Today I am thankful for advice that makes sense as I get older.
It seems like more and more often I’m hearing pieces of advice that at one time seemed trivial, unimportant or completely non-sensical, but that now either kind of make sense, or I completely get and understand now.
As an example, this past Sunday Dominic and I picked up some sand to weight his basketball hoop. As we pulled into the driveway I decided to back the Pilot up to the hoop instead of parking it in the garage. When Dominic asked why didn’t we park where we normally do and just carry the bags I caught my dad’s voice coming out of my mouth. “One day you’ll understand the importance of working smarter instead of harder. You’re not always going to be able to just muscle things around.” Ugh…
The advice that I rolled my eyes at seemingly just a few years ago (now that I think about it I’m pretty sure that was almost a decade ago) was now coming out of my mouth. It’s one of those things that “Back in the Day” was a load of crap. “Seriously Dad? Don’t be a wimp and just do the heavy lifting!” I was in my mid-20’s and totally invincible. Now? Not so much.
Earlier today I had an experience that surprised the crap out of me. We had our Express Simulcast and one of the speakers was Marshall Goldsmith. He was making a point out of making sure that we were spending time with our kids because “they grow up a lot faster than we think, they’re here and gone in the blink of an eye.” Before I realized what was happening I was nodding my head in agreement and whispering, “Isn’t that the truth?” HOLY CRAP!!! Since when did that thought cross my mind? Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that I was complaining about the people that say that??? Yet here I am today, nodding and agreeing, and ready to holler out “Amen!”
And then I got to thinking… Why is it that so many pieces of advice are making more and more sense to me now? Is it that I am thankful for the advice so I’m thinking of things differently? Have I reached some crazy state of enlightenment that has me seeing the world differently? Why is it that this is all making so much more sense???
Then something hit me… It seems like there’s something that seems vaguely similar to another thought that I’ve had. I charted it out and found this:
As I started thinking about it, my parents were like super smart when I was little, and then they got really dumb and had no idea what it was like to be me or to be my age (I’m smiling as even I type it I can hear my 19 year old self saying it in a snotty and sarcastic voice that’s filled with loads of teenage angst and testosterone). But then about the time I turned 25 or so they stopped talking gibberish and started making sense again. And every year that has passed they have made more and more sense!
And then I thought more about it and realized that the only variable that was changing in this equation was me living life and learning from my experiences. My parents have always been smart and had great advice for me, it was me who wasn’t ready to listen or didn’t like what they were saying.
Which brings me back to what I’m thankful for today. As I continue to get older and have more life experiences to relate things back to it seems I can better appreciate some advice now. It’s finally making some sense for me and has me wondering what other profound advice I’ve heard over the years that I still don’t quite understand. Maybe there’s an additional layer of depth that I’m still not getting?
One of the pieces the speaker left us with today was this:
“Never regret the risk you took and failed at. Regret the risk that you failed to take.”
While I’m starting to get it, I can’t wait until it makes more sense to me… And I’m ready for the challenge of testing my patience when I share it with the boys before they’re ready to hear it, but know that they will hear it and remember it when they get older and are ready for it.