This weekend, Neil was away at his Mother’s birthday party in Washington DC. The trip was a short one, leave early Friday return mid-day Sunday, for this reason we thought it would be less crazy if I stayed home with the kids while he went. Plus I am travelling starting Wednesday morning for six days and the turnaround would have been a little too much for me to retain balance!
Right now I travel more than Neil. When I come home I hear all these great stories about how the family watched movies, went out to dinner, played golf, hung out at the house, etc. All the things that Neil loves to do, and the kids love it too. I thought while he was away I would do some of the things they love to do with their Dad. My hope was that it would be a fun treat for them and something different for me.
Funny thing though, as we were out at the movies, going out for food, going to the scalectrix race car track, they seemed not very psyched. I mean they had a good time but they were a little non-pulsed. On Sunday, after a full morning/afternoon of playing with their friends, we had some down time togehter. We sat on the couch, snuggled and I read them some books: this is something I love to do. We had fun, we were more connected. I could tell because once the activity was over they wanted more. Then we decided to go for a before dinner bike ride. As we were riding around, we were chatting away about spring, the leaves on the trees, the flowers, their school days, etc. The kids both commented on how fun it was. As we were zipping down a big hill, I heard behind me whoops and hollers of laughter. The both cried out, “Mom, this is awesome! You’re the best!” Music to my ears.
What I learned this weekend is that no matter how much my kids love an activity, if I am doing it for them, to please them rather than just thoroughly enjoying it myself, the kids (people) around me will sense it. Their enthusiasm will be luke warm. But when I do something I love, like reading and bike riding, people around me will sense that as well and the enthusiasm will be commensurate to the amount they sense coming from me.
Moral of the story: do what you love and people will be drawn to you. The more I grow into myself, the more I recognize what I do for others (hard not to do a lot for others as a parent), and what I do for myself. The more I feed the self-part, without neglecting my current responsibilities, the more capacity I build for myself, and the more fun I and others have when they are with me. Invite perspective, discover, feed, be what you love.