I was looking through my pictures and I really liked this one of newmom and our little stormtrooper. This was taken right after we saw Solo, a star wars story.
Today new mom had an appointment. She asked me last night if I thought our little guy would be ok waiting in the waiting room for her with his leap pad. I knew that would not be an issue, it is a safe place and someone would have an eye on him the whole time. I suggested that he just be brought to my work, as it would be around my lunch break and my work is a pretty cool place, just see my post about the slide, I need not say more.
Well, instead of dropping him off, I met him at a burger place near new moms appointment…
…and it was awesome! Such a wonderful break in the day. He was very funny as we chatted about many things, including his upcoming entry to first grade and eating too much ice cream.
Made me realize I need to do things like this a little more often.
Who is your favorite lunch date? How do you takebreaks in the day?
Newmom’s grandmother had her 90th birthday this past week and we went to Arizona to celebrate with her family. While I was there, I stopped by the office of the company I used to work for and saw friends I had not seen in an extended time. Made me realize I really missed them.
But one friend I saw mentioned this blog and commented on the post about the slide. She also commented on the blog overall, saying it was nice to hear a male perspective on aspects of parenting. I was really touched by the very kind words. It has inspired me to pay more attention to this blog and post more.
Starting with a big thank you to Krystal!
I am truly blessed to call southern California home. Not too long ago I celebrated my 20th anniversary of moving here.
There were five of us in total, and I’m the only one who stayed.
It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
A couple of years back I was let go from a job that I had for 13 and a half years. It was a punch in the stomach and an opportunity to teach our little guy some lessons about change. Instead of Momma being around it was dada. In between looking for a new job, I got to learn a number of new life lessons about being a stay at home dad. I won’t lie, there are certain aspects I miss about it.
Fast forward two years and a new industry later, and I work in honestly the greatest job ever! Such a great company, for a great salary and awesome people. One of the more interesting things in the office is a slide.
…you read that right, a slide. In our office. To get from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor, there is a stainless steel slide. And it is FAAASSSSST! I try to make sure I take it at least twice a day. Never have I been happier to have to go to a meeting on another floor. This past Friday our little guy got to come to the new office for the first time. He rode the slide over and over and over again. So what are the lessons here? What does a stainless steel slide teach us?
The first that comes to mind, is that you are never too old to play. You are never too old to ride a slide. As long as you are physically able, take advantage of doing the fun thing. Take that slide, ride that roller coaster, ride that bicycle, play that game.
The second, and something I consider pretty important, work can indeed be fun. Love what you do and where you do it. I am so blessed and fortunate to love where I work. Love who I work with, love what I do. I know so many people who feel trapped and unhappy in their job. I want my little man to know that work does enable you to pay the bills, but it doesn’t have to be soulless.
I know there are going to be many lessons to teach him about life as we continue the great adventure we are on. but I hope these two sink in and I hope to be able to reinforce them over the years.
Today, the CEO of our company put the following on LinkedIn….
‘Smiles and hellos are free, amazing it is not given out more often.’
This really stuck with me the entire day. Because it is amazing how true it is. I am a transplant from the Midwest, and one thing I have noticed as long as I have lived here in California is this very thing. There are so many times where I have said ‘hello’ and the person I have said it to almost looks offended. I suppose some if it is cultural maybe?
It does amaze me that this statement is so true. When new Mom and I take the little guy out for a walk or a bike ride we try to greet everyone we come across. Their responses vary, but more often than not, we get a strained smile (like it is painful for them to provide a friendly hello back) or nothing at all. How hard is a simple courtesy of a ‘hello’ with a smile?
As a dad I want to raise my son to be respectful of others as well as polite. So I will continue to set the example for him by saying hello, and trying to smile as often as possible while teaching him to do the same.
So not too long ago I wrote about getting on two wheels and going for a ride. I spoke about the self challenge of getting to 20 miles and how my first two attempts were near misses.
I am happy to report that I achieved my 20 mile ride last Saturday(6/17) and then yesterday(6/24) I got a 21.3 mile ride in…almost. I will explain. On mile 18 I noticed the left crank started to feel really gimpy. I had noticed something on my last ride but dismissed it. MISTAKE. So I am riding along and a start the see the crank literally start to slide off the bike! I was able to kick it back into place but it got progressively worse. I tried to limp the bike in, but eventually got off the bike and walked it in. Straight to the local bike shop, which fortunately is less than a 1/4 mile from our apartment.
They took my bike to the back and started looking at the crank to see what could be done. After looking it over, I now have a new crank ordered and the bike will be ready on Thursday. The technician explained he saw this sort of thing quite often. I ride a Schwinn and they mass produce the bike and mass produced parts are used. He also said this is why they sell left side cranks.
This kind of kills my self set goal of 100 miles in the month of June.
The real comedy of the situation is the exact same thing happened to me years ago when I had a bike I inherited from someone who moved out of state. I loved riding that bike. It is not a s nice as the bike I have now, but it was still a good bike to me. So when I called now mom to explain what happened, she laughed and said “what is wrong with you and the pedal crank coming off of bikes!?!?!”
You can bet your behind I will be ready to ride again and get my miles as soon as the bike is ready. And I will be reaching for my next goal of a 25 mile ride (I already have it mapped out!).
Obviously, the Silver is not supposed to be there
…Just keep writing.
It’s amazing how much I have in my head I want to write about as apposed to the amount of time I actually make to write.
A good friend of mine who writes for a number of sites and keeps a couple of blogs once told me to ‘make it a habit’ and try to make it a regular part of your routine.
So I will now write regularly, at least twice a week through the end of 2017. Even if it is about nothing, I will:
Just keep Writing…
Ok, a short post over my lunch that I will expand on later. I am in southern California, land of Laker fans and PAC 12 hell. So the Lonzo Ball coverage is even more in effect. Without being drafted into the NBA, he has a ‘Big Baller’ brand shoe, THAT HAS A $495.00 PRICE TAG!!!
When asked about this, his father (who is the engineer of this crazy train) said ‘if’ you can’t afford them then you are not a big baller’.
How out of touch is this?!?!
Earlier this week, orange county was named the 5th highest low income line in the country. The new low income line is 84k. I don’t know many people who have $495.00 to spend on a pair of sneakers. Or any single item of clothing.
I am fortunate that our little guy is not old enough to be playing keep up with his peers as far as what kind of shoes, clothes, phone etc. He has but that day will come, and when it does, I will show him this as a learning experience.
Is this just me? Or are there others that feel the same way. I mean this kid hasn’t even played a single minute in the league and he is trying to get hard working people to dish out that kind of money for SHOES?
NO, I am not a ‘Big Baller’…
I wrote recently that I would be writing about something lost and something found. When I wrote about what has been lost (interpersonal communication), it got quite a bit of response. I actually even got a couple telephone calls! All of the feedback I got from everyone was very positive.
Now to write about something I found. it is actually something that I lost a while ago and have found again. My Faith. Not always the easiest subject to discuss. it makes many people uneasy. What is the saying: ‘two things you never discuss, Religion and Politics.’?
For many years I was not connected with my faith in any way. I was raised Lutheran, My parents married in a Lutheran Church, I was baptized in a Lutheran Church, took first communion and confirmed in a Lutheran Church. I have always believed. Always recognized the sacrifice. But I disconnected as time went on and an unfortunate event within my old church that left me very hurt. Christians are supposed to love, but members of that congregation were unable to look past some troubled times I went through and give me an opportunity within the church, so I walked away from it.
Later I had a roommate who married a very religious individual who made some very disparaging comments about her fiancé’s ‘unchristian friends'(including myself) and how much of an embarrassment they would be to her, her family and her church at the wedding. That disgusted me to no end and any hope I would have had in even wanting to reconnect with my faith were shoved aside. (A side note to this part of the story is years later, this individual personally apologized for her remarks, and took some ‘bad advice’ and did nothing about the statement at the time. I completely believe her, but at the time the damage was done.)
While new mom and I were dating, she made it no secret how connected in her faith she was. And I saw it. We would try out a church and afterward she would say how recharged she was after hearing the word. I just shook my head and said ‘that’s great’. I did not feel the same refreshment she did. But it was not from not believing, it was from being shut off due to resentment.
I warmed up through our relationship and into our marriage. But still had not really reconnected. Through some friends we found a good church we both liked (Lutheran, I know you’re surprised!) and had been going for a while. I was there physically, but not spiritually. Again, shut off.
Having a child really changes your perspective. It is part of the basis of this entire Blog, the training you go through as a new parent. One of the big questions that came up with us is how is religion going to play a part in our child’s life? We knew that faith was going to be important in his upbringing, but inside I was struggling, because I knew I had to lead by example. So I really started trying to find what I saw others experiencing. Why were new mom’s batteries recharged when mine were not? I watched members of our congregation and realized they had what I was searching for.
One week in church, the mention of the annual men’s retreat came up again. New mom asked if I was going to register, and I told her “yeah, I will sign up for that’ with NO intention of signing up. Just letting the deadline pass and then it would be “ohh, didn’t realize I missed the deadline”. The next week she leaned over and said “oh, I signed you up for that, you just need to pay for it this week” what what what??? So I was going.
While I was there, I realized a couple of things, the first being these guys that were there were going through the same struggles I was. In a couple of the sessions we had frank conversations about our lives and trials we were going through. It was very enlightening to see others going through some of the same challenges and having support for each other. But there was a moment. THE MOMENT. Someone who has become a very close friend to me shared his story. It was POWERFUL. To hear the trials this man has been through, how he too had lost his faith as well and the changes in his life since he rediscovered it.
It was a jumping off moment. It truly was the Holy Spirit working through him and reaching every man in that room. Through his words, I found what had been missing. It has not been immediate, but I have in the past couple years been working on it and can say now that I have a stronger connection with my faith than I have at any other point in my life.
It has not made everything rainbows and puppy dogs. There seems to be a misconception that being connected in your faith, being a believer will exempt you from pain, tragedy and overall suffering. This is not true. Having faith has helped me deal with issues and trials, giving me an inner peace. When I was unemployed for four months, I knew that we would be alright. I had an inner peace that was beyond understanding. When I hear bad news, it is difficult and like everyone else, I have no idea how it fits into the bigger plan, but I know that plan is out there, and it will eventually be revealed.
I hope to never become my old roommate’s fiancé, as poorly chosen as her words were, they were still said and the message was well received. I hope never to judge another based upon their beliefs (or non-beliefs) but I will share my own faith and beliefs. I will always be willing to open a discussion about it. Recently on social media a friend made statements about God that were from an angry place. When I answered this post saying how none of the statements he made applied, he challenged me to prove it. I asked him to have lunch with me, which we still (and likely won’t) have not had.
There are many more stories to share about these past couple years and the benefits (and detriments, yes, there have been a couple) of being in touch with my faith. I will be sharing those in the near future, especially the stories that have impacted me as a dad (this is what the blog is supposed to be about right?)