Your Christmas presence

Zoe playing. I’m on the computer. I’m there but not present. She comes over with things, one time it was something that fell off the table and she wanted to add value to me by giving it back to me… Another time it was so that I could take a sip of her drink. She was trying to bring me in. She’s not even two years old. Almost, just over a week from now. 

But I saw it, I realised, and I shut the computer and went to engage.

I love Christmas. I love it. I love the spirit of this time of year. It’s undeniable. Even Ebenezer Scrooge transformed. It’s amazing. And the reason for the season is either you believe in God’s gift of Jesus Christ, or it’s the nearly the end of your year and that will somehow make next year better. For me, I’m both the former AND the latter on this one. Whatever your belief right now, I hope you get your Christmas presence. Not a typo.

I noticed that Zoe noticed that I wasn’t being present. And isn’t that really the ultimate gift, your presence? I have things to do though, things to do … for her… so I can spend time like now with her… Ahhh… like now.

What would you prefer: a quick $100,000 from your loved one who died and secretly left it to you this Christmas, or them being here with you (and maybe with the capacity to leave your $100,000 later)? The latter. Especially the latter with the parentheses.

And if you chose the former, then you’re trading a life for a cheque because you’re in a mess. And that’s messed up too. It’s a storm. You’ll get through it. Be resourceful, but stick to your values. Don’t lower yourself. This is only a test.

I think the greatest gift is presence. And right now, it’s your presence. Because that’s what you can really control. And me too.

Another moment: Zoe wants the three of us to be together when I wanted to take her to the shops while Lydia has a rest. But Zoe was happier when the family’s together.

Putting away the laptop. Doing things together.

Deferring the work in those two hours to a post-her-asleep 2 hours, and then postponing the postponed work so I could spend time with Lydia. Happier. Interesting. I want to do that more often please. So I will.

Lesson 1: get the work done when you have the time to get it done…. ie during work hours, else tomorrow.

Lesson 2: be … like watching her being fascinated by the snails and investing time in that moment of wonder, rather than needing to get her somewhere else, like play-school… sometimes there really is no rush… what the heck was anyone going to be late for? Play-school? The snail moment was priceless. Be that dad, Tim.

Lesson 3: get out from behind your phone trying to capture the perfect moment with her, and just live that perfect moment with her. Feel it. Experience an emotion coupled with an event. Because THAT’S EXACTLY where memories are formed: when a strong enough emotion is coupled with a moment. That will be remembered. By me, by Zoe, by Lydia, and by anyone else with us if it moved them too.

Make your next present your presence. Merry Christmas.

Tim Wade
Global Conference Speaker
Motivational Speaker Singapore

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