boys. Thanksgiving this year is one, and their absence during a season of gratitude has made me especially aware of that cycle.
I’m very grateful for this time.
I am grateful to see pictures of them when they are not with me, as it often reminds me of a rough day with them. Those days, I could initially point to the boys and say they are wound up, but if I take a closer look at my actions, it usually comes down to me not being very present with them.
It never fails: even if I’m unable to recognize it in the moment, once all things are quiet and the boys are sound asleep, I gaze upon them and it becomes evident to me.
I get a small glimpse into just how precious life is.
It’s ok for me to have other goals in my life that take time that coincides with caring for my boys. For me it’s important to find some balance.
In these moments alone I’m able to find more clarity. I reflect, I cry, I heal and forgive myself. A piece of what once was dies and it hurts, but clears room for the new. A chance to connect just a little more than I was previously capable of. A new chance to be just a little better father. I don’t regret the father I was, but love the father I am becoming; like the concept of a triangle, the larger the base the higher the peak.
In such a fast-paced world it’s so important for me to find time to widen my base, to condition my mind and spirit in the same way I care for my body. It becomes more obvious to me in the seldom absence of my kids, but what also becomes apparent is that I don’t need them gone to find this.
There are many moments during the day that I can dedicate to myself, it just takes practice. Today I am grateful for the moments that give me the opportunity to step back and find clarity.
When I see my boys again, this cycle will have come full circle, and I am thankful for the amazing mirror they provide.