The other day I was scrolling through some old photos on my phone, and I came across some baby photos of my oldest daughter (who is now 4.5 years old). I remembered how her birth changed my life for the better and how I promised that I would be the best daddy I could possibly be for her. Then, due to two different reasons, the emotional floodgates opened.
The first reason is one that all parents can relate to: time goes by so fast. I remember the late night bottle feedings and diaper changes as if they happened yesterday and now I’m preparing school lunches. Before I know it, she’ll be dating, off to college, finding a career, and starting a life of her own. As my mom once told me, “In parenting, the days are long, but the years are short.” So true.
The second reason is a personal one: did I keep my promise to her that I’d be the best daddy I could possibly be? All things considered, I know I’m pretty good at the fatherhood thing – but I always wonder if I can do more for my two girls. Maybe I could spend less time on social media or writing articles and focus more on the moments that come and go so quickly. Maybe I could listen more and talk less. Maybe I could stop saying, “hurry up” to my daughters, because the universe has a funny way of speeding things up before you can blink an eye.
One of my favorite quotes is this: The main thing is to ensure that the main thing always remains the main thing.
I’ve been so focused on writing good blog posts, being active on social media, and being an advocate for good dads everywhere, that sometimes I lose sight of the main thing. The main thing is togetherness and always being the best man I can be for my family.
When the good folks at Carnival offered to take my wife, daughters, and my parents on an 8-day eastern Caribbean cruise, I took them up on it instantly because I knew it would be a great way to focus on “the main thing.” My cell phone wasn’t ringing, my computer stayed home, and it was just about enjoying the company of the people who matter the most in my life. Specifically, it was a great way to focus on my daughters and enjoy quality time with them without dealing with the hustle and bustle of daily life in California.
Do you know what the most valuable resource in the world is? Time. It’s the only resource that we cannot get back once we give it, so we should never take it for granted. I cannot stress this enough – please hug your loved ones, tell them how much you love them, and remember that they will always be your main thing, no matter what life throws at you (or them). And finally, if you want to focus on your “main thing” during a vacation, do yourself a favor and do it on a Carnival cruise. Personally, I had the time of my life and I have a feeling you would as well.
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.