Dad Life: Work

Not More, But Better

I am not sure about you, but I love my morning commute to work.  The steady pace through traffic before the sun can even be seen on the horizon.  Now its not the crazy drivers or early morning construction that I love, but the fact that I can just chill on my way to work, listening to podcasts and processing the information I am hearing.
There is one podcast that I listen to by Dale Partridge called “Startup Camp.”  His podcast is about helping entrepreneurs, which I am not…yet, with growing their business and having a life, not just a job.  At the end of every podcast he asks his guest what one of their favorite quotes are.  One week his guest was Jeff Goins, who is a champion writer, and he shared one from his friend Sean D’Souza.  The quote was, “Not more, but better.”
The context of this quote  came from when Jeff and Sean were having dinner and Jeff asking why Sean would only accept so much business a year and why wouldn’t he want to grow and do more.
In hearing this quote, it was a great gut check because I found myself, as I am sure a lot of you do, thinking that the only way to grow was to do more.  I thought that by adding more to my plate and sacrificing some of the things I love I would grow, but as Sean said, its not about doing more, it is about refining yourself and what you do so that you are doing it to the absolute best of your ability.
I don’t need to constantly be adding things to my life.  In fact, I should be actively looking about taking more and more things off of my plate so that I can focus on what really matters and gives me life.  By saying no and taking away things that just don’t matter, it gives me time to do what I enjoy doing and to be in the moment with those I love.  Now I know this is a lot harder to do then it sounds, but this giant elephant of a task can be done one bite at a time.
 

Dad Life: Family

Donut Thief

Recently I have been racking up the “You’re the worst” trophies from my son.  I have one trophy for telling my son TWO WEEKS EARLY, like a big dumb dumb, about going to Pops’ cabin.  I also racked up another trophy on Monday of the the week before by accidentally packing all the sandwich meat in the house and taking it to work instead of putting it back in the fridge.  With this one, my wife called asking if I took the meat and in the background all I heard was my helpless little buddy in the background screaming “Samich! Sam SAMICH!!!!!!!!” Yes, that is how I feel you would spell my son saying the word sandwich.
My most recent fail though was actually caught on some security footage, here is the picture.
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I know, not exactly a win in the ol’ dad arena, but at least this picture captures my muscular physique.
So, the background to this story is that my in-laws went down to Florida, partly for work and also for a bit of fun in the sun.  On the way back they stopped at this place called the Donut Hole. The Donut Hole is a pretty big deal with a lot of great varieties of donuts.  My wife and I really enjoyed it the last time we were able to go, so her parents decided to get all of us some treats.
Well the next morning after receiving this little box of heaven I decided I was going to eat a couple of donuts.  My wife never mentioned anything about her parents picking out specific ones and I thought my wife wanted a particular red velvet donut she talked about it the night before and sadly, I never even thought of my son wanting a specific donut…horrible, I know.  So I took two donuts, heated them up in the microwave for a little, ate them and head on my merry way to work.
I get a call a couple hours later when Sam and Lindsay are downstairs about to get their breakfast and my wife opens with this line, “Did you eat Sam’s donut?”  Instantly, my heart sank and I dusted off another place on my desk to put one more of the “You’re the worst” trophies.  She told me that the one with chocolate icing and sprinkles was bought specifically for him, and she then follows up and asks if I ate hers. I mean punch me right in the throat.  How well do I even know my wife?  Silly me thought to leave the fancy creative donuts, but I am the one who likes those, not the plain ones that my wife actually enjoys.  I mean who knew that after almost six years of living with a person you could still be learning things about the them.
Well, here is to getting two more “You’rethe worst” trophies from my son in one week and to also learning more about my wife.  Guys, the struggle is real.
 
 

Dad Life: Family

Life Insurance by Another Name

My wife and I were unbelievably fortunate to have just sold our first home and purchase another one.  The process of selling and buying went pretty smooth overall, but as in everything else in life, there were so bumps along the way.
I mention all of this because with our new home, we, like most of the world, took out a loan to purchase our home. I know, nothing out of the ordinary, but soon after that we started getting letters in the mail from the company who had our loan.  The letter was talking about getting mortgage protection insurance and they wanted to make sure that no matter what happened to my wife and I, that whoever lived on wouldn’t have to worry about the debt of the home, but would be able to pay it off.  This story of protection almost got me until I realized something from my days when I worked in insurance, and that was that this mortgage company wasn’t really selling me mortgage protection insurance but LIFE INSURANCE.
Now, there is nothing wrong with life insurance, but when most people here those two words in unison, they get weird, nervous, and shut down.  I personally believe that almost everyone should have some life insurance, but if you are going to sell life insurance, don’t  call it by another name.  The company that I used to purchase my loan is great and I would use them again, but I still feel icky getting a letter about mortgage protection insurance because it just feels like they were trying to be sneaky.
Even though I feel icky, I can’t blame them for doing what they did because they definitely get more of a response by selling it that way.  My only suggestion would be to call it life insurance, but fashion a story with the letter making it known that they wanted me protected with life insurance because they wanted my wife to live worry free because the debt of our home was covered, or that maybe they wanted my kids to grow up and be able to go to the college of their dreams, or that my little girl may not have her dad to walk her down the isle, but with life insurance, I could still give her a wedding to remember.
Inviting me to imagine a different story with life insurance is what they needed to do, and it wouldn’t have felt as weird or wrong.  I just like it when people are upfront and honest with what they are doing, how about you?

