You inevitably commit your time and resources to the things that you deem most valuable and important. When I was younger, money was more important than my time. But I am starting to realize that there is no substitute for time, especially lost time. There is no amount of money that can bring that back. Time is money, and you have to put your time and money where your mouth is. What is on a man's heart may be unspoken, but his actions speak volumes. And quite frankly, you really only need to read a few chapters to figure the rest out. A really good writer could get the job done in a few sentences or a paragraph.
In your 20s and 30s, usually that focus is on getting an education or pursuing a career. Passions, hobbies, and family responsibilities sometimes merge, but for the most part it is difficult to truly multi-task and "chase two rabbits." You can keep an eye on the other rabbit, but it is probably wise to start digging into one hole.
That is as far as my analysis (admittedly limited) goes, because I just hit my 30s. We shall see what new thoughts and ideas another decade of life will bring.
A huge game-changer in all of this is of course the introduction of a child. Time becomes an even scarcer commodity. At the same time, I think each and every parent has the option to choose just how complicated they will make the ordeal of raising their children. There is something to be said about standing on the shoulders of giants, but most parents have too much advice to give on theories that are far from verifiable and questionable at worst. The variables that exist are staggering and truly impossible to fully account for. Raising a child is a far too personal and unique experience to rely solely on the opinions of others, especially hyper active "Super-Moms." I don't know what does the trick for them, but a conversation with an eager Super-Mom is certainly one of my Kryptonites. Yawn. Wake me up when it's over. It is hard for me to feign interest in the latest baby gadgets and theories.
|Sound advice... if you don't want your kid to play in the NFL.|
I don't want my life to be all about my son. I do love the kid more than I thought I could ever possibly love a baby. I want to create a loving home for him and give him all the support he needs and wants, but I will not give up on my pursuits. I will not stop living "my life." Some people might say they are living for their children, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. And quite frankly, sometimes I think it is a cop-out. First and foremost, I need to pursue my passions and dreams to the fullest. If not, what will I tell my son one day? Follow your dreams, but just until you have your own kids? If it gets too hard at that point, give up and just console yourself by putting "parent" on your resume? If you are lazy, can you expect your child not to be? Would that be fair? I am sure there will be elements of hypocrisy in the traits and values I try to instill in my son, but I would at least like to try to be the smallest hypocrite I can possibly be.
The other harmful dynamic that I can understand people are susceptible to is the temptation to channel all your professional and personal frustrations into unrealistic expectations for your child. Yes, sometimes people hit their 1 outers, but for the most part it isn't fair to expect your kid to be a Rhodes Scholar who goes on to play in the NFL and walks the runways in Paris, Milan, and Tokyo on the side if you were a C student, in looks and in school (gym and core classes). Your child might one day grow up to be the President of the United States, but even that would require some hefty startup money on your part.
I don't claim to have the answers. I just kind of want to enjoy the ride. And if there are no answers at the end of it, that's fine by me too.