Day 15: The Awkward Moment When…

Dear readers, if you have not been able to glean the fact that I am usually not thwarted by awkwardness, then I have failed you. However, there are still times that the feeling of ‘over-sharing’ brings this feeling to light. Perhaps I will dwell on this, for a moment. Discussing that awkward moment when I over-share.

See, there has been the longstanding social construct between social butterflies and wallflowers. I like to think that social interaction is not as cut-and-dry as this. With the advent of social media, there is a new category. One which I feel I embrace wholly in action and voice. The Social Dragonfly.

What does this mean? How is it awkward?

Picture, if you will, a dragonfly. Darting from location to location. Feeding, resting, just having a good time. There are those of us, in society, that like not to be constrained by the social constructs that keep many of us in a lane. I first realized this back in high school. When I would look at the network of association that I kept, I covered a broad swath of the microcosm that exists in that habitat. Nerds, geeks, jocks, artist, fighters, leaders, I communed with them all. In retrospect, very few did this hopping from group to group. Perhaps that is why I was so adept in doing so.

However, this was a breeding ground for moments of feeling awkward. Over-sharing never comes from a place of one-upmanship, at least for me. So there are times that I share what, in hindsight, may be a little too much for the audience. There are times that awkward pauses, and minor alienation result from such over-sharing. But, over time, I have learned to roll with the punches. Perhaps it is buried in these resulting moments that I have learned not to care about being awkward.

Ultimately, people will either like you for you, or not.  If we spend all of our time worried about the things that we cannot change, we are doing a disservice to ourselves. If there is a moment that you feel awkward, embrace it. It is what makes you who you are. Over time, hone it, be proud (if not a little boastful) in this awesomeness. Trust me, you will be better for it. I hope that my kids learn this from me as well. I think it will go a long way in preventing the stranglehold that some levels of social acceptance has on our young ones.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Day 12: Five things that draw you to a person

Man, like I need more reasons to cascade my adoration for my beloved bride. I mean, I already talked about the “Five Ways to Win My Heart” on day 1. Guess that I would be better off speaking about five more things, right? Sure, I’ll give it a go.

“No legacy is so rich as honesty” – William Shakespeare

Ah, I LOVE this quote. Often said in short, but coming from “All’s Well That Ends Well” there is SO much in this line that Marina speaks. Ever since attending Dad 2.0 in Washington D.C. a few years ago, I have been working on casting legends as my legacy. Most important to this is honesty. Being able to be honest with yourself, and others, will get you much further in life than a trail of lies and tears. Being honest, to me, means that you can be counted on to do what is right, even if it does not make everyone happy.

“Lack of charisma can be fatal” – Jenny Holzer

Charisma can be a beguiling force to be reckoned with. But, as the quote says, lack of it can be a death sentence. “How does one gain charisma” is something I have heard asked time to time. I think that the answer is far simpler than many may think. Find something that you are passionate about, that drives you. Let that thing guide you, and watch as your life changes.

“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out” – Richard Dawkins

Good old common sense, right? Having a standpoint that you believe in is fantastic. However, having the wiliness to hear the other side of the argument will take you far. You do not need to bend the knee to a dissenting belief in order to understand where it is coming from. You merely need to open your eyes, and listen well.

“Be faithful in small things because it in in them that your strength lies” – Mother Teresa

Faith has gotten me through much more than many could bear. Regardless of what the word means to you, having faith in something goes a long way of centering yourself. It gives you common ground with others, and a starting point to solve problems. Faith is the rock upon which you can collapse when the world is coming down on you.

“If I remain true to what’s in my heart, that’s all the success I need” – Steve Val

Yes, I already spoke about being true to self. But this one is different. Being true to heart means being able to listen to your heart, and making the decisions that you must. It is knowing yourself, and staying true to what drives your love of all things great and small. It can, and should, work in tandem with being true to yourself. Being magnanimous is one of the purest ways of showing how true you are to your heart, and to the heart of others.

In each of these things, the others listed in my Day 1 post, and many more sprinkled throughout my writing, my beloved bride has excelled in them all. It is easy to see how she won me over, and still does every day.  But it is wondrous, at least to me, how I was able to do so to her.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always

I was asked a question…

The other day the Dad Blogger Group had me do an AMA (Ask Me Anything).  All of the questions were awesome. But there were a few that I wanted to share the questions, as well as my answers for you all.

Q:”Do you think you are a better dad than your father?”

A:”I like this question! Even for as tough as it is to truly answer. In no way, shape, or form do I think that I am a better Dad than my father was to me. My dad did the best he could raising for boys, and being a foster parent to other children. He made time for all of us as a family, and for each of us individually. He showed me what it meant to be strong, that it is okay for men to cry, and how to love endlessly and ceaselessly. All of that being said, I will say that I am a different father than my dad was to me. But only in the ways that I have to be a different father because of my children and the way that they are.”

Dad’s out there.  Think about this question.  Think about how you would answer it.  Then, and this is the part that may suck, think about how your son’s may answer this some day.

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I am not going to lie, my dad was and is an amazing father and role model.  He has been there to pick me up, and to knock me down when either were needed.  I strive, in all things, to reflect what he has taught me in my actions as a father, husband, employee, brother, friend, and person.  It is because of the time that he made for each child, and us as a family, and the sacrifices that he made, that inspire my brothers and I.

I truly cannot thank my dad enough for being the most amazing dad.  So, I work my butt off to try to be half as awesome in hopes that my children will know my dad’s greatness, through me.

Check this post out!

Take a moment and check out this awesome post.  I am honored to have met DoubleTroubleDaddy at Dad 2.0, and this post does an excellent job of saying how many of us felt.  I have spoken with him a few times since #dad2summit and this is defiantly the biggest thing that he has been feeling for some time.  Besides being an awesome piece, he is an awesome guy with a fantastic blog.

So please, check it out and give him some love.

http://www.doubletroubledaddy.com/my-legacy/

 

#4D2SD A bike ride update

Could this really be? There was no way that he missed that.  Why? Why? At least it was early on.  But he had a good rhythm going, he was working through the pain.  How much more pain would this bring? It is not a matter of the pain being worth it, but still, it was more pain.

Doing something to better yourself is great.  Doing something to better yourself, and raise awareness of others is even better.  Though it is a drop in the bucket, for the last two weeks I have been riding my bike to help raise awareness for homeless families.  Specifically groups like Family Promise.  They truly do so much for those who have so little.

I was talking with another one of the dads that is doing this project, and he mentioned that his original route changed because he realized that he would not “be biking on highways”, so he used the bike route on google maps.  At first, I just logged this as something to consider.  Then, just yesterday, the group was chatting and the other dad that is biking said something similar.  This meant that I needed to do something… groupthink is a pain, am I right?

So, I took a look at the difference in routes and miles, made a few adjustments so I can stay on a route that may allow some things to happen down the road and…

My mileage went from a very respectful 2,640 miles

To

2,895 glorious miles.

But those of you that know me well, know that there is this crazy logic in my mind that tells me if it is close to something awesome, then shoot for that something awesome. This being said, I have decided to add insult to injury and I am now declaring that I will be riding a total of 3,000 miles to raise awareness for homeless families.  I will still be completing this trek BEFORE the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Diego next year.  I will be adding the 105 miles to the front of my trip, so when I reach ~100 miles… I will be back where I was two weeks ago.

But, here is the thing, it is for an amazing cause.  Start watching for that hashtag (#4D2DS) and you will be able to follow the journey of the four dads that are moving a combined 8,615 miles this year.  We are doing this because no child deserves to be homeless, and there is so much that we can be doing in our communities to help.  As dads we are voices for our children, we speak the legacy that we leave for them into existence.  So, it is with that voice that I am honored to be with a group of dads that want to raise awareness.

I am still hoping to save up enough to buy a road bike so I can enjoy the outdoors this summer.  My exercise bike is defiantly doing the job right now, can I take stock in Motrin?

I AM A CRANIO DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I should be in fantastic shape next year… or unable to walk.

Thoughts of solace…maybe

Ever since we found out that our darling daughter was on
the way I have been plagued with a nightmare from time to time.  This one is much different than the ‘usual’
nightmares that I am graced with thanks to some of my experiences that I had
while deployed. This nightmare entails the days after I shuffle my mortal
coil.  I can physically feel the heart
breaks of my beloved bride and children. I can hear their cries, I can see
their pain.  I go to hug them, to let
them know that I love them and miss them, that all will be ok… and as my arms
pass through them I wake up, still feeling their pain, wanting to scream,
wanting to cry.  The end result usually
entails me getting out of bed, checking on the little ones, kissing their foreheads
and telling them I love them, returning to bed to silently cry as I hug my
sleeping bride.  It is rough, it may be
normal, I am not sure… I am working through it.

This being said, we have been working through a series at
church “What Happens When We Die?” and it has been a bit intense.  Seeing that the recent teaching “What will my
children say at my funeral” did not sit easy on my heart because of the aforementioned
nightmares. But, as is usual, the pastor did an amazing job, and where there
could have been a panic stricken, worried soul sitting in my seat… there was
some solace that was presented.  After
thinking about it, processing it, and thinking some more, below is the
summation of my take-away.  I am not sure
if it is just something for me to reflect on, or if any others out there in the
ether will find comfort in these words.
But, in keeping true to form, I am sharing it.  If it helps you, awesome! If it does not
matter, that is fine as well.  

Anyway, here you go…

We are all mist… our life but a blink. Yet, all of us
leave a legacy behind. For some, this legacy is short lived, almost in vain, as
that is how it started… in vanity.  They
were seeking to further their name, and their ideals with no regard to the
cost, or real impact of their actions.
For others, the lucky ones, their legacy will stand the test of
time.  In striving for this, if we are
trying to make a name for ourselves… our name will be lost in the pages of
time. But if your life leaves a wake behind because you strived to further
someone else’s name, because you were seeking the will of God, it is then that
not only will your legacy be carried on, but your name will be lifted.

One of the truest and simplest ways for us to attempt
such a legacy is through the lives of our children.  What are the stories that they will
tell?  What are the memories that they
will hold onto when you are gone?  Think,
just for a moment about the stores that you tell your children of your parents,
grandparents, great-grandparents and so on.  Think of the stores that have been passed down
as far back as you know.  What has been
said? Now, just for a moment, think about all that you do not know of the
families that surround those stories.  Of
the blips that make it onto the radar only in name.  The actions that you take, the words that you
say, the way that you treat others… all of these will form your story. And all
of them will determine the length or brevity of the legacy that you leave
behind.

To assess ones impact, consider what happens when one
drops a pebble in a pond.  The ripples
that are formed carry out, rippling waves in a constant sea of change.  It is with this in mind that you should strive
to make moments in your mist, and watch the wake begin to form behind you.
Watch the ebb and flow that is this sea of life become forever changed because
of it. And find peace in knowing that as your mist falls into the sea that its
ripples will be forever lasting.

I AM A CRANIO DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and my
wake is forming…. is yours?