We were having dinner. A fantastic pumpkin soup I made, super healthy! My daughter was talking. Sharing how she faced and accomplished a challenge she had. She was at the same time quoting some stuff of Harry Potter in perfect English, we usually speak in Spanish at home. She was fluent, clear, intelligent, nice, enjoyable to hear, and, you know what? I could only see two things she was not eating her soup and dinner was taking too long!!!!!
Imagine the picture: this amazing and beautiful (yes, I am a proud dad) 9-year-old girl, speaking in two languages, acknowledging a life lesson and I had eyes only for the fact that she was not eating the soup and the time we were spending at the table. Sadly I could not avoid being annoying and every minute I interrupted her with the “sweetie the soup”. I said that like 20 times or more! After a while, of course, I became annoyed and somehow unsettled a beautiful family moment with a perfect kid that did not need a specific amount of soup in any specific time frame.
Why? Why did I do this? I know it happens to many of us, so, why do we do this? After a little research, this is what I found. It is based on two very generalized behaviors: the problem-solving mode and a scarcity view of the world.
We are designed to solve problems. We could say it is why we are able to be the ruling species of the planet. But there is a downside: not everything is a problem nor all problems need to be solved. Somehow this ability to solve problems has got the best of us and we are unable to live situations just as they are.
The other thing I found was the scarcity world view. We lack time, energy, money, health, resources. We are told over and over we need more: more exercise, more money, more studies, which basically means that we do not have enough or we do not do enough. I am not saying this is not partially true but the same way cars have gears we should too. We have to learn to switch gears more naturally and more often.
So, what to do? Be conscious. Be aware of this. You are not driving an ambulance 24/7, you are not expecting the call of Barack Obama any time soon, and even if you did, should this imply we miss the beauty of a family moment?
When you walk the dog, just walk the dog, there is no “problem” that it takes longer to pee, enjoy your dog, that is why you have a dog in the first place! It applies to all. If the kid is sharing her or his life, enjoy it, let that moment sink into your soul, because, it is those moments we will miss, it is those moments that make life worth it. Forget Barack Obama, he can wait.