I’m enjoying a cool summer night, sitting on our back patio, listening to music and taking a few moments to myself while Justine puts the kids to bed.
Life is perfect.
Yes, most days when I wake up and read Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American I want to climb into a hole of despair.
How am I supposed to show up as a leader or a parent when theres so much pain, ignorance and suffering? We seem so disconnected from one another and things only seem to be getting worse.
Then I look over at Atlas and Rylo cuddling — holding onto the last few minutes of their dreams and the anxiety of our modern world gives way to pure love.
My thoughts immediately shift to the privilege I’ve been granted in this life — I grew up a white, male, in one of the most affluent parts of “THE” United States and, while I had a challenging upbringing, I also had a loving family where I was taught the value of hard work, thinking for myself, and being receptive to the knowledge present in all people, places and situations in life.
I have been granted so much opportunity out of the gate and no matter how much I may claim to never take that for granted, I don’t even think I have the cognitive ability to fully understand how lucky I am.
Social media is nothing more than a highlight reel and mine is no exception.
For every business win there are many more failures (or pivots as we like to call them).
For every happy family photo there are hours of tears, frustrations and tempers boiling over. I’m not even ready to get into the self imposed separation I actively created in the past as it pertains to my family.
The endless jet setting and travel is matched with the reality of too many concurrent New Jersey winters — wait, wasn’t I just singing praises of where I live?
As messy or incomplete as life may be at times — both on a micro and macro level, I also consider it unequivocally perfect.
I’ve begun to find calm in the storm — and I suppose that is all any of us can really do.
Well, maybe that and speaking up when we see injustice, practicing forgiveness with ourselves as well as others and doing our best to pass along as many of these lessons to our kids as we can.
So what is my secret to a perfect life?
Gratitude - and my constant struggle to find its presence in all moments of life.
Is it easy?
Hell no - but nothing good ever is.
I’ll close this train of thought with an exercise for you.
What are you grateful for in this moment?
When have you been in the wrong but too proud to admit fault?
Where can you forgive someone else for their actions in the moment?
How is your life perfect?