Guest Column – Thinking on Tuesday: A Conversation with my daughter

“Take Our punches”

Stardate: 29th September – 2015

A few weeks ago my daughter came home. She was very down.

Something she’d really wanted to do …she was not going to have the opportunity to.

She hadn’t been chosen.

She was very down about it. It hurt.
I understood, and so I let her have her moment. Her 10 year old heart was aching …and I knew it would be broken in different ways at different times.

After two days I thought she had been down long enough. I proceeded to talk to her.

She told me why she felt hurt. All of her friends had gotten through and she did not. She wanted it really badly and she would not get it.
She had to sit by and watch as they rejoiced, whilst she could not.

It was a difficult thing to watch her go through.

My only question to her however, was “why?

Why did you not make it?

Her easy, lazy response was: “I don’t know dad.”

I said: “think love. Why did this happen?”

“Well dad I did not get to rehearse because ….. “
“I was not doing what was asked of me because….”

“Something else…”

After thinking about it and talking it through, she accepted that she had really messed up.
She wanted it really badly but she had not stepped up. She’d let herself down.
There was no doubt that she wanted it.
No doubt that it was worth it.

But her efforts did not match her desire.
She paid the price.

My advice to her was that life will hit us sometimes. Sometimes it’s through no fault of our own but oftentimes it’s our own undoing in some way. We mess up.

And when life hits us we take our punches. We are allowed some time to grieve over it …but we MUST take our punches.

We do not insult, destroy, become depressed, self-justify and wallow.
We are not consumed by negative impulses. And we surely must not act on them.

This is hard to do sometimes but this is what we must do.

I suppose the conversation helped and she went on to have a great weekend.

I assured her the results would be different next time, provided she treated the situation like it really mattered.

Of course she will mess up again and at that time I will be there to help her face it and get through it. But one day she will get it. She will find that place where she puts the effort in for the things she wants. And I hope to be there to be part of it. Because she is worth it to me.

I think of this situation in relation to our lives in general. Life can be tough. Things go awry. But in the end we will all be alright.
Our minds act like twisted magnifying glass: Minimising the good things and magnifying the bad.

But if we look in the mirror and reflect and introspect we realise that most of us are not in bad situations but in situations we are handling badly.

And the advice of a loved one, hard as it is to hear, may be exactly what we need.

So now is the time to step up.
Take your punches with grace.
And if the situation is worth it give it all you got and fix it.

Or….well….the next time…

– Kirk Humphrey, B.Sc., M.Sc., MPA

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