The week before this issue went to press, my wife and I took Eleanor, our 6-month-old daughter, to the pediatrician for her checkup and a round of shots. (She wasn’t a fan!)
While we chatted, the doctor explained that we would next return when our little girl is 9 months old. By then, the pediatrician said, she’ll likely be babbling “mama” and “dada,” crawling and even pulling herself up to stand. That’s when I looked at the doctor, who went to prestigious medical school where she learned about early childhood development and who has no doubt treated hundreds or thousands of babies, and I shook my head.
“No,” I told her.
I wasn’t able to picture it: There’s no way our little girl—the one who only just started to roll over from her back to her stomach—will grow up so fast. I couldn’t fathom that such major changes would happen so quickly. And then I thought about how much has already changed for our baby, her mother and I, and the world in general during her six short months.
Eleanor was born just before the pandemic started to spread throughout the U.S., just before the strangest way-of-life disruption most of us have ever experienced. So much is so different now.
And yet I can honestly say, amid all the unknowns and all the worry, those were the most fulfilling six months of my life. Fatherhood transformed me as dramatically as the revolution we experienced in the world itself, and all for the better. So I’m thrilled about this issue’s theme: Change. It’s unavoidable, but if you have the right attitude, it can bring overwhelming rewards.
Our cover figure, Payal Kadakia, can surely identify with that statement. In the midst of the pandemic, which caused great disruption in her billion-dollar business, ClassPass, she also became a first-time parent. Our cover piece, written by SUCCESS Chief Storytelling Officer Kindra Hall, explains how Kadakia’s personal history of managing difficult change gives ClassPass and its partners reason for optimism.
If you really think about it, we all have that in us deep down. Going back to our first months of life, we’ve grown and changed so much. We’ve overcome new obstacles and hit milestones we never thought possible. And as uncertainty swirled, we always kept going.
I hope that this issue will encourage you to stay on the path. No matter the difficulties we face, we can pull ourselves up to stand together.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by @masharotari/Twenty20.com