MeaningI read an article a few weeks ago, written by an ex-NHL player, in which he described a meeting he'd been in with other players and some kind of life coach.
He was challenged by the speaker to write down five things that had meaning in his life, and he wasn't allowed to write down hockey, family, or God.
He couldn't think of a single thing to write down. Not one. And most of the other players in the room couldn't think of anything to write down, either.
That made me think about meaning and life, and I talked about it with Eli 12.8 this week. We talked about what his life would be like if he was only involved in hockey instead of hockey, tennis, band, magic, juggling, etc. What would it be like if the meaning of his life was totally dependent on hockey?
It would be hard. It would put a ton of pressure on every moment in hockey, which would make it less fun. And if at some point something happened and he could no longer play hockey, or couldn't progress to the next level, what would he replace hockey with?
Life without meaning, without some kind of inspiration, is empty. Caring creates energy. It's much harder not to care.
I thought about my own life, and realized how fortunate I am that I write this every week (some weeks better than others, obviously), and to get to know so many of you via e-mail over the years. And in retrospect, I was fortunate to get into programming, which is a relatively natural fit for how my brain words (and doesn't work). I want to help Eli grow into being an honest, kind adult, but I have to grow, too. He's helped me as much as I've helped him--I'm a much, much different person than I was before he was born--but I have to keep developing my own life.
I want him to be strong, and fearless. And I have to be strong enough to help him.