I must apologize to all five of you who read these posts. The last week or so has been very difficult for me to get in front of the computer and write for my journal. I never thought it would be so hard to put something down on paper so simple as a journal every single day. This is a habit I needed to create and, as described in the initial blog, I think it will be good for me if nothing else.
That said, I am currently on the interstate dictating this blog into my phone (I promise I will edit it when I get home). I have thought about the possibility of doing this in the past but discarded the idea because I didn't think I would be able to avoid editing it as I went. I thought about what would happen if I sent a post that I had dictated without even looking at it for editing purposes. I think we all know how that would turn out. Actually, they might be more interesting if I did that. My inspection reports always seem to attract more attention when I don't edit my notes...
After careful consideration, I've decided to dictate now while my brain is still working and edit when I get home. Welcome to my first blog post "written" at over 80 miles per hour.
So I guess I will just talk about what is on my mind at this point. I am constantly being reminded of how important it is to focus on the present moment instead of being lost in useless mental chatter all the time. This week especially, as I was traveling from one construction site to another, I caught myself in almost a manic mental state. My thoughts were jumping from one topic to another and back almost constantly for no reason at all other than that I wasn't telling them where to go.
Just before dictating this I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast episode where he and his guest are talking about raising kids. Josh, his guest, has a young son whom he is teaching to meditate and understand his inner self (it's not as woo woo as it sounds). He also talked a lot about understanding and learning from his kid by being present when he is with him. This is something I think most parents struggle with these days with all of the easily accessible distractions we have. I know my wife and I both often choose to get on the hamster wheel (Facebook, Twitter, E-mails, etc) instead of interacting and engaging with our kids. Sometimes we just need a