I was leaving office for lunch, when our Australian Engineer greeted me in the corridor, (in an Australian accent ) ‘Good day mate’…but for me the day was not shaping up very good…
I got in my car and set out to pick my daughter from school. My eyes & ears were on the road, but my mind was scrolling through the long list of 'things to do'. Topping the list was the Weekly Sales report to the General Manager….”Dude, where is my sales report, now it’s 2 days late”…was how he greeted me this morning….but his report was just one out of about a dozen things I had to finish within today, none of which have even been started yet…. I was under pressure, stressed, feeling tired, and my shoulders were very heavy.
Contest chair, respected judges, & fellow Toastmasters, “Good evening”……
Once my daughter hopped in to the car, I started driving towards home……
“ How was your day Daddy ? ” my daughter threw her usual appetizer to a long conversation. but I, did not want any interruptions in my world of thoughts….
“ fine ”….
”Daddy I want to tell you something”….she wants to continue the conversation, but not me..
” If it is about school, tell it to mummy, I’m busy thinking something”…
” No, no, not about school, it is ”…yet another disturbance, I got annoyed….
(in a very angry voice) ” Don’t you understand ? I told you not to disturb me”……………She realized my bad mood. A few quiet minutes later something happened that that caught me off guard.
My daughter slowly started to sing to herself, very softly, yet so cheerfully;
“Living in my own world.... ♫ ♪ ♫
didn’t understand.... ♪ ♫ ♪
that anything can happen....♫ ♪ ♫
when you take a chance…. ♪ ♫ ♪
Her all time favorite song..…Her cheer must have brushed on me, because my anger started to erode…I adjusted the rear mirror and looked at her, perhaps for the very 1st time that day with real purpose. Her eyes were still wet with tears caused by my stress…but she still looked extremely lovable……I kept on looking at her,….. and started to realize how much she has grown up from the cute little baby girl whom I myself cut the “Umbilical Cord” 8 years ago… Just that thought ignited memories of that beautiful moment when she was born,………..How I nervously cut the cord, How she cried for the very first time making her face grape red, and the relieved smile in my wife’s face,…those scenes started to flash in front of my mind like a movie….
I felt sad ! I felt sad for just being so rude to such a precious treasure in my life…and the tear that I so controlled during that moment 8 years ago, betrayed me this time and rolled down my cheek…. :(
” Daddy, are you crying ?” Her surprised voice dragged me back to the present moment.. ……But how could a father show his tears to a daughter ?.....
”No, it must be this fly, that went in to my eye”………I am a bad liar…. she probably realized I was melting..…
(in a very kind & gentle voice) " Daddy, you need some water ?"........I pulled the car over..
” No darling, Daddy badly needs a hug from his beautiful daughter”…. I saw the amazement & excitement that spread through her face in a flash…she jumped to the front seat and gave me a bear hug for a few minutes…. Suddenly, it seemed as if, the whole world was standing still for a moment.
As I looked ahead back again, I noticed a new beauty in the surroundings, the ‘bright blue sky and wispy clouds flying softly by’…at that moment, I realized I was at peace, and so was the world around me.
“Getting the wind knocked out of you is the best way to remind your lungs how much they love the taste of fresh air !”………extreme pressure & stress, followed by a moment of over flowing fatherly love, brought clarity to the one thing that means most to me in my life... and ever since that moment, I always feel so grateful and blessed to have these three wonderful people to come home to, whom I proudly call “my family”.
Toastmasters, Life is like one of those races in Nursery School, where you have to run, with a marble in a spoon, held in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point in coming first, same is with life. Life is good when you are happy…..Life is better when others are happy for you…. Life is best but when your family is happy because of you…..
So.....RUN THE RACE, BUT SAVE THE MARBLE !