This is Daily Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.
Last Saturday, I took my family to a Christmas tree farm. It was our first time cutting down our own tree, and we were excited to find the perfect one. We walked out into the field and went straight for the biggest trees we saw. We inspected the shape and the fullness of the branches. And we found a couple of winners. “Oooh, but what about those over there?”
I stood by one, while my wife and kids went to inspect. The kids ran back and told me that the one I was next to was the one. And then wife said that maybe I should go check out the others. They were nice too, but we decided to stick with the original choice. “It’s perfect,” my kids said. And then we saw a few others in the distance that we had to have a look at. They were also nice, but pretty much the same. So finally, we got the saw, and took turns laying on the ground to cut it down.
Now first of all, whatever tree we pick, we’re going to cover it with lights and decorations, and then throw it away in a month. So the search for ‘barely better’ hardly makes sense.
And what is this drive to keep searching for better? Why is it so hard to just be content with ‘good enough’? But we do this over and over throughout our lives, always thinking that ‘better’ is just around the corner.
And then, why we were there in the first place? Yes, to buy that perfect Christmas tree. But really it was to do something together as a family. To create memories together. And the kids made the ultimate decision—and they’ll remember that. It lets them know that they play a role in this family, and that their voice matters.
And with that criteria in mind, we ended up picking the perfect tree.
→ On Black Friday, I felt a different version of this tension between being content and wanting better.
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