Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Life Changes

I'm winning at life.

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


I'm a doctor.

I've banked 3.5mil.

I make 130k a year.

I took a trip to Paris.

I've only been fired once in my life.

I have one baby and a dog, and in my spare time, I invented a dancing robot.

And, oh yeah, I did this all by age 33 at which time I retired.

I guess you could say I win at life -- the game of LIFE that is.

Actually, my daughter won, but who better to surpass you in life and be a greater success than your offspring?

No one.

My eight-year-old is home this third week of summer break, and with no camps in this week's line-up, she is eating up all this extra one-on-one time she gets with her father and me.

Her request today?

To play the (long) game of LIFE.

I like the game. It's fun.

Still, I felt quite a bit guilty for wasting an hour playing some silly game when there was (and is) laundry to be done, floors to be cleaned, clothes to be sorted, appointments to be made, bills to be paid, etc.

With only t-minus two hours until it is time to pick up my youngest from her camp, spending sixty or so precious minutes without a toddler attached to my side playing LIFE at the dining room table instead of tackling any of the plethora of tasks needing tending to seemed like a waste.

But, a waste is precisely what it wasn't.


Because I got to spend a whole hour viewing my daughter experience pure delight and joy at the opportunity to play a game with both of her parents without the soundtrack of the crying and whining that usually plays while her younger siblings are home.

This was fun this morning.

When I finally decided to stop my distracted playing, close my computer and cease my multi-tasking per my girl's second request, I, surprisingly, enjoyed myself.

The thing about life and the game of LIFE is that you never know what's coming next.

Will it be something that propels you closer to your desires, wants, and dreams, or will it be something that is less than pleasant and drags you further from the life you hoped to live and lead?

Every day I get myself severely bent out of shape and anxiety-ridden contemplating what and who I should be tending to -- where and to who to give my attention and energy.

And then, I worry if I made the right choice and feel guilt over the tasks or people not chosen.

But, here's the thing I've come to realize and accept --

That life is going to happen how it is going to happen.

However the spinner spins, it spins.

**All that we have to do is be a player.**

Be a player in the game of life.

Show up and agree to play.

Show up and go with the flow.

Show up, lighten up, and have fun.

Now, I realize that's probably pretty easy for me to say since I'm a doctor who makes bank and that in the "real world," it's a lot harder to foster and maintain this more laissez-faire attitude when there are real patients waiting to see you, clients needing callbacks and deadlines which need to be met.

But, something that each of us needs to remember and aim to keep at the forefront of the mind, every day, is that a life that doesn't make you happy or allow for balance isn't a life at all.

Humans are complicated people, and there is so much more to us and our time here on Earth than punching the clock, running on the treadmill or keeping a clean house.

For those of us that have chosen to become parents, the most important part of life is to love and spend quality time with the adorable, pint-sized, and perplexing beings we call our kids.

When we live in such a way that reinforces to our kids that they are a (and our) priority, they turn into compassionate grown-up humans who understand that you win at life when you give of your presence and time to those that need it.

This morning, my daughter may have won the game of LIFE, but in real life, I think I'm a winner because I have her and her brother and sister to keep reminding me that quality time with the people we love takes precedence over all else.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.