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In Ten Years

In Ten Years

As I reacted to the natural call of my offspring (“DAD!”) for the 1,528th time this weekend, I recognized that I was starting to sound annoyed in my responses. Annoyed. Annoyed with what? Being needed? Loved? Not alone?

Overall I consider myself to be a pretty good dad. But every once in a while I stop and see myself as being a complete ass. I allow my ever evolving, busy life to cloud my judgement and get in the way of valuing what’s really important. It’s the moments when I’m in the middle of something personal or maybe working from home (which I’m remarkably fortunate to be able to do from timeIMG_8576 to time), maybe typing an e-mail, that the adolescent piranha that can be my children, all seem to peck away at my aura simultaneously each with their own specific need, ie.”DAD can you make me a snack,” “Dad, my computer won’t work,” “Dad,where’s the remote?,”  “Dad I’m bored,” “DAD!, blankety blank didn’t flush,” “dad have you seen my … oh there it is.”

I’ve at times asked them to give me a minute so I can focus on the task in front of me assuring them that I’ll be with them in a minute. By the tenth time, I know I can come off somewhat rudely. Something about the same question being asked ten times within five minutes will cause that.

Yet, it’s those moments when I get made at myself for reacting that way. Because the truth is; in another ten years, I’ll miss the beckoning. I’ll long for just one, “DADDDD?!!!” And wish to God one of them would need me to find the brush their sister took without asking.

Remember, the days with our kids are limited. Embrace every moment, answer every question and once in a while, let the rest of the world wait and be the dad!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in choices, Uncategorized

 

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Parenting & Aging Gracefully

It is easy to get lost in your life as it is at this very moment. Easy to focus on where you’re at, where you’re not and where you’d rather be. While I believe it’s important to enjoy the moment, I also believe we can’t completely ignore the future. There’s a distinct difference between worrying about things you can’t control and planning for things you can. What’s lost sometimes is the “where you’ll eventually be” part of the equation. One day, if you’re lucky, you’ll be 85 or 90. Your kids will be grown. Many of your friends will be gone. And there you’ll sit. What will you be doing with your memories? What will you be doing with your hours? Will years of focusing on the negative start to take their toll or will you have learned the power of being positive to the point that it’s simply a habit that now guides your forgetful mind.

We go about our lives sure as hell that we’ll be in as much control when we’re 85 as we are today. More than likely that’s not going to be the case. What I’ve learned watching my own parents is that fighting mother nature is a battle you cannot win. To fight her is to2015-04-23 14.41.20 spend your remaining days in frustration and disappointment.

As mother’s day and father’s day approach us, consider where you’ll be in thirty or forty years. Will your kids embrace you into their lives? Will you continue to make new friends as old ones fade? Will you continue to challenge yourself and keep yourself young at heart? Will you focus on your regrets or cherish your achievements and find victories even in your defeats, building and reaching for new dreams?

You may not realize it, but you are building the foundation of your tomorrow today. That includes your life with your children and how they’ll view you when they’re adults and you’re face to face with your final years. My hope for you is that your final days will be filled with as much joy and awe of life as you find in it today if not more. That you’ll accept mother nature’s plan with grace and peace. That you’ll find joy in your grandchildren and great grandchildren. That you’ll continue to contribute to the world in a positive way and cherish every moment.

Being positive is a choice. Staying that way becomes a habit. The sooner you can start to train yourself to look at all of the good in your life, the better the chances you’ll find yourself growing old gracefully focused on the wonders of the world and those around you. Finding joy rather than fault and smiles rather than tears both now and down the road.

Love your children. Cherish them. Find awe in them and all the good. Focus on their brilliance and what makes them special. Let them know how important they are in your life today. With any luck they’ll reciprocate when you’re older and you’ll have someone to hold your hand tomorrow the same way you held theirs today.

Peace!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Wall!

I typically like to write when all is green and I feel enough internal fortitude to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight. To stay positive and take the high road. I’ve also believed, and have promoted the fact, that we can accomplish anything we put our mind to no matter how difficult the challenge or how overwhelming the scope of the landscape.

So, a new challenge today as this week I believe I reached a point I had not hit. A new limit as to how much I was mentally and psychologically capable of handling. I had been going like gang busters, pushing toward several new goals. Making progress buy the minute. At some point I found myself standing in the middle of the hurricane I had created. And then, at the peak of momentum, I stopped. Not sure why. But I stopped and found myself questioning so much of what I was pushing for despite the fact that I was on a good course. And getting started again has been truly difficult. Perhaps I’d been pushing myself too hard both mentally and physically. I had accomplished more in the past two weeks than I had in quite a while. One week in particular I looked back at what I had done and was convinced a team of magical elves had visited me overnight.

Then one evening I caught myself becoming remarkably edgy. Snapped at the kids a couple of times, felt like I was flying blindly and that I was getting reacting to things more than I was being proactive. I consciously stopped myself as I could tell it was becoming too much. I pulled imgres-1back on one or two projects and decided to just stop for a moment and catch my breath and my sanity. When I woke up the next morning, the motivation was gone. I laid there in bed, completely uninterested in getting up. This then happened for three more mornings. And there I sat, convinced I’d failed. More than anything it felt like hitting the wall so many marathoners reach. You’re going, going, going, pushing and then out of nowhere WHAM!

Does it mean I’m done? Nope.

Does it mean you’re done? Nope.

Just means your body is hitting a new plateau you haven’t experienced yet. You’re reaching unmapped territory. You’ve simply pushed yourself farther than you’ve probably gone before and your mind and body are like, “WWWHOA there partna!”

When you feel that kind of momentum, stopping can be a real shock to the system. Call it a mental concussion. And getting started again can be a bear. If you need to stop and recharge a bit, OK. But don’t sit too long. You got to the point you got by focusing your energies and pushing toward a north star.

But the race is far from over. Take this moment to regroup but at some point you’re going to have to force yourself to start moving again. You’re going to have to remind yourself of what motivated you to get started in the first place. It may take a stronger boost to kick back into gear, but find the strength both mentally and physically to do it. If you don’t you’re apt to get down on yourself for not getting things done which is even worse.

Today’s entry is therapy for me as I write to encourage both of us to take it one step at a time and start moving again. Just remember, the next plateau awaits.

 

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A Fundamental Truth

Look guys. I know for some of you dealing with your ex is not a welcome moment. And Mother’s Day likely creates some stress and uncomfortable situations. Especially if you haven’t worked at your relationship with your ex-wife since the divorce. “But we’re divorced? Why should I work on my relationship with her?” Well. I’ll tell you why. Regardless of the kind of relationship you have with your ex-wife; if you had a family together, there is one fundamental truth that cannot be changed. She is the mother of your children and you both will always be a parenting team on some level. And no matter how you may personally feel about it, another truth is that your childrenimages need to have a connection with their mom.

I say this because no matter how you feel about your ex, part of your responsibility as a father is to ensure that your kids have a good relationship with their mom. Inside, your children crave a relationship and a connection with each of you. They need to feel accepted and loved by both of you, especially when they’re trying to discover who they are. It’s one of the reasons it’s so important to put to the side your own feelings toward your ex, regardless of what they may be, and make an effort to help your children focus on the positive attributes of their mom.

As a divorced dad, you have a choice. Hold on to bitterness and create friction, tension and stress for you, your ex and your children, or recognize the value in a working relationship with your ex-wife that enables you both to benefit from helping each other as single parents. I’m not an idiot. I understand that it’s often easy to fall into the trap of pointing out the negatives. Especially when you’re at a point where you may be dealing with a disagreement. But remember, that works both ways. And your kids aren’t stupid. They’re actually quite perceptive and probably understand more than you may give them credit for. They know your ex-wife’s pitfalls, and trust me, they recognize yours just as well. It’s up to you to set the tone. You need to suck it up sometimes and recognize your kids will be much better off if they see the two of you backing each other up and creating at least some level of consistency as parents.

My ex wife and I have worked very hard these past few years ensuring that our kids know they can’t get away with things by playing us against each other. And trust me, they try. They know the buttons to push, the things to say and the way to put us against each other. But you can’t get sucked in. Listen, my relationship with my ex isn’t perfect by any means. We have our issues obviously. Hell we got divorced for a reason. And from time to time we lovemommobileboth find it very easy to say things or point out things about each other to the kids that we should probably keep to ourselves. But try to remind yourself, what good is it going to do to slam someone so important to your kids? There is a very good likelihood that they’re very much aware of anything you may bring up. Using it as a means of turning them against the other parent isn’t going to accomplish anything other than creating friction between all of you, including you and your kids.

I would also hope for you, that during your divorce you’ve had a chance to recognize that you both brought baggage to the table. That each of you hold some level of responsibility for your current situation and that you’ve grown from the experience. The goal should be to be growing and understanding what’s really important. And that is ensuring your kids have everything they need in life and one of the most important of those is a good relationship with their mom and dad.

Transferring your own personal beliefs about your ex to your children will do much more harm than good. Honestly, I don’t think they need help with that anyway. In fact it’s just the opposite. In their own relationships with each of you, they will likely experience the same things you and your ex did in your marriage. The reality is, you’re in a terrific position to help them navigate the negatives as you’ve already lived them and hopefully have learned from them. Rather than compound the problem by reenforcing the negative, help them do something you obviously weren’t able to do; acknowledge, accept and move on. If you can teach them tolerance, acceptance and understanding on a level even you weren’t capable of achieving during your marriage, you’ll be setting them up for success in their own relationships as they get older.

In the process you may actually learn a thing or two as well. Things that will allow you to see your ex differently and the hope would be for her to see you differently as you both grow as individuals. Will it be perfect? No. But it’s time to start letting go of some of the hurt. Recognize that the divorce does not mean you’ll never see your ex again. You will be in each others lives forever as parents to your kids. This mother’s day, give your kids something they desperately need. A positive relationship with their mom; you may find yourself finding a way to create one for yourself as well. And that is something that will benefit everyone.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Daily Life, Uncategorized

 

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Homemade Rainbows

Let’s face it. Being a divorced parent can be a tough row to hoe with many days truly challenging your ability to find the positive. As one friend put it when I posted this photo on my personal facebook page: “Sometimes when there aren’t enough rainbows to go around, you have to create your own.” Here’s to creating your own rainbows! Have a great week!

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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