Thankful

By Joel Barker

Have you ever been at a social engagement and found yourself chatting with a new parent? It seems that no matter the topic, all that they can manage to talk about is their child:

“So they changed our garbage service”

“My child got into the garbage the other day. It was so gross and funny.” 

“I heard the NBA strike is over”

“My son is in the 95th percentile of length. Even though he is 18 months old, I have a strong suspicion that he will be a baller.” 

“I went to have my oil changed…”

“Baxter drools when he smiles for too long.”

Two years after starting Word Lions with Philip, I now empathize with that parent. Talking to me about anything other than content creation, instructional design, or running a small business is akin to trying to have a conversation with that new parent. Their baby always makes its way into the conversation—sometimes without a thread of relevance.

I have become a broken record, and I love it. I am so deeply thankful for my life and my work:

  • I am thankful that my work is to provide valuable, meaningful content for people who need it.
  • I am thankful that I can write for a living.
  • I am forever thankful that I can partner with the inestimable Philip Morgan.
  • I am thankful that together we are growing a company designed around our authentic selves. That when I am working I am able to be myself.
  • I am thankful that we prove every day work can integrate with life.

Growing Word Lions is not easy, but it is constantly interesting and meaningful.

When you talk to a new parent, and ask them how they are doing, they seem to always simply say

“I am tired. All the time.”

It seems unbearably difficult. Now, raising a business, I think I understand why new parents are smiling when they say that.