Last Sunday was both my birthday and Father’s Day.
Obviously it’s a special weekend, but has a little bit more meaning to me than most. I wrote about it last year.
Maya and I decided to take our daughter Bellamy with us to Virginia Beach, where Maya was raised and her parents still live, for a beach weekend. It offered the beach, good food, free housing, and free childcare. What more could new parents ask for?
My birthday is typically a time of reflection for me, because it’s the halfway point of the year, and another year gone of my life. Let me tell you, nothing proves that a year has passed like watching the transformation of your child from two months to fourteen months.
Historically on June 16th, I’d look back on what I’d accomplished the year before, almost always finding some disappointment because I didn’t do “this” or didn’t get around the finishing “that.”
But I feel different this year.
Although life is constantly in flux with a new child and a new business, I feel at peace.
Maybe it’s all the therapy I go through writing to you here on Chapelboro.com. Maybe it’s that I’m finally getting the hang of focusing on the long game, taking it step-by-step, focusing on connecting dots instead of collecting them — you know, all the themes that keep appearing in Right as Rain.
Maybe it’s that I’m so caught up being a new parent that it allows me to get (at least partially) out of my headspace, swirling with anxiety and stress and “what next?” because I’m focused on her more than myself.
But as I sat on the beach with my family, on a gorgeous 80° day, things felt right. They felt in balance. They felt calm.
Sure it helped that I had a drink in my hand and ocean breeze in my face, but I wasn’t measuring my achievements or failures from the past year. I wasn’t stressing myself out about what I needed to accomplish by the end of this year.
I was able to actually be in the moment — which doesn’t happen easily for me.
Happy Father’s Day! pic.twitter.com/v2OdQoYfGa
— Rain Bennett (@rainbennett) June 16, 2019
You know how it’s easy to give the right advice for someone you care about when they are struggling, but hard as hell to follow that same advice yourself? That’s what I’m striving to defeat.
I don’t want to just tell my daughter how to lead her life so she doesn’t burnout or fill herself with anxiety by measuring herself constantly. I want to show her by living it.
What I’ve learned over the past year is simple. The more I’ve made my life about others, and truly focusing on the greater good, the better things have worked out for me. Maybe it’s karma, maybe it’s coincidence, or maybe it’s just the paradox of life.
But this year, I didn’t feel the weight that my birthday usually brings.
I didn’t feel that another year had passed. I felt another year closer to enlightenment.
Boy, that sounds cheesy. But I don’t care. That’s the point.
I’m not sure if I’ve turned a new leaf. Only time will tell. But I do know that at least for one day, and perhaps a whole weekend, I was able to shut off the noise and focus on what matters:
I’m healthy, happy, and full of love.
Rain Bennett is a two-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker, writer, and competitive storyteller with over a decade of experience producing documentary films that focus on health and wellness. His mission is simple: to make the world happier and healthier by sharing stories of change.
You can read the rest of “Right as Rain” here, and check back every Wednesday on Chapelboro for a new column!