Dad Life: Work

Huff and Puff: How to Look Like an Idiot.

I work at a company that requires us to do testing on product to make sure it is good and wholesome for the end consumer.  At times, because of when the product is ran, it can cause delays for the logistics department, which I work in.  It just happened to be one of these instances that I noticed something annoying about myself, but first, a little background.
I was working with one of the ladies on our inside sales team to make sure I got her needed product so it could ship out on an order leaving the next day.  I had been trying to do this for just about a week and on the last day the product was still not being released and was causing a couple of trucks to be delayed for their deliveries.  Throughout this situation, at each update, I found myself walking away huffing and puffing.
About the third time I walked away I actually noticed myself huffing and puffing and I felt terrible.  I felt terrible because the lady on our inside sales team probably thought I was doing that because of her, and if anyone was walking by or looking from their offices, all they were seeing was an impatient young whipper snapper who doesn’t know how to handle himself.  Once I noticed myself doing this, I quickly stopped, and luckily before any damage was done.
Things are going to happen that will frustrate us and maybe even blow our minds because of the stupidity of the situation. In those moments, it is never ok to huff and puff like a five year old, that is unless you want to look like an idiot, and then by all means…huff and puff away.  Instead, when these moments happen, we need to take a deep breath, maybe say a little “Hail Mary” prayer, and just keep on working through the situation.

Dad Life: Family

Parenting Fail: 101

bitmoji-20160326211553You know what I just learned… there is no distant future with a toddler. Oh sure, there is a “this is whats going to happen in five seconds future”, a “this is what is happening after we put your shoes on future”, even a “if you do or eat this you get that future,” but again, there is no distant future with a toddler.
I made the mistake last night right before the bedtime routine of mentioning that we are going to go to Pops’ cabin, his grandparents cabin… NEXT WEEK. Ugh, just thinking about my foolishness again is baffling.  After I mentioned this to my son I told him it was bath time and he ran right upstairs and went into his bathroom.  This should have been the first sign that something was up because usually he starts pouting and asking for mommy, but  at the time I just thought he was really pumped for some bath time fun.  Usually when I wash his hair he doesn’t like it because water “gets in his eyes” and puts up a mini struggle but this time there wasn’t much of a fuss.  After I get him out I tell him we are going to brush our teeth and get dressed for bed and this all goes flawlessly.  I MEAN HOW OBLIVIOUS AM I AT THIS POINT.
Well my wife was walking over to the room to help out and my son sees her and waves and says “Bye bye.” She was kinda taken aback, but we thought maybe he just wants daddy tonight.  I mean I really thought this kid had turned a new leaf but then he says something…”Pops’ cabin…Carseat.” and it dawns on us, he was doing all of this so happily because he thought he was going to the cabin that night. UGH, how ridiculous of me to tell him something that isn’t happening for another week.
So, after telling him that Pops’ cabin wasn’t until the following weekend, he proceeds to put on his best pouty face and start sniffling.  Luckily it was the end of the day and we could distract him with some of his favorite books, but  even with pulling out all the stops, we still left his room that night hearing him mumbling “Pop’s cabin…carseat.”
Oh… I felt horrible, put the real punch in the kisser was when my son basically handed me a “Your the worst trophy” the next morning.  What I mean is that when I followed up with my wife about how her morning went, she said the very first thing our son said when she went into his room was “Pops’ cabin… carseat,” and once again, he followed up with his tears and pouty face when she told him that it wouldn’t be until the following weekend.
So…dads, wanna-be dads, or people ever thinking or even thinking about thinking of having kids, REMEMBER, toddlers have no concept of future focused events. Please, learn from my idiocy and don’t talk about future focused events unless you got that junk locked and loaded and are planning to go right then.
So, I hope I am the only one who has made this mistake, but if I’m not, and I have a strong feeling that I am not, please share your lessons learned below.