Last week my daughter, Anne, and son-in-law, Jon, had a daughter. Her name is Amelia, and she is our first grandchild. She is a treasure to everybody in the family. My wife, Sue, and I hustled up from Nebraska to Minnesota to visit her. Our daughter Sara also joined us for the weekend.
It means there are 5 adults to help take care of this bundle of joy. It gives us more than enough time to do other things besides holding Amelia and assist her parents in adjusting to their new life. To be honest, we are pretty sure Anne and Jon could have survived without us.
So, I have been spending some of this weekend reading the book “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. It is a New York Times Bestseller about a Navy Seal who has lived a tough life and faithfully served our country. He is a very tough guy. I am only halfway through the book and so writing about it might be premature. But contesting the book with my current situation is irresistible.
Goggins’ stories about growing up in an abusive home life than going through Hell Week 3 times and running a 100-mile race with 3 days’ notice and no preparation are impressive. But as I read, the thought keeps going through my mind, so what. Good for you, but who really cares. Hopefully, I find out he somehow channels his personal story to make the world a better place and live for something more than himself. Otherwise, I will close this book and say he is a foul-mouthed selfish guy. I am halfway through the book and so far, I am left thinking he can overcome anything, no matter what it takes. But his motivation is off base.
Remember I have only finished half the book. By next week I will have finished the book. Although the only reason I am going to finish is I’m in a book club on it, and I don’t want to let those people down, and I would like to see if he has an epiphany and starts to live for others.
Contrast the book with my living situation this weekend. The only struggling has been my daughter trying to get sleep. The rest of our activities have been about the care and nurture of a newborn baby and a young mother’s recovery. For the most part, everything we do revolves around somebody else. (Except for me, as you know, I have also been reading a book and watching basketball.)
Our actions have been about improving the life of somebody else. It is much easier to do. Nobody will write or read a book about Amelia’s first weekend. But it is a better life lesson.
My driven personality needs to leave this weekend understanding I need to stop pushing myself to accomplish great deeds to my own glory and look for ways to benefit others. Who knows, it might even be an easier path.