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Book 360 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: You Are Only as Happy as Your Least Happy Child!


Book – The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

Book Description:

So, I've written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!") I have decided to tell these stories just as I have always done, in my own voice. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.

This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters...the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.


Reflection:

It’s wild to think that Dave Grohl was once the drummer for Nirvana, which for anyone else would be the highlight of their career, but not Dave Grohl. He’s built such an amazing life and career in which his time with the most popular band in the world 30 years ago looks like a blip on the radar. It’s pretty damn impressive!


Talk about Soul in the Game, Dave Grohl lives and breathes music. If a beaver must dam, then a Dave Grohl must create and share music with the world. It’s that simple and he never had a choice. He found his calling at a young age and his been eating his cake (see Eat the Frog Reflection) every day since and still can’t get enough. After hearing his story, I’m confident that he will never get his fill until the day he dies.


At this stage in our journey, hearing the story of Dave’s life and dedication to his craft is no surprise anymore. If anything, this is the norm for people that live a life of values and purpose that produce extraordinary outcomes that makes people take notice. When you focus on what you love, careers and lives of someone like Dave Grohl are an inevitability if you ask me. What I loved most was learning about Dave’s life outside of music world, and specifically how much he values being a father to his 3 beautiful children. At one point he was reminiscing about a trip to the doctor’s office where he first saw one of his daughters in real pain in life. He left the office almost in tears and called his own mother to ask her how she endured that feeling. After a discussion, he came to the conclusion that you can only ever be as happy as your least happy child.


That quote got me thinking, you are only as happy as your least happy child!


Here’s the thing, I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, but managing my children and trying to keep them each happy is a whole different animal than for most parents.


My son, Luca, is easy. I can visibly see when he is in pain, or if he is suffering, or if he is just having a bad day. I can do then immediately respond to what I’m experiencing and do what I can for him until his spirits return and I see a smile on his face again.


My daughter, Emilia, is a whole different story. While she may no longer be physically here with us anymore, I still feel the same way. If she is unhappy, then I cannot be happy. The question then becomes, how do I know how she is feeling? And then, assuming I can figure that out, what can I do to be there for her just like I would for Luca?


Short answer is that I don’t know, but I have to get creative. With my son, I can use my eyes. With my daughter, I must use all of my senses. I must open myself up to the universe and listen until I sense something. It isn’t easy, but eventually I will feel and then I know. These days, I most often feel her pain when I’m drifting from our shared purpose. Immediately I will get that icky feeling in my stomach where I feel like I’m letting her down with my actions, thoughts, or words.


It is in those moments of drift from our values and shared purpose that I know that she isn’t happy. That is my signal to make sure we sit down and chat in at our weekly distraction check in at the cemetery and find a new path forward that will bring her peace.


Because as Dave said, “After all, you are only as happy as your least happy child”. It doesn’t matter what we accomplish in this life as parents if one of our children is unhappy. With Luca, he’s easy, but Emilia was never a normal child. For her, I have to do a little extra and that extra has challenged me to become the person I am today. I’ll do anything to ensure my children are happy no matter where they are in this universe. I hope that much is evident by this adventure you are currently reading.


Question: What can you do to play a meaningful role in someone you love’s happiness even if they aren’t physically near you?




 

Links:


What is The Year of Magical Learning? - An Introduction


YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon


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