Riding a Bicycle…

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Right? Starting to write again, like riding a bike?  I am going to find out as I try to open back up and write again?

So much time has passed and as any parent with a young child will tell you, it is like having a new child every week. They change so much. Their vocabulary expands exponentially and so does their comprehension.

When I last wrote back in Feb 2016 he looked like this…

 

…And he has grown up so much!

 

as with everything worthwhile, there have been many challenges. Some more difficult than others. The same challenges may parents face, some challenges just dads really get to face (I really can’t put your socks on? REALLY?? Only mom can do it?).

But there are amazing things with these changes, you start to get to really know their personality, and hopefully they only drive you crazy part of the time (if they don’t drive you crazy, you might be an alien!). You get to see them accept new challenges, learn new skills, and it takes you back to when you were learning as well. I can’t say I have loads of memories at his age, but he is getting to the point where I remember aspects of my own childhood.  Of course as a parent, you want to protect and keep them safe, while at the same time give them enough space to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

I have many stories to share over the next days and weeks.

til then.

 

 

 

What does a person who disappears for a year then suddenly comes back say?

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This is a tough question for both the person asking and the person answering. I don’t particularly know what to say about this extended absence. I was just looking over the site and I see how many times I start with ‘I know it has been too long” or the posts have titles about restarts, reboots, extended periods of silence or other titles with that same message.  It makes me realize the lack of discipline I have had and continue to struggle with.  Something as simple as coming up with a couple hundred words to just talk about anything should not be an issue with me, if you know me, there is one thing I can do, and that is talk. I love to have a conversation. sometimes about nothing important, other times about real hard core, cut to soul stuff.   But I have been struggling lately with not only typing something here, but in my life as well. I am having ‘life block’ and I hope that this will help open some doors, make things a little easier.

I don’t want to drone on ‘oh woe is me’, because I have absolutely no reason or excuse to, I have a GREAT wife who loves me (most of time!), a great son who drives me out of my head with joy or frustration, depending on the minute, a job with a wonderful company, a recently renewed connection with my faith and a wonderful church that we attend most Sundays. There is something holding me back, something in me, and I hope that writing again will hope break up that blockade and make me want to be me again.

 

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it.

 

More about what has happened in my absence soon, I just really needed to get this off my chest now.

uhhh, Really?

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This site is always in the back of my mind.  Really, I promise. If you were to look at this site, you might be tempted to call BullSh!t. I had no idea it had been over a year since I have posted anything to it. Literally over a year. 401 days OR 1 year, 1 month and 7 days.

I have no valid reason as to why this has happened. None whatsoever. I wish I could say I was kidnapped by extremists, held against my will by a cult, imprisoned for a crime I did not commit, but none of that is true.  I just…stopped. It is not from a lack of anything to say, I have so many posts rolling around in my head, ready to come pouring out of my head and onto the screen, but just no drive or motivation to do it.  New mom said something to  me about it a while ago where she said to me “I thought this was as much for you as it is for Xavier, so when he is older he can read about what was going on from your perspective”. This is a true statement. That is one of the main purposes of this blog, to share what is happening from the perspective of a man who is learning what it means to be a dad. I also wanted to share stories of one of my passions, running (I have not been very passionate recently, more on that soon.).  But I have failed in my vision. I have missed a full year. Which I will attempt to backfill as best I can.

So I promise when I say I still love this site, love sharing my stories and want to continue doing so, it is true, and not Bullsh!t!!!

 

 

Happy Birthday Dad…

Today is my fathers birthday. He would have been 70 today. I say would have been because he passed away just over 2 years ago, losing a battle to cancer. I miss him everyday, but there are really three days where it hits me the hardest.  Today (his birthday), my birthday and the day he passed from this life to the next.

My relationship with my dad went through many changes. There were times I hated him, there were times we just didn’t see eye to eye. There were times (many of them) where he was my best friend. Father, friend, coach, advisor and role model he wore many hats and fit into many different roles. As I reflect today (as I do many days about our relationship) I am pleased to think of the good times. I also think of the lessons he has taught me both while he was alive and after he passed (yes, we never stop learning from our parents) and how they have helped shape me into the man, husband and father I am today.

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I hope and pray that I set as good an example as a father myself, and that I wear many hats as well as and in some cases, better than he did.

Another Important reminder, Don’t make this a habit.

I originally posted this on LinkedIn

I am not always punctual, and even this morning, I totally missed a call, from someone who wants to help me find my next employment opportunity. I was fortunate to know this person well enough for her to realize this is not a common occurrence for me. I try to be as punctual as possible.  After having a child, being on time to anything is a monumental challenge.

While stewing on missing that morning call, I was reminded of an article I read a while ago.  The article was  pretty easy to find and has made the rounds on social media a number of times.  I wanted to post it again, here you go.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/api/edit/embed?embed=%257B%2522owner%2522%3A%2522%2522%2C%2522request%2522%3A%257B%2522finalUrl%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fvitamintalent.com%252Fvitabites%252Fno-you-are-not-running-late-you-are-rude-and-selfish%2522%2C%2522originalUrl%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fvitamintalent.com%252Fvitabites%252Fno-you-are-not-running-late-you-are-rude-and-selfish%2522%257D%2C%2522images%2522%3A%255B%257B%2522width%2522%3A1200%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fvitamintalent.com%252FcontentAsset%252Fresize-image%252F72e6835d-0876-4fec-a3ed-3ddfcccffad2%252FfileAsset%252Fw%252F1200%252Fv%252Fb7876900-5cc5-4cfc-8fae-75a9dd4247f5%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A786%257D%255D%2C%2522data%2522%3A%257B%2522com.linkedin.treasury.Link%2522%3A%257B%2522width%2522%3A-1%2C%2522html%2522%3A%2522Man%2C%2520do%2520we%2520HOPE%2520we%27re%2520timely%2520in%2520passing%2520this%2520content%2520onto%2520to%2520you.%2520Greg%2520Savage%2C%2520founder%2520of%2520Firebrand%2520%28an%2520Aquent%2520brand%2520down%2520under%29%2520posted%2520this%2520no-holds-barred%2520post%2520about%2520the%2520importance%2520of%2520showing%2520up%2520on%2520time.%2520We%2520thought%2520it%2520was%2520too%2520good%2520not%2520to%2520share.%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fvitamintalent.com%252Fvitabites%252Fno-you-are-not-running-late-you-are-rude-and-selfish%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A-1%257D%257D%2C%2522provider%2522%3A%257B%2522name%2522%3A%2522Vitamintalent%2522%2C%2522favicon%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fassets.aquent.com%252Fimg%252Fvt-favicon.ico%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fvitamintalent.com%2522%2C%2522display%2522%3A%2522vitamintalent.com%2522%257D%2C%2522created%2522%3A0%2C%2522author%2522%3A%257B%2522name%2522%3A%2522Greg%2520Savage%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522http%3A%252F%252Fvitamintalent.com%252Fvitabites%252F%253Fauthor%3Dgreg-savage%2522%257D%2C%2522description%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522Man%2C%2520do%2520we%2520HOPE%2520we%27re%2520timely%2520in%2520passing%2520this%2520content%2520onto%2520to%2520you.%2520Greg%2520Savage%2C%2520founder%2520of%2520Firebrand%2520%28an%2520Aquent%2520brand%2520down%2520under%29%2520posted%2520this%2520no-holds-barred%2520post%2520about%2520the%2520importance%2520of%2520showing%2520up%2520on%2520time.%2520We%2520thought%2520it%2520was%2520too%2520good%2520not%2520to%2520share.%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522lastModified%2522%3A0%2C%2522title%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522No%2C%2520you%2520are%2520not%2520%27running%2520late%27%2C%2520you%2520are%2520rude%2520and%2520selfish%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522type%2522%3A%2522link%2522%257D&signature=AdLgwL0KhvHXpUyLYydZH-1fxtXf&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvitamintalent.com%2Fvitabites%2Fno-you-are-not-running-late-you-are-rude-and-selfish&uid=72111

I saw this one as well, which holds similar sentiment.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a46702/fashionably-late-rude-punctual/

 

Like it says in both articles, there are times where you are going to run late, but this is meant for that person we all know, the one you ~know~ can’t be on time to anything, to save their lives.

Just another friendly reminder.

Loss

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When you read the word LOSS it has so many connotations and meanings it is really hard to really wrap your head around.  I hate that my first post of 2016 has to be about loss, but I have really been impacted by it in the past week.

Over the last four years, my entire world has changed so much with the addition of my son to both my and New Mom’s lives.  But this post is about loss, not gain right?  Yes. but watching my little guy has allowed me to observe the world through an infants/toddlers eyes.

As I noted in the opening of this post, loss has so many meanings when you just say the word. if you were to play word association games with a group, you will likely get a lot of different responses to ‘loss’. The other night new Mom brought the little guy home from nana’s house and after a while he was playing and stopped, looked at me, gasped audibly and said in a panic “I left my blankey at nana’s!” this was not true, we actually unpacked it and put it in his room, but he did not know this. the situation quickly turned to near hysterics with cries of ‘I lost my blankey’ from a panicked young guy. after some soothing and assuring that the blankey was indeed fine and in our home, I got to thinking about what loss means as a toddler or infant. This made me realize that loss is a lesson we never stop learning throughout our lives.

When you are an infant or toddler. Loss is generally exactly as I just described it. You realize that something is amiss or gone and have a panic attack about it (trust me, this will continue throughout our lives, just see me if I can’t find my phone!).  The situation is usually quickly resolved through deflection or locating the missing object. And then often (but not always) forgotten as other distractions are presented. It really is our first lesson in loss.

As we get older, we get into school and loss starts to occur in other ways. Sometimes you lose a friend because they are going to another class and made other friends, or for whatever reason, they move away. This loss sticks with you longer. You are reminded of the loss over and over when your friend isn’t there to be able to play with you.  As we advance in school we learn of love, having our first crush, first girlfriend/boyfriend and often those relationships run their course, resulting in lost loves, never an easy lesson. We love and lose again, but never forget our first real heartbreak.

Advance a few more years and you start to experience your first true loss with the passing of extended family members. Hopefully you had great experiences with grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, ect. I myself only had three surviving grandparents when I was born and was 35 when I lost my final one (Grandfather on my Dad’s side).  This loss is profound, and has a much deeper impact. Time always wins and the lesson loss teaches you is that of mortality.

Then as time moves on, we start to lose friends, other loved ones. If you are fortunate, you will not be impacted by tragedy, and the losses will be from natural causes. Our understanding of loss is there, but sometimes accepting it can be  harder. I lost my own father a couple years ago and I still struggle with the void that is left behind. That is a loss I still feel the most of all.

I noted experiencing loss in the past week. I lost a very dear friend after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His name is Richard. I knew him through the Ohio State Alumni Club of Orange County. Both he and his wife Peg made me feel welcome here in California when I first got here and became involved with the club. I felt very close to them both. When I was informed that he had cancer, I was absolutely crushed, like being punched in the stomach. It was very hard. He had battled this very deadly cancer for well over a year and every time we saw him at an event was a blessing.  We found out a short time ago that he took a bad turn after thanksgiving and was being admitted to hospice care. He passed away over the weekend.  The loss I feel is very deep, as this was a very religious man who was a great friend, husband, father and grandfather. The type of man who sets the bar high for other men to aspire to.

The final type of loss I will talk about is the loss we experience when someone (not related to us) that we idolize or respect passes on. The day after Richard passed on, one my (and many others) musical icons, David Bowie passed away. This loss is very different. Its a strange feeling, when one of your idols passes on. When we lift these individual to a higher level. We hang on their every word, treat what they say or write as gospel. when we lose one of these heroes, we take it pretty hard.  It feels like a part of that era of our life has left , even if our outlook has changed.

Loss will never stop teaching us lessons, and unfortunately I was in class this week.

Then there are ‘those’ days

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I am sure I am a lot like most parents, we love the hell out of our kids, most of the time.

I would move heaven and earth for my little guy. I would take a bullet, jump in front of a moving object, rush into a burning building to save him.

BUT…

…there are those times. The times when I want to see if it is not too late to leave him in front of a hospital or fire station (I checked, it is too late). Every parent has those moments.  Whether it be the tantrum in Target where you just want to leave the little one screaming on the floor and walk off (can’t do that either, and DON’T try) or the kid that makes your heart stop because they were there one second, gone the next (trust me, it is that quick and the scariest moment(s) imaginable, until you find him in the middle of a clothes rack or wandering through the toy section). It drives us (parents) out of our heads.

My personal favorite, and the one that drives me from zero to crazy in the shortest amount of time is this phrase: ‘not you dada.’  I hear this DAILY! the little guy has a clear sense of what dad does and what mom does. At least when we are both present. When it is just me, there is no issue, I am able to do everything, but when we are both here, it is all new mom, all the time. Drives me crazy that I am cannot:

Take him to the restroom

Put him in his car seat

Take him out of his car seat

Brush his teeth (or monitor him)

Dress him.

Those times I feel like an extra, not a participant and it drives me absolutely crazy. Completely out of my head.  I have to admit, I don’t take it very well. I want to be a part , to contribute, and when this occurs, I definitely feel excluded and out of the loop. I try to not let it get to me, but it is a hell of a lot easier said than done.

I love my little guy, and would do anything and everything to keep him safe, even if I am not allowed to put his shoes on, because “momma do it” and I just want to lose my mind.

UPDATE: 1/14/2016

I got a bit of traction on this post and a few people reached out to me to provide some feed back. The overwhelming message is that I will be dealing with “no, momma do it” throughout my entire life. I was even told of some good friends 15 year old son who came into the kitchen at 6:30am and asked my friend where his mom was. This friend explained that she was still sleeping and he replied, ‘OK, but where is she?’. His reply again was ‘she is sleeping, in bed, what can I help you with this morning?’ The sons response was ‘nothing, I will go get her’ and off he went.  Definitely a shaking my head moment.

Once upon a time, I used to run

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I really, really like to run. Really I do, I promise that is not a lie.

However…

…if you were to see my training log, you would see that I have not run more than three miles or more in a very long time, nor have I run more than twice in a week for the past three months.

So if I really (really) like to run, what’s my damage?

I wish I had an answer that involved an injury, or a prolonged illness that has me incapacitated or living in a decontamination chamber.  Unfortunately the truth is not quite that exciting.  I really have no excuse nor reason as to the drought I have been going through. If anything, I should be running more than I have been in a long while.

I have been unemployed for the past couple months. I spend a good portion of every day in front of the computer, and when I am not looking for new employment, I am watching our little man. I am very appreciative of the time that I have been spending with him during this transition and I know I will miss it once I am working again.  This post is not about the time I AM spending wit my son, it is about the time I am NOT spending on the pavement.

So as I just said, I have been unemployed for a couple months. It is starting to get a little old. I am ready to go back to work. When you are unemployed, you tell yourself ‘I am going to workout twice a day, run so many miles, etc.’ but the reality sets in. you find your day fills up quite quickly. Your priorities change and your good intentions of becoming an elite athlete go by the wayside. Another amazing thing happens when you are unemployed, you feel like you would have loads of free time, but it disappears at an alarming rate, and not on mundane things. On actual things that need to be completed.

I have gotten so bad that replacing my running shoes ( I am LONNNNGGGGGG overdue) has taken a backseat. Partially because of the cost involved (I have expensive tastes in running shoes) partially because I have not been making the time to run, so why am I going to spend the money to have a perfectly good pair of running shoes sit in the corner, taking up space?

Part of this is nothing but pure, unadulterated laziness. I should be getting up, lacing up my shoes and getting out for at least 3 miles every morning. As any runner will tell you, you have to keep doing it, your stamina will drop off so quickly. I can barely get a mile in before stopping to walk. that is completely unacceptable, I user to be able to go much further before stopping. BUUUUUUTTTTtttt, I haven’t been doing that. The weather being colder has definitely been a factor as well (and any runner will tell you, unless it is dangerously cold, that is about the LAMEST excuse (not a reason) in the world). I enjoy being comfy in my bed in the morning, when I should be out there hitting the trails.

SO I feel the pull to get out there, but my lazy behind just would rather stay in bed. I will make an effort to get out there to finish 2015 with a some sort of effort. If I can do this, maybe I will find a way to justify the purchase of a new pair of shoes!

 

We will see…