Someone once said...we walk in the amount of light we have... I’m starting this series of writing about so many perspectives as a man...as a Dad...& as a Husband because it "puts the lights on for me". Writing draws things to the surface of my mind. It is like having a good conversation with an objective friend. Once you explain something to someone, you often "hear yourself" say something in a brand new way that you have not thought about before. Sharing my plain experiences with someone brings clarity & understanding to my thoughts...it provides perspective...& it opens new ideas to my, often overwhelmed & subjective mind. By writing I learn things about myself, my parenting, my kids & the dynamic I wish to infuse in our house. Every person has a "Base camp" they operate from. Mine is my home. My wife & my kids. What they require of me keeps me balanced & brings a focus to my life that I would not have without them. They bring meaning. Something we are all trying to find.
I did not have active & invested parents. In fact I did not have a dad one day of my life. Today I am a
dad of 4 with no reference to "how to do this" except a clear understanding of what I do NOT want. I am only armed with common sense & a desire to be an active & observing dad that I have "rarely seen". Every experience I have in our Home environment is as fresh & new to me as it is for the kids. I have only ever observed families & people from a distance for as long as I can recall. So just like my kids, I am also experiencing a healthy family for the first time. This has made me a diligent student of people. My wife is my best friend. When we reach the end of the understanding that our friendship can provide I turn to writing...
Writing puts me in a 3rd person perspective about my own actions. When we experience things we are mostly subjective. It is so hard to make immediate sense out of an overwhelming experience. When I write things down...I have to be extremely detailed about an event...because the reader has to completely understand the chronology of events & the context in which things happened. Even just describing a certain context already brings the clarity as I see how my environment contributed to events. When I read my own writing I’m sitting on the roof looking down...& I see things I could not see while being in the heat of the situation. This works for me. This is how I learn.
Our methods don't always align with our intentions & therefore my kids learn that Daddy doesn't know everything. I encourage them to tell me what it's like being on the receiving end of an idea I might follow with them. After all...if "my experience" of you is bad...your intentions toward me will hold little value afterward, regardless of how much we talk about it. If the truth is never scared to be tested...we should not be scared to question ourselves.
Let's put the lights on before we act.
While teaching music for 24 years, coaching swimming & running a Football club I have been working with other peoples kids for so long. I get to observe the fruit of their teaching...the outcome of their method...the philosophies each household holds dear. It also shows how far removed our methods can be from our intentions & how things like cultures & religions shape children’s identities of things like confidence, competition, love & their orientation to learning new things...
I believe learning is the most FUN idea of all & if you are a Parent like me who DOESN'T KNOW EVERYTHING, I hope that discussing your parenting effort & reading your own behavior will be a self charging generator. My motivation for doing this, lie in the countless parents I sit with that have reached the end of their cleverness & understanding. Some face a result in their kids that they did not foresee & don’t understand because they feel they did their “best” & it's not what they “intended”.
The world couldn’t care less about our “intentions”...it is your methods toward me that create an experience of you, & it is the experience of you that become my evidence for what I believe about you. That is the message I walk away with. We grow & learn by what we focus on. We become more. More of whatever we are busy with. I am more busy with developing myself & my kids than with anything else. We will forever be a student of the thing we are busy with.
Even though I am a parent I am still a student of parenting... Each field of study like Teachers, psychologists, professors, life coaches, therapists & mentors apply their focus differently on where your start point is.
Absolutely everything in your life starts and ends with 'what do you want' because Every body wants something!
Every man has at least one good book in him. This is my noble contribution in bite size chunks. Here are a series of personal letters I write to you. Short time capsules that eventually make its way to a book of ideas. I want to write to you, whom I might not have met yet, in the same personal way you listen to a song & you feel that song speaks to only YOU. Lets go back to the old fashioned way...the primitive way...the almost forgotten way of expressing our heart...the curl up with a coffee way...the hide yourself under a blanket or the corner of a garden for uninterrupted focus way...
This is a letter I'm writing to you by hand from my heart...
From all the parts of my body that are too dumb to object to anything that my mind is shouting through this pen...
This is not a document that should be changed & saved or updated...this is a stamp in time. A reminder of who we are like an old Coca Cola sign. This is as true as the feel of the paper you can touch... hold close...smell it & keep forever...this is the artifact that you keep in that shoe box...that you read again in a time from now. This is that memory that you go find when things don't make sense any more. This is a reminder that words ARE big...& what people think about you DO matter. Because it makes you feel something when some one would stop their world to say something nice...or show appreciation or recognize effort.
You & I are here for a very short time...every moment we are here is a chance to see more in the person next to you...to stare longer...to look deeper. Every time I see you I have another chance to find something that impress me. Every time you see me is another chance I have to give you the best version of myself.
I am focused on the friendship. I have a desire to understand you. I can never capture the sum of your parts in 1 lifetime...I need more time with you. I need more opportunities to watch you. It is extremely rare to find another person that has that level of interest in you as you do of yourself.
A letter to someone is a proud statement of awareness and choice. It is a declaration of their impression. It holds meaning & expectation in itself...even still sealed in the envelope. This is a form of Art. To weave my words through a context of emotion to convey meaning, is an ability that come easy to some...& are impossible to others. Some are trapped in their own head...captive in a language that cant find form & diminished to the only slang they are versed in.
But through my writing I want to take you on an objective journey to see what I see. To show you another dimension of yourself...the mirror image...the other side of you...the part of you that only other people can see. Journey with me to hear a description...a phrase...a sentence or a word that you have not yet heard in that way. Allow me to create perspective in my way...to challenge your definitions & deepen your understanding.
Take this metaphoric written hand & hold on...this is going to be a quality conversation.