Advice From My Teenage Daughter

Last week I was having a pity party (table for one please). My work projects were all in a state of chaos or on life support. I was feeling kind of blue. Frustrated. Angry. Dare I say bitchy? (Mostly bitchy.)

So, I wrote a sad sack poem about my feelings. It was really less of a poem and more of a list. 

I like lists.

I like grocery lists.

I like To-Do lists.

I like gratitude lists.

I like lists for when things are bugging me. (Since this is the opposite of gratitude, I call them my  attitude lists.)

Lists help me think. They help me clear the cobwebs out of my brain.

I was planning to just post the list of my feelings under the guise that it was poetry… but it wasn’t really poetry.

It wasn’t particularly insightful.

It certainly wasn’t witty.

I would have been better off posting my grocery list... which might have been more entertaining.

But when I wrote my list/poem, I was hoping to kill two birds with one stone:

1) Write my way out of a bad mood.

2) Write something that I could post today.

But that didn’t happen.

So our family dinner conversation was consumed with my complaining about my frustrations at work. I was lamenting to my husband that all of my projects seemed to be blowing up all at once. While in mid-rant, my 13-year-old daughter looked up from her spaghetti and meatballs and asked me this:

“Mom, of all the producers you have ever worked with, which ones had success right away?” The question stopped me in my tracks. I thought long and hard and finally said, 

“None of them. It takes years to get even one project off the ground.”  

She smiled and said, “So why would it be any different for you? Success takes time. Just keep going.”

Wait a minute! Did my 13-year-old daughter just give me advice? Is she actually paying attention to things I have taught her? Things I have said? Is this the same daughter who can’t remember to pick up her wet towel off the floor every day? 

Yes, it is.

Her words were so simple and yet so perfect. For this one moment, I stepped out of my self-indulgent, panic-induced, stress-riddled, producer-ranting, irritated professional-self, and took stock in a joyous moment of motherhood.

My daughter is paying attention. Not just to me. But to the world. She is able to assimilate a lot of amorphous information and distill it down to a few words of wisdom. My daughter is compassionate, insightful… and 100% correct. My daughter is listening. This means she is learning... and in turn, I am learning too. I am reminded (yet again) that everything takes time: My producing career. Raising a child. Even this blog post. 

So this week’s life lesson (and post) is dedicated to my daughter. It is her sage words of advice that I am sharing because we all need the reminder (especially on Mondays): 

Just Keep Going

P.S. Her wet towel was on the floor again this morning, but she gets a free pass today.

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