Aeden, you’re two!
I am not quite sure where the time went. I am sitting here looking at you play in the living room. On my phone I have a photo of us from the day you were born and how you’ve become this walking – talking, well running and screeching, little person I don’t quite know.
Last year on your first birthday I made you a promise, that each year I would write you a letter (LINK) on your special day. My way of capturing the year gone by and to try and pass on some of my learnings to you. And more than that, to capture these moments and my voice so that you may look back when you are older and read them, almost like our very own little time capsule.
So here goes son, these are my words for this year.
- Sometimes when you are thrown from a horse, its ok not to jump right back on.
In Croatia last summer your mum and I decided to go horse riding. What had been an amazing experience quickly turned into moments of extreme fear as my horse lost its rhythm and started bolting. Through its panic and gallop it ultimately threw me off and I fell hitting the ground hard with my head and back. The pain and fear was so intense; I wanted to cry, scream, shout, run all in the same breath but couldn’t do any. And in those moments, I don’t know how long, I became acutely aware of me. That sounds strange reading it back, but I became mindful of my physical and mental presence, with the rest of the world blurring around me. It was as though I mentally willed myself to a central point of focus and got up. I have not been near a horse since that moment but thats ok. My lesson was in the moment my mind told my body that it was in charge and that reality is just our subjective view of what we make of it.
- You can’t control the way other people behave, but you are in total control of how you respond.
I love what I do because I get to meet so many amazing and talented people, some of which rubs off on me. And whilst there are many great people around us, there are others whom for a variety of reasons do not play by the rules and intent on spoiling the party for the rest of us. Don’t ever let their negativity get to you Aeden. As long as you are doing great things, making people happy and doing good for this world, then let that be enough to keep you going; don’t let their misbehaviour change how you would respond as the right way. Remember that if people sling dirt at you, it will simply wash off in the rain.
- The power of wonder – I want to be more like you.
When you look at this world Aeden, you do so with such excitement and wonder that often I just sit staring at you in envy. Even the smallest most mundane thing, like watering a plant, is like a game to you and you throw yourself into it each day with your entire self. I love this about you! I want to be the same – please teach me. I am trying, and a large part of this has been through disconnecting with technology and allowing myself to be present in the moment. Just walking on the grass bare foot or listening to the sounds of this world through the window. It isn’t easy as our lives have become so fast paced and connected to everything and everyone but your child like wonder is definitely something I need more of. Please don’t lose that ability son.
- You remind me that I am growing older. Ouch!
When I was a child (honestly it seems like I am still one) I would look at older people and never be able to imagine that it would be me one day. I thought they were born that way and that I would stay young forever. You are two already and that means that I’ve aged that much more and I can definitely begin to feel my body changing. Your mum and I are still very fit and we pride ourselves in making sure we exercise routinely and intensely but nature has a way of creeping in. I’ve stopped playing some sports because of the constant injuries which now take ages to repair and whilst your parents have always loved sleep (see last years letter), we have no issue at all with now going to bed with you at nine p.m. for an early night.
- The year of distance – never intent on staying still.
This year has definitely been one of covering distances. I have flown over 80,000 kilometres (I wish I recorded all the air miles) and have run over 1 million steps (completing six half marathons). Most of all the three of us have grown so much as a little family. Staying still in the same place for too long is not a good thing as it makes you lazy and complacent. Its those that keep moving ahead, personally and professionally, re-inventing themselves and ensuring that they are on the edge of the trend that remain relevant. Make sure you live your life with movement son. Travel and see all there is, because trust me there is a lot to see. Meet people different to you with opposing and challenging points of views as that is how you will learn the strengths and weaknesses of your own perspectives and most of all take the people you love the most on the journey.
You and I have a lot of miles to cover ahead Aeden, I can’t wait!
Happy birthday my little boy – I love you son.