Yes my daughter is only 3 and half but I figured it was time to teach her to drive.
Each week we go out for my daughter’s swimming lessons and the pool is on private property along some single lane roads on farm land. This means, typically, the road is empty and allows us to drive at a more leisurely pace.
A few months ago I started letting her sit on my lap to “drive” the car and it makes her happy and excited. It’s fun and harmless, unless she gains a mad amount of strength and wrenches the wheel from my hand and drives us into a fence.
I don’t think that will happen though.
The experience also allows me to teach her to focus on the task at hand. Over the weeks she has become more aware of the drive, how the road feels, and when the road curves so she can begin turning the wheel.
Teaching my daughter to drive is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long while. My father used to let me “drive” on his lap and at the time I thought it was me turning the wheel and really driving. And I want my daughter to have those same, fun, memories of us driving together that I have of me and my dad driving together.
Throughout history folks have been journaling and keeping diaries. We’ve got the collections from historical figures within personal libraries and have the ability to read what folks were thinking in times of upheaval and change.
Without journaling we wouldn’t have the Diary of Anne Frank to further understand the perspective of the Jewish Persecution from a teenager directly affected by the war.
Without the chance to read the diary of Virginia Woolf we would be denied the knowledge from her diaries to be better informed about mental illness suffered silently by many, bi-polar disorder. And without Virginia being a prominent writer she most likely would have been committed and further insight into this illness would be lost.
Journaling is a tool
I use my writing as a way to empty my mind of the things that are rattling around that I can’t make sense of or things that are just causing me anxiety. Many issues in our lives cannot be solved, but getting them written down can give us a better perspective on what is going on. Often just seeing it written down and see how simple something can be makes it easier to understand.
When I was in the Navy and deployed for 6 months across the world I would keep a personal journal writing out the days events. Email at the time wasn’t that great so I would write letters to myself sharing experiences or problems. Writing like that allowed me to unburden my mind and relax.
What I’m doing now
I try to write here every now and then but with the changes in my year of learning I haven’t given myself much time to dedicate to writing for public consumption.
Last year I backed (another) Kickstarter project by a company here in Scotland, Journal Life. And they’ve put together a nice collection and process of journaling that I am hoping will give me some further direction and understanding of my journey and life.
I’ve only received the journals yesterday so I’ve not started my journaling process yet. I want to get a new pencil first for writing as I don’t want to use pen. I use pen for my study notes.
As well the journaling style with Journal Life is more than just writing out my thoughts as I do here. There is some structure and focus on goals is an important aspect of their view of journaling.
I am excited about this journal I’ll be on with Journal Life and I’m hopeful that with some structure I learn more about myself and also improve things about myself that will be reflected in daily experiences with others.
No matter how busy you get, and life gets, it’s important to take time for yourself. We all need a break from all the things around us.
Take time for a reset
It’s our minds that become busy and get us thinking about everything we could be doing, or need to be doing, or haven’t spent enough time doing. But if all the stuff in your head is there and nothing can be done about it right now then stop for a moment and take time for yourself.
No matter how important stuff is we still need to reset our minds or we’re not helpful to all those folks around us that depend on us to be at our best.
Even if it’s the chance to sleep in a little bit longer than normally or watch TV shows that really just provide noise, getting a chance to not think about the stressors in life is nice. You can take time and read a book while taking a bath. Or, as I do, listen to audiobooks and podcasts while doing chores around the home. I’m still getting things done but I’m also enjoying a good story that keep my mind distracted.
Give time to others
Your partner needs to take time for themselves as well. Often we get so focused on our stuff that we forget that the other folks in our life need some time for a mental reset.
In the mornings I often take our daughter downstairs for breakfast and to get her day started while my wife gets an extra hour in bed to doze and relax a little. Sadly I’m not always able to give her all the time she deserves as our daughter starts wanting to go up and check on mommy. I’ve taught her the concept of whispering but she’s still not the best.
Take time together
Taking time for yourself doesn’t always mean spending time alone. Spend an afternoon with the family out at the park chasing some butterflies.
There are often lots of cool things to do around you that cost next to nothing to visit and have fun. And if you’re in the situation as we are with a two-year old, everything is exciting to her. Watching my daughter get excited about silly things that I’ve outgrown is more fun than anything else I can do that costs money.
I had a recent realisation earlier this month that my daughter will be three very soon and I then thought, “They grow up so fast”.
And it’s true, when your back is turned your child will grow. They’ll grow like a weed. Will require putting a rock on their heads to keep them down. I’m sure there are more cliches for this but those are the only ones I can remember being used in my presence growing up.
Talking with dads
I work with a few folks that are parents as well as couple of guys that have daughters in Moxie’s age range and we often talk about our little girls and how fast they’re growing.
One of these dads, Taj, has an awesome little girl, Mahi, and watching her grow up reminds me of how small my own daughter was when she was born and how much growth she’s had in the past few years. And it was our talking to each other about how fast they grow up that got me thinking about writing this post.
Watching the growth progress
Throughout our workday, Taj and I pass each other through the hallways or have lunch breaks together and always end up sharing new photos or videos of our daughters. Until he had Mahi it was myself always showing folks pictures and videos of Moxie then Mahi arrived and it’s been an amazing experience to watch her grow up through photos and videos.
My daughter now wants me to leave the room/area when she’s on the potty or toilet. She now wants privacy while she poops, with an iPad on her lap watching various YouTube videos. She’s not even three yet and she wants privacy.
When did this happen?
It’s fun to watch the personality develop and ideas form. She gains her own identity and preferences for stuff. The way she wants to eat dinner (spoon and fork preferences), how she wants things laid out for playing, or how she will want to do something on her own.
They do grow up so fast
But her Mother and I are here to watch her grow up and we get to be apart of it. Everyday is a new experience for us all and something we cherish. On my iPhone I have over 6,000 photos and 90% of them are of her.
I love my daughter and I want her to grow up and be awesome but I want her to stay my little girl just a tiny bit longer.