A Dad’s List, #5

The Dad’s List Series continues after a little (medium-size?) hiatus.

Super stoked to be back with another edition, this one like, “…FIVE golden rings, four calling birds…”, no wait, stay on track.  Just a little humor is at play; almost never a bad thing, humor.

But to the matter at hand…The Number Five Dad’s List, or “A Dad’s List, #5 — without any further delay, here you go…!

1/  Helping your kid in the middle of the night; like when they fall out of bed.  Compassion, and a little humor too, might be appropriate to cope, for him or her, and you too.

2/  Dancing in the family room to a toy piano playing “Old MacDonald…”, or whatever that song was.

3/  Kids reminding me to say bedtime prayers; instead of the other way around.

4/  Eating left overs, especially cold, kid’s leftovers, builds your adaptability, provides fuel in the immediate, reduces waste, and increases your appreciation for hot meals.

5/  Being Happy and Helpful is super important to keeping a family humming along successfully.  Much better than nagging.

6/  Nagging is never really the best option, or very effective either.

7/  Up early is still the best option during the week.  But sleeping in a bit on the weekend is also worthwhile, and helpful to overall rest, and feels really GOOD.

8/  Dishes don’t wash themselves.  But if they pile up on occasion, for a little while, no biggie.

9/  I love my wife.  A LOT.

10/  Fancy dress up before dinner, during that dance performance.  Including fancy sparkly shoes.  Super fun.

twosistersfancydance_2019

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Ocelot?!

ocelotnirvana2013yawning

Actually no, the theme for this piece is actually “oscillate” … as in, “to vary or vacillate between differing beliefs, opinions, [and especially for this post], conditions, etc.” There might be a little lesson from the small feline predator of the Americas too.

It’s been a helluva last few weeks. Lots going on as the new year kicks into full gear. Family, work, life.

So then the question is, “What do you do here?  How to cope?  How to not only get through it, but make the best of it and have good outcome(s) from the various happenings coming up one after another, sometimes blowing up in your face?

Some specifics…

First, our son’s been on the slippery slope of infection, his mood swings have spooled up, the rest of our family trying to keep up, and sometimes just ho!d on.  And then we got some big help, some great insights, and things are looking up all of a sudden.  Up, Down, like a sine wave (or is it cosine?), but Maybe not so smooth. Or maybe yes. Depends on the hour.

The other kids have had their challenges too. They’ve been coping with both the current family dynamics, but also their own bumps in the road too.

Work side, there’s a new product launch nearing, a game changer, we all hope. There’s also the regular ramp up a new year begins, and to top off? A merger off is on the horizon. Soon? Later? Time and the SEC will tell.

Learn and adapt and execute and learn some more. Oh, and have a little fun where you can along the way. Enjoy the people you work with.

Up and down and up again. Oscillate.

And what about life otherwise? Marriage is certainly dynamic. When we’re on the same page, working as a partnership, GOOD. When we’re not in the mode and mindset well, it’s another opportunity to grow and learn and persevere. Other relationships are similar: good friends, siblings, colleagues…you get the idea.

Things oscillate. Do your best to make it smooth, a little like an ocelot maybe. Keep your cool. Focus on your goals (your “prey”). Trust your instincts, respond the the changing environment around you as best you can.

This effort can be all the more challenging when considering the various aspects of your self, your mind, that might oscillate at any given moment.  I can certainly attest to this dynamic first-hand.  Emotionally you might be rock-solid; but then perhaps a series of things occur intellectually that throw you off, spin you around, turn you upside down, leave you slowly shaking your head, wondering what happened.

Things oscillate. Ride that wave up and down, and go forward.

Operation: Little Kids

“Being a parent of little kids is sometimes like being a special forces operator.” That’s the way it’s been feeling these last few days.

Of course, we don’t have to apply lethal force in the course of conducting parenting operations; and certainly we are not in harms way (typically) when parenting. So no one is trying to kill us, and we’re not trying to kill anyone.

But there are similarities otherwise.

Sleep. Interrupted or otherwise, often there will not be enough sleep. You have to operate at the highest level possible all the same.

Frequently you will be operating at night. Therefore, stamina is critical.

Non-lethal, hand-to-hand combat might be necessary from time to time. Wrestling or JJT skills can help in this regard.

Attention to detail, ability to quickly adapt, and a sense calm and focus under mounting chaos and discomfort are all very helpful attributes for field operators and parents.

Often times things with little kids don’t go as planned. You might the best intentions and ideas as to how to proceed on a particular objective, and then things go sideways. You have to be able to quickly and complete adapt to move the mission forward, improvise, and make the best of it.

Finally, as in special operations, personal excellence, solid teamwork, and fundamental ability to leave your ego at the door will all help in parenting little kids. Parenting: It’s one of the highest callings there is anywhere.

#dadlife #dadslife #parenting #perspective #worthit

Are You Experienced?

Sure there’s the Jimi Hendrix debut album from 1967, but that’s not (exactly) what I’m talking about.

In its most basic form, I’m talking about the experiences we have everyday, and making the most, or maybe TAKING the most, from every situation, every experience, every day. Here’s what I mean.

There are plenty of ups and downs everyday. Sometimes things go as planned and we get excellent outcomes. Often times the experience, and the result is something less. And that’s perfectly fine.

The key is to take the most that you can from every situation, In every instance there is something to learn, something to appreciate, maybe even enjoy; this can be the case even if things don’t go as you’d like then to.

Concrete examples from the last few days in my little corner of the world…?

To the fore of my mind, from five minutes ago. My younger daughter absolutely NOT wanting to put on her pajamas. Even though it was time to do so. Passed the time, actually. Should I have a daddy-meltdown, or just deal with it. “Deal with it” is the right answer. It worked out; she came around to cooperate. Just lovely.

Or a few days back, my family and I went to the snow for a couple days. Or that was the idea. Didn’t work out quite that way.

There was only remanent amount of snow at the cabin where we stayed. No good for any snow play there. Our kids were a little bummed.

At the snow park we went to they made snow, so there was enough for fun tubing we did the majority of the day. But that was it. The snow man mother kids wanted to make? We made him from chunks of iced snow. We did the best we could. And that’s how it fits. We made the most of the experience we had, even if it wasn’t the experience we’d hoped for.

And several times through out the holiday break there where conflicts that bubbled up over things that didn’t go as planned, or as hoped for, or both.

Bottom line? Make the most of the experiences you have, every one of them. As the Hendrix lyric suggests, “if you can just get your mind together, and come across to me…”, come across to this particular way of thinking.

Take what you can that’s good, and move forward. Your attitude, and your life, will be better for it.

2018, That’s a Wrap

That’s a wrap. Not the yummy tortilla kinda “wrap”, mind you. Rather, I’m of course talking about the end of the year, 31 December, 2019 just a few hours away.

Notable from the year…

Faith proved again to be a major, positive influencer in coping, navigating, persevering through the rougher patches of water.

My father departed this earth early in the year, from the effects of stroke two years back. Several other folks in my world also passed on, at varied ages, for varied reasons. Life and Death were to the fore this year. Lots of prayer around that.

Our five year old son was in the hospital for a week suffering from viral and bacterial infections. He weathered the illness ok. I like to think it made him stronger; I know it made more certain of our family’s capacity to cope. It wasn’t easy, but we all made it through.

I took on a new role at work this past year. no joke, The learning curve has been steeper than I anticipated. I’ve had my share of challenges in the process. That said, I’ve learned a lot. And as the fiscal/calendar year closes up, I have come out more well-rounded in my understanding of my professional discipline, and have a more compelling skill-set as well.

We went to Hawaii with a lot of the family on my wife’s side: it was a great time, good travel, and lots of little moments of joy. Shaved Ice was the source of that joy several times throughout the week. We’ll go back. Maybe several times. To Hawaii; and for more Shaved Ice.

The kids played soccer. Sort of, with varied degrees of understanding and enthusiasm. The best part? My wife coached, and loved it. We got some good lessons in meeting new people, and helping kids take steps forward in trying new things, not giving up, and having fun in new ways.

I came to a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it means to serve the community. The good news is, I’m more completely committed to a life of Lionism, which I began a dozen years ago. Along the way? The best Thanksgiving Food Drive in our club’s 49-year history. Will continue to live the Lion motto: We Serve.

My X Factor seemed ready for school this fall, but it’ll be another year before she starts Kinder. When she gets there, she’s going to rock it. And her hair gets curlier by the day, it seems. 🙂

I became a more frequent fan of the hashtag. I’m a little behind the curve I think. Oh well. A few of my favorites were as follows; that last one ended up on our driveway a few times.

#bekind

#gratitude

#dadlife

#goodstuff

#love

Number One continued to float above the fray, demonstrating goodness, good attitude, good learning capacity. And she made great headway in learning to swim during the summer.

Overall?

I’m pretty damn sure that 2019 is going to be good. Because we’re going to make it so.

HNY2019

Or rather.

#happynewyear2019