Two years ago today, I was waddling in circles in my neighborhood with a huge belly, hoping that either I would go into labor or pass out with enough exhaustion to finally get a good night’s rest.
Thankfully, Angela Rose Slim was born later that evening.
The two years since have been incredibly wonderful, action-filled, and at times, very challenging.
I have spent many hours looking into this computer screen.
For this reason, I dedicate this post to my baby girl.
For your patience, my sweet, you deserve attention.
My dearest Angela:
When you were finally ready to see this world, you came in a fell swoop. I barely made it to the hospital in time.
We were so amazed at your beautiful eyes, and sweet smile, and calm demeanor.
We held you and kissed you. We listened to the beat of your tiny heart as you slept, and felt your soft breath at our cheeks.
And we worked. Unlike with your brother Josh, who had unfettered attention for the first year of his life, you came to us at a time when both your Dad and I had a lot going on.
So we worked around your schedule. You were comfortable rolling around the floor as we faxed documents to clients. I wrote while you slept. And always, you were a comfort, and a joy.
Right after Christmas, things got interesting. I was approached by a publisher to write a book. Things moved quickly. We had deal by February.
The writing process itself is now a blur. I remember lots of late nights. In the last two months before my deadline, your Dad took you out to play on the weekends so I could write.
I missed you. Sometimes I would stare at the screen with tears in my eyes, thinking about you.
But in this sacrifice, there was a divine spirit of creativity. I felt alive. I had a message to share. And I am glad I did it.
You seem to understand me. When I am tired, or stressed, or lack patience, you smile at me, in your calm and grounded way. You bring me back to my center. You reconnect me with love.
There are some other lessons you have taught me in your two years on earth:
Treat fear with love.
Your life happened to coincide with a tremendous financial surge and crash. Your daddy’s business was hit hard, growing fast, and then dropping like a lead weight. All his hopes, joy, excitement in providing for his family were challenged by a lot of stress in finding new work. He hit the pavement every day before the sun came up, hopeful and optimistic. In the moments of fear, uncertainty and panic, your Dad got great satisfaction just sitting with you. Your mere presence was enough to calm him down and remind him that there is beauty all around us at all times, regardless of external circumstances.
Work to learn.
Watching you grow and develop reminds me that everything that drives our growth as human beings is learning. Why should this stop when we get older? Finding interesting ways to learn, and enjoying the process, is at the root a happy and healthy life.
I am working and learning with you, not for you. You will find your work, and enjoy it too.
Life is about connection.
The love, the teasing and the companionship you provide to your brothers is a great example of living with joy.
We are each solely responsible for the happiness in our lives. And we all need each other.
We do what we see.
You see your Mom at the computer quite a bit. So it is not surprising that you would copy my actions. For the record, I did not pull up Tim Ferriss’ site, you did that on your own.
Watching what you do, I see myself in the mirror. I want you to see me laughing and playing and eating healthy food and exercising. And working with great passion. I get great joy from my work, and I want you to see that as an example for your future career.
Happy birthday Angela! We are so lucky to have you in our lives.