Coming Home – Dad Restores His Priorities

There are times when a husband and father need nothing more than to escape from the daily household and fatherly routine.  I know I experience this need about once a month – sometimes more often, and sometimes less.   Many times this escape will involve a gathering of “the guys” to watch a football game, play some poker or enjoy a round of golf.  It feels great to have those few hours in a different environment, surrounded by friends, and no longer held to the obligations of a family, or a household.  Ah, sweet freedom, where have you been?

When I come home late at night from these few hours away, I quietly open the front door, careful not to make any excessive noise.  I do not want to wake my family.  I hang my coat in the closet, slip off my shoes in the front hall, and creep upstairs.

 I open the door to my oldest girl’s room.  She is sleeping soundly in her bed with her mouth slightly open.  I can see the books that she read at bedtime, still sitting on her bedside table.  They serve as a reminder of a bedtime reading that I missed on this day.  I close her door ever so gently, and move down the hall to my youngest daughter’s room.  Slowly turning the door knob I peak into her room and spot her bundled up in the corner of her crib with her bum raised high in the air and her arms tucked under her tummy, I can only hear the faint sound of her little breath from across the room.  I will miss my goodnight kiss tonight; I do not want her to wake.  Going into my own room, I change out of my clothes; slip under the sheets and into bed with my wife.  Making gentle contact with her hand I drift off into a warm and peaceful rest. 

 The time after I arrive home and before drifting off to sleep are filled with peace and pride and total contentment.  Next month I may not need my escape time away. 

 My little ladies, there truly is no place like home.

 Dad

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The Value of Simplicity

My Girls,

Henry David Thoreau said “Life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify”

There will be times in your life when you feel overwhelmed. There will be moments when you feel out of control. When you begin to encounter too much detail in your life you may experience symptoms such as a racing heart, increased breathing rate, restlessness, sorrow or many others. 

There are ways you can deal with these situations.  One method is simplifying.

Simplifying is taking a step back from everything that is going on around you and observing, rather than getting caught up in the details.  Simplifying allows you to see the big picture and helps you understand what needs to be done next.  Simplifying re-establishes your priorities.

If you ever feel out of control or if you find yourself unable to manage the chaos around you, please remember that I will be here to help you.  It is my job as your father to play the role of your supporter, your confidant, your advisor.    I love and respect this role.

If you would like to try to manage the problem on your own, take a moment for yourself, and ask these questions;

1) What is the core issue that I am dealing with?

2) What is this all about?

3) Why is this important to me?

4) Is there anything I can do to control this?

5) What’s the first positive step I can take to help myself out of this?

Speaking from my own experience I can tell you that sometimes none of these questions will apply, and sometimes all will assist you.  The most important part is that you force yourself to take the time to turn the volume down on all the noise that comes with excessive amounts of detail . 

Isolate yourself from any further input for a while.  Feel free to get away from it all.  Go to your room, turn off the phone, sit in  silence and quiet your mind.  The answers will come to you.

When you have regained your peace and when you feel your mind take back control, open the door to the world once again, and go forward with a smile. 

As I continue to provide my thoughts on life I will frequently encourage you to take time for yourself.  Take the time to be comfortable in your own skin.  By loving yourself and by being truly content with the person you are, you will find all of these “details” become so much easier to manage.  

I love you

Dad

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Decisions – How to Make Them

My Girls,
It’s funny, sometimes we wake up in the morning with an excitement and a joy, ready to start the day. Some mornings we awaken and immediately close our eyes, wishing to go back to sleep, uninterested or even fearful in what lies ahead. 

There are ways that you can deal with those difficult days. There are things you can do to help you cope, and to help you make it through.  Never forget that you have complete and absolute power over how you choose to respond and act to all situations. It is your thoughts that control your actions,  and over time, your thoughts and actions will form your character. 

You must respect your character.  You must work hard to turn it into whatever you want it to be. Your character will shine though when you interact with others. Your character will mould your decisions.  Your character will help to form your destiny.
As you go through life you will become a product of so many different experiences, so many different interactions and choices that you make.  There are countless forks in the road that you have yet to witness.  One day you will make the decision to pursue post secondary studies, or not. That decision will impact your future life experiences and impact the adult you become. I only use that as an example.  I am certainly not implying that attending university or college is a better decision than not attending (at least, I don’t think I am).  Ultimately, your mother and I want you to be true to yourself and pursue the choices that are most in line with your passions, desires, and character.

I will add that even though most choices fail to be simple “black and white” decisions,  there are some choices that are absolute right and wrong. You know many of these already such as being good to others and looking both ways before you cross the road.  There are others you have yet to learn.  If you listen to only one thing I ever say, hear me now; Never get into a car with any driver who has been drinking alcohol.  That decision is not only wrong, it is just stupid (I know stupid is a bad word, but Daddy can use it in this one instance).  I pray each night you have the wisdom and strength of character to make such courageous decisions.

Dad

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Parental Wisdom – Principles, Values and Laughter

My Girls,

I don’t want to ramble on with useless information here.  My intent is to post meaningful wisdom as I encounter it.  I will not try and create a script for your life or a listing of things that you should or should not do, but I will try and express little pieces of logic and experience born knowledge that I have accumulated over my 38 years.  I know that with each passing day you are learning to be good people.  I hear you say please and thank you, I have seen genuine and pure joy in your eyes, and most importantly, I hear your laughter every single day.  You are so happy, and I am very grateful that your mother and I have created a home filled with laughter and happiness for you.  I pray this continues in your life and that you too will create a home filled with love, happiness and laughter. 

 Home is where you collect so many of your values.  I know that you look to me and witness my actions.  I am aware that you are listening to my words when I am on the phone with a friend, or at the checkout at the grocery store.  You see when I am agitated, and you see how I deal with that agitation.  You are my little watcher, and I greatly respect and appreciate that you are looking to me to guide you in your actions and how you should treat others.  As your parent it is my job to lead by example.  I confess to you right here, right now, that I am not perfect, and neither is your mother.  We are both good people of high moral character and sound judgement, but we need to be honest with you: we make mistakes too.  The important thing for all of us is that we continue to learn from our mistakes and that we remember them and the consequences of wrong actions or words and adjust ourselves accordingly, while remaining within our principles. 

That core of principle values will never steer you wrong, it is the lighthouse in a storm at sea that tells you which direction to follow.  Trust me when I tell you that it gets easier in time to follow your principles and values.  They become noble friends, companions who are there for you and your best interests.  They will coddle you at night and help you sleep soundly when you treat them well.  Listen to them, exercise them, give them the attention they deserve and need, and they will never steer you wrong.  My job is to show you these principles, to live these values, and to demonstrate the rewards that come from nurturing them.

You are embarking on a wonderful journey.  I hope to give you the tools you will need on this adventure.  I look forward to watching you use them, and building a wonderful life of love, laughter and pure happiness.  I love you so much.  I cannot express that enough.

Dad

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