Simple Suggestions

Boiling life down into bite-size bits and basic ideas we can learn and hold on to day-in, day-out? Might just be a superpower secret to living a good and happy life. These are concepts we should not only live by everyday, but pass along to those around us, especially our children, if we have them.

One of my favorite people and friend for more than 30 years lives by simple principles. He’s the father of five kids. He’s a successful business person, self-made.

These simple suggestions can make a big impact, if you remember to follow them, apply them each day.

“Life is easy,” he likes to say to his kids (and others)…

1/ Make a friend.

2/ Stand up for someone who needs it.

3/ Smile.

And then there are three more below from my kids’ elementary school. The ethos of the school might be summarized thus; it lists what should guide the students’ behavior everyday.

They call them “The Three B’s:”

Be Respectful.

Be Responsible.

Be Safe.

What We Do

What do we do when we’re married? What do we do when we’re parents? What do we do after a long day, a long week?

We take care of business, that’s what we do. We go to the practice, we wash the dishes, we’re sociable, even if maybe we’re not feeling it. Who knows, it might be a good conversation…

It’s how we act, the choices we make when we’re tired, when we’re done, when we’ve had enough, or maybe too much, when the decision’s hard, what do we do?

Sometimes we fail, maybe more often than not. We make the wrong choice, we’re lazy, we give in, we take the easy path, selfish and weak.

But maybe, just maybe, if we really dig in, we can make that tougher choice now and again. We can do the chore, talk the talk, walk the walk right down that ol’ path, the higher road waiting if we give it a chance.

If we make that tough call at the moment of truth, have the courage to face that fear from our youth, that thing we thought gone, but waiting instead, ready to blow up inside of our head…

If we face that fear, if we set in to do what we know we should do, we might just find then, that we can do it again. And again, and again, and again, AMEN.

A Dad’s List, #6 : A Daughter and The Pumpkin Patch

Really this post is more, “a dad’s list in pictures.”

I was super lucky a couple weeks back: I took the day off to go with my younger daughter and her class to the pumpkin patch.

It was the best of both worlds. I got to be with my daughter, but also see her in her new element: with classmates, new friends.

Chalk the joy up to Simple Dad Stuff. For a dad, this was the meat & potatoes of what’s fun with your kid: watching her be herself with her peeps.

So blessed by the everyday, this once a year adventure, the share it with your kid.

So blessed to have the time, so blessed to be a dad.

It was GOOD.

Arrival

Waiting for the train.
Stay together.
A corn maze and a bee story.
Listening to the docent.
The class in the patch.
Another pic of the class in the patch, great group of kids.

Good Peeps

There are many people we meet throughout our life. Some we’ll be friendly with. A few will become good friends. Life-long even, if we’re lucky.

And there are those folks we see seldom, they live too far away, or are living busy lives like many (all?) of us are. Consumed by the day-to-day, week-to-week responsibilities and interests and fast-paced world, it’s difficult to make “extra” time for others outside our immediate sphere.

But then we get lucky. We find a sliver, a segment of time that’s FREE!, and the starts align, and the other person can do the same. And then maybe magic happens. We’re able to reconnect easily with another because of common values and maybe experiences and certainly mutual affection and appreciation, we slide ride back into easy convo even if it’s been a long while since you last saw one another.

My family had the good fortune to reconnect with another family recently. They live in So. Cal.; we live in Nor. Cal. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. Didn’t matter. Our families are pretty much the same format: three kids, each fam; two girls each, one boy each; fun-loving and pretty easy-going and soul-full and intent on living the best family life we can. We adults catch up and swap stories; the kids get along ok, and play and live another day, like kids most often seem to do if given the chance.

And that sort of connection, that validation of relationship and history and commonality and appreciation? There’s really not much else in the world like it, I suggest. That sort of experience makes us happy and thankful and feeling lucky, at least it should. Because that sort of experience is special; being connected to other people is special.

One might argue that we humans are of course, social animals, so these connections are not unique, special, sacred. But I would say instead, these connections with others are what make our life experience worthwhile, adding depth and dimension and texture that makes us whole.

Pretty thankful for good peeps.

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.

CHECK.

Guest Post: “Be the Light” — YES!

I met Camille and her husband too last year when one of their son’s played on the soccer team my wife was coaching (and two of our kids played on, too).

Since then we’ve stayed in touch via social media, and we cross paths around town from time to time too.

With that as backdrop, I saw this post from her the other day and immediately thought, “Half Full!” — so I asked her if I could share this little reflection on my blog, and she generously agreed.

ENJOY!, and BE THE LIGHT.

Be a light in someone’s life. The world kind of sucks ☹️ right now. Someone told me the other day that they had to Google how to talk to your kids about mass shootings! 😮 This is sadly our reality.

This is also my motivation for SPREADING POSITIVITY in my  world and coaching a group of people who want change, whether it’s change in their mindset, change in their lifestyle, change in their habits, change in their body or change in their relationships with themselves and others.

I coach not because I have extra time in my life. As a working Mama of 3 👦🏻👦🏻👧🏻, I don’t have a lot of time so I make time. I wake up early, maybe skip some tv shows and find those pockets of time. I coach because I, too, need the positivity generated from others.

Life is hard. ☹️ But what choice do we have?🤷🏻‍♀️ Do we just be negative all the time and spend our days wallowing in what we don’t have and what we want different? Results come from action!

Positivity attracts positivity. 😊+☺️ I’ve had a rough week and I relied on my group to get me through it and I relied on myself to focus on my blessings, my children, my marriage, and my health.

Be a light in someone’s life.

“If you want to give light to others YOU have to glow yourself!”

#strongasamother #strongertogether #momoftwoboysandagirl#workingmomsrock #workingmomslife #struggleisreal #morningmeltdown100#transformation #mindsetchange #positivevibesonly #thankful #gratitude#youarestrong #youareabadass #personaldevelopmentquotes #shinebright#sparkle #coachinglife #lovelife #embraceliving #smilemore #runningmom#fivesecondrule #leadbyexample #changeforchange #yougotafriendinme #accountabilitycoach #smilemore

Find more of this goodstuff Camille puts out in the world — her Instagram handle is:   @coachcamillepa

camillecf_coach_halffuller_2019

 

 

 

“Stay Curious”

A simple phrase that came to mind this past week when my wife and I took the kids for one last before-school adventure: a day-trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The weather was nice, the drive was pleasant, the pace relaxed as we strolled down to the aquarium, and wandered from display to display. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is truly a world-class facility with amazing exhibits, a ton of learning opportunities, magnificent colors and collages of images to excite and inspire. It’s a GREAT learning environment.

I kept thinking again and again, how important the lessons are, learning about the massive and diverse world under the oceans’ surface, and how much I want my kids to appreciate and absorb those lessons. It seems urgent to me. But of course it does; I’m an adult; I’m a middle-age dude experiencing these things as a parent. Our kids are just…kids.

mba_jellies

My salvation in these moments? Sparks of inspiration our kids experience now, they’ll carry with them through their lives. At least that’s my hope.

And how do they do that? STAY CURIOUS.

Another good example?

Just the other day I found something that made me curious. It was of all things, the title of a song I’ve heard many times from a band I’ve loved for decades.

“Cygnus X-1”. I love the song. But I don’t know that name refers to.

I looked it up. It’s the name of a black hole in space. “Whoa”, I thought. I had no idea. And that had me thinking about astronomy and physics and the universe. There I was, late at night, wondering.

Cygnus X-1.

STAY CURIOUS.

cygnusconstellation