I’ve been meaning to write about something that I experienced with my daughter on the slopes here in Park City back in December for some time now, but I haven’t found the right moment too until now.

At work, we’ve been rolling up our sleeves and getting into a lot of strategic planning and I’ve found myself looking at many things from a different (and hopefully better) perspective. To understand where this is coming from I need to tell a little story about two days back in early December…

On the first weekend of this past December I was feeling pretty antsy. I had promised my daughter that we would head out with one of her friends (and his dad) for some skiing. Little did I know that a bitter cold snap was on the way and that temperatures would be hovering near zero as we were making preparations to head out. The other dad and I nervously texted each other but agreed that we would try for at least a run as we had set expectations for the kids and didn’t want to dash them.

It was cold…bitter cold…people were wearing layers on top of layers, but my daughter was wearing a huge grin and having a blast sliding around with her friends. The other dad and I were
stripping off layers as skiing with two year olds is a lot more work than one would think and we were steaming when we all stopped at the lodge for hot chocolate and M&Ms.

After a few minutes of rest and restrooms we were astounded when both kids asked to go back out into the bitter cold for “more skiing!” Needless to say, we went up for more runs and when we finally got home my wife was amazed that we had been out as long as we had.

The next week was another experience – a huge, blustery, wet, blizzard! Yet again, I contemplated whether or not the daddy/daughter ski date should proceed. I still couldn’t imagine that my daughter would enjoy being outside in wet snow that was coming down sideways. Once again, I stowed my worries aside and burrowed through the drifts to the resort where we (again) had an amazingly fun ski day.

My daughter and I have continued to ski together (and with mom sometimes) for almost every weekend this ski season. I’ve never again hesitated when weather conditions seemed inclement. And each time we’ve gone up, I’ve tried to put myself more in my daughter’s shoes and remember what it is like to experience life as a child without preconceived notions. As I’ve been doing this, I’ve been reminded of the many times that I came home as a child growing up in Minnesota with frozen solid blue jeans while having had the best time sledding and playing in the snow with friends. In my years, I’d forgotten how much fun it is to just do and to not worry. It took a two year old to remind me that it’s not good to go into every situation with expectations and therefore I’m resetting my expectations as often as I can be reminded to do so by my (now three year old) daughter.

Chris Brogan’s post on “The Importance of Story in Your Life” provided some of the additional inspiration I needed to write this post, thanks Chris!

Photo credit: Me – but mostly the wonderful girl in the photo, thanks little k!