The most important lesson I’ve learned though is to do not only what I love, but what my loved ones love as well. Sounds confusing, but it just really means that if you love someone, find the time to do the things they love too.
My father recently passed away, and today would have been his 96th birthday. I’m so grateful I took the time to do some of the things he loved.
Many of my favorite memories from my childhood are of spending time with my dad doing the things he loved. I started watching baseball when I was a kid because he was a fan, and it was something I could talk to him about. Once a year, we’d leave right after Mass and head down to Milwaukee to catch the Sunday afternoon game. He taught me how to keep score, he brought me to watch Reggie Jackson play, and he shared his love of baseball with me. Even as a kid, I cherished those Sunday afternoon games. Because I chose to do something he loved, I eventually shared that same love. My bucket list includes seeing a game in every major league ballpark. We’ve planned trips around visiting ballparks, and because of that bucket list, my family has seen games in 17 different cities. Doing what Dad loved lead me to find what I love.
Another example of the importance of doing what your loved ones love is hunting with my husband. When we started dating, Adam told me that if I didn’t hunt with him we couldn’t date because I wouldn’t see him all Fall. Because I’d already fallen in love with him, I decided to give hunting a try. I hunted with him for 10 years before I ever saw a deer in the woods. I hated it. He loved it. When the kids were old enough, they took over as his hunting buddies. I was so relieved! Then, a few years ago we had the opportunity to travel to Namibia for a hunting trip. I wanted to travel with him, so I agreed to hunt with him again. That trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We took the kids back the next year and had an even better trip. We plan to go back again as soon as it’s safe to travel. Doing what Adam loved lead me to find a place I love.
My kids love seeing live music. We went to a lot of concerts and music festivals. I wasn’t always sure about the artists they were dragging me to see, but I was doing what they loved so I went along with it. Most of the artists we saw were ok, a few were terrible, but there are a couple that I would say that I love. Doing what my kids love lead me to find what I love to listen to.
So, do what you love, but make time to do what they love too. Some of your best memories will come from doing what they love.