Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham Parent’

A Father’s Day Story: Editing Your Life

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Today I’m happy to welcome guest blogger Carol Muse Evans, publisher/editor of Birmingham Parent magazine. I love what she wrote about her relationship with her dad, and I think it’s a great read as we each start thinking about Father’s Day — and our relationship with our own father. Thanks, Carol.

I’m halfway through an interesting book someone in our office building recently recommended.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller is described as a writer “editing his life.”  It’s a cool idea – if only we could learn to do it as we go. If only we would do it.

Ironically, as I’m thinking about Father’s Day, and I’m deep in my book, my thoughts keep going back to my dad’s life. My relationship with my late dad was certainly less than ideal. He was a tough man to love, as a child and an adult. While many times I thought he didn’t love me as I was growing up, now that he’s gone, and I  think back on that part of my life, I realize who he really didn’t love was himself. He loved me as best he knew how, but he really didn’t love himself, which made everything else in his life so much harder.

In the book I’m reading, Miller talks about how, as you live your life, you are writing your own “story.” When I read, “People who say life is meaningless usually mean their life is meaningless,” I thought of Daddy.  I think that might be how he felt. I think he thought he wasn’t writing his story, but that it was writing itself, and he had no control. Ultimately, I don’t think Daddy ever could be happy. I don’t think he chose to be happy or to search out happiness in the life he had. He never edited his life into a story he wanted to read.

And it makes me sad for him now. Thought he never earned millions or wrote anything profound, nor played in the NFL or had fame, he had a family that still loved him, warts and all, and a child that always sought his approval, though it could never be attained. He could have written a very different story. It was all in his hands, despite what life dealt him. He was still the writer.

This Father’s Day, dads, reflect on the story you are “writing,” and if it’s the story you want to live. It’s not too late to do some editing, if you need to, and being a great dad will be one of the best story lines you can choose. Showing your child you love him and showing him how to live a great life will be some of the greatest gifts you can ever give on Father’s Day, and every day.  You don’t have to be a celebrity — just his dad.

What Do You Really Value?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Today we’re featuring guest blogger Carol Muse Evans, publisher of Birmingham Parent magazine in Alabama. When I read her publisher’s letter in the January issue, I asked to use it as a guest post here because I thought it would speak to a lot of parents the way it spoke to me. Thanks, Carol!

Each year, I and many others write a list of New Year’s resolutions that are often abandoned before the ink is dry. But this year, my resolutions aren’t about losing weight (though I need to), exercising more (ditto) or other frivolous causes. I have more lasting things on my mind.

I’m more reflective in 2008 — perhaps I’m feeling my age a bit, readying for my empty nest in a few years since I now have teenagers, and just realizing that life is a little shorter as the obituary page becomes a bit more familiar each day I open the newspaper.

I don’t mean to be morbid, but I am trying to live more like I would want to, and want to be remembered for. It seems books I read, movies I see and sermons I hear are moving me in that direction. Perhaps it is God who is leading me down this path.

This year, my list is more important than ever to me, and I’m going to try really hard to make it. Here are some of the things on MY resolution list:

•    I want to right wrongs. For those I have hurt inadvertently or purposefully, I want to try to make it right. While I cannot make people forgive or forget, I want to try to bring resolution in areas when I need to.

•    I want to get over being bitter about things. Old relationships, old hurt, old business dealings gone wrong and even old school-day pains. I want it gone, out of me.

•    I want to reunite with old friends and relatives with whom I’ve lost touch. We get so busy, we often let relationships, particularly long-distance ones, go.

•    I want to let my house get a little dirtier and have more fun. I want to give up trying to have the perfect life and really have the perfect life — by spending more time having fun with my family. I want to do things I’ve never done — like snow skiing, taking that ballroom-dancing class, etc. — and enjoy life.

•    I want to help the less fortunate. Many of us just think of it during the holiday season, and while that’s important, I want to remember those who are in need ALL year long and do more than I’ve ever done before. God has blessed me, and I want to pay it forward.

Ultimately, I hope by doing the above that I’ll be the best example to my children. I hope they’ll think more about the truly important things in life because they see Mom finally doing it. And that would mean everything.

Happy New Year!