Dadlife, Dark Side

I talk a lot about the positive. I promote the upside of things, look for the silver lining even in bad situations. That’s the fundamental credo of this blog: be positive, find positive, share positive.

But sometimes the dark side creeps in. Sometimes the dark side is strong.

Sometimes it’s been a long day, or a long week, and I’m grumpy, and irritable. And sometimes my kids don’t listen very well; sometimes they’re not very thoughtful, or themselves aren’t in the best mood.

Sometimes everything starts to come off the rails. And then what?

Then I’m irritated that the dishes are piled up in the sink. Then I’m annoyed the kids’ shoes and clothes are here and there in the living room. Then my fuse gets pretty short. I start barking at them instead of talking calmly. And my volume goes up a little.

The dark side wins for the moment.

Usually though, I catch myself pretty quick. Take a few deep breaths and reset my patience. But often I also tell the kids, “Grumpy Daddy” is on the edge, so it would be best for you all to do what you’re supposed to, you know the deal.”

Generally that works out OK. The dark side doesn’t stay too long. And I know I’m only human, so sometimes the dark side gains a little ground.

It’s up to me, it’s up to each of us to battle, to keep our emotions and ego in check.



I think we all have them in our lives.

Blood relative or otherwise, most of us have had (or if we’re lucky, still have) folks elder to ourselves who bring a unique and special presence and insight to our lives.

That older mentor, an “expander of perspectives”, generous with love and life;  that person is “the giver of goodness”, another channel to a bigger world, a different view.

My Aunt Diane is just such a person in my world.  Virtually all my life she’s been there, offering me a different perspective.  When I was growing up, she provided adventures I wouldn’t have had otherwise, an opportunity to be a little more like an adult before I got there, just all that goodness.

I rode my first train ride solo to San Francisco to visit her when I was in middle school.  I got to visit cool restaurants with her, eat special treats, explore Chinatown.  To this day she represents the early portal for me to what was possible in being an adult.

She did a variety of things during her career, providing a great example there too.  She always worked in capacities related to health-care, but her fields were quite diverse.  She spent time in both the private and public sectors.  She was a leader, and a sole contributor.  She continues to mentor and volunteer even after retiring a few years ago.

And so as we celebrate her this weekend, and get together with her for a special lunch and treats, I encourage you to consider those elders in your life that did (or do) add depth, diversity, insight, and love.

Love them.  Because they love you.