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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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year-end reflections

A year ago, my wife and I were expecting our third child, and I was having mild panic attacks about it. I had been in the mindset that when our second child, who was around a year old at that time, would reach 18 months of age, I'd put him in daycare part-time and then officially get my freelance writing and journalism career off the ground. Instead, we discovered we were pregnant again and I had begun to worry that I'd never make it back to normal adult professional life.

Since then, our little Cohen was born, and it's no understatement to say that he has changed my life. I haven't sorted out all of my foibles yet (at the tender age of 35, it would be unreasonable to expect that anyway), but his arrival has heralded quite a surprising amount of peace in my life. Since he was born in February, I've been able to lose a tremendous amount of my anger, anxiety and frustration about my life. My everyday mood has improved and I've developed a tremendous appreciation for our children that I didn't really have before. In short, I'm happy with where I am and what I'm doing, and I'm happy to wait until late next year when Cohen is of daycare age in order to get this professional writing career off the ground. The truth is, I find it to be so rewarding to be with children this young, that I no longer feel that selfish pull towards a "real job" until the timing is better. These times will be over so fast, I don't want to look back on them with regret that I didn't spend enough time with the kids at this age.

I'm also feeling a very strong pull towards some kind of community service. I've volunteered sporadically at my daughter's school, made donations to a local community association that works with disadvantaged families, and also bought Christmas presents + the makings for Christmas dinner for a local Adopt-A-Family program in the black community next door, so to speak. Those are all a nice start, but I feel like our family is so overwhelmingly fortunate compared with so many others, that I want to increase our involvement even more throughout this next year. I feel a genuine pull to spread the wealth to whatever small degree we're able, and I'd also really appreciate an opportunity for my daughter to get involved with these kinds of activities so that she can also develop more insight into how fortunate we are. I know that she's mostly unaware of this fact, but I don't want her to grow up permanently unaware of it.

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willowing December 28th, 2008
lovely to read that your kids have such an impact and that you appreciate your time with them xo

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