On my birthday yesterday, I lived two days.
In one day, my two sons were disagreeable (the kind description) through breakfast, getting ready, and heading out the door. They didn’t want to keep their voices down when I received a call from my aunt. There was unusual traffic on my drive home from the grocery. My 4-year-old threw a tantrum because I turned off the TV. I was late to a lunch appointment. My phone wasn’t cooperating. I didn’t have enough time to get in the full workout that I wanted, or to read and write. One of the sushi rolls at dinner tasted a little off.
In the second day, I was greeted with birthday wishes and cards first thing in the morning. I enjoyed an empty grocery and a well-behaved son while I stocked up on healthy ingredients for some creative cooking. I took the long, but legal exit from the supermarket parking lot, potentially avoiding being part of the fender bender that created the unusual traffic. I spent quality time with a friend at one of my favorite restaurants. I took a walk on the beach, and caught up with friends and family by phone. I relaxed with a view of the rainbow at Sony at dusk before enjoying a relaxing massage at my gym. My husband brought home a delicious dinner and dessert, and I took in birthday wishes from all three of my loves. My 6-year-old son gave me a goodnight hug that could power the city. We spent time with a dear friend before heading to bed early so I could get ready for a day of work doing what I love.
Parenthood and my 40s have taught me that life isn’t always rainbows and daisies. Actually, no single day is just the good stuff. There is loss, hurt, failure, disappointment and frustration. But there is also growth, love, and joy. I have a choice in how I walk through this world. I won't always get it right. That's not the goal. Accurately locating myself—a concept I first learned from a video from the Conscious Leadership Group—helps me actively shift my attention to what's good about the current situation. I will accept the first day as a part of life that allows the second day to happen. The second day is the birthday that will be etched in my memory.
-Peter Gandolfo, founder of Gandolfo Group, is an ICF PCC certified executive coach and career coach who works with leaders at all levels to build awareness and make progress towards their goals. He’s passionate about helping people move into the driver's seat of their careers, their leadership, and their lives. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband and their two young boys.