Monday, April 17, 2006
Family Biz and philosophy?
Allison's sister came to visit us last Thursday from North Carolina. I really like having family and/or friends come to see us because it's so rare. Most everyone expects us to go everywhere else to see them instead of them coming to where we live. I realize it's not very convenient for family or friends to visit us anymore now that we live in Kansas, but we really appreciate it when they do. Of course, it's also harder for family and/or friends to make the trip to see us when there's kids to consider because that complicates traveling and we understand that. We'll be getting an even better understanding of that very soon now that we're going to be joining the ranks of parenthood ourselves! Yup! That's right, I'm gonna be a Daddy! Allison told me about 3 weeks ago and we told my family on our last trip to Pensacola and they were all really happy for us. I think some of my family had given up on us since we've been married for over 12 years now and they all know how much of a kid I am they all figured we'd decided not to have them. But.... here we are. I'll be honest, it really scares me because I know things are going to change completely. That's scary because I really like the way things are now. I like our relationship and our ability to be spontaneous. I like having time and money to train and travel and go out to eat often. I like a lot of things that I know are going to change and that scares me.
But at the same time, I'm excited about it for several reasons. As might be pretty evident by all the mentionings of "I" above, I do recognize many selfish characteristics of our current life that will have to be relinquished. As awful as this may seem to many people, I cherish this idea somewhat because I have experienced firsthand the value and sense of reward that accompanies putting something else in life ahead of yourself and your own selfish desires. Many people understand some of the little values of self discipline.
1. controlling your diet for health reasons
2. being disciplined in training to reach goals
3. being disciplined financially to reach goals (saving money)
These are small examples of when people make their own selfish wants second to a higher purpose. Even though I know I'll still yearn for the days when I could do my own thing, I know that the benefits of putting my selfishness aside for the benefit of my wife and my child will reap rewards that I can't imagine (and probably don't deserve). Many people may read this and roll their eyes and say that parenthood causes instinct to kick in and it won't be viewed as selflessness and they're certainly entitled to their own opinion. The main point to this poorly worded babble is that I encourage everyone to engage in some form of (sacrificial) service to others. It's not a "good deed" if you get something other than a good feeling in return. Giving money may be necessary and helpful, but it's so impersonal that it rarely yields any personal satisfaction and thus isn't repeated often. What I'm advocating is giving of yourself, your time and your own personal effort to something for which you'll get nothing in return. Get out and volunteer! It's very liberating! The harder it is to do, the more it's worth it! And THAT'S how I'm trying to get myself psyched up for parenthood! Thoughts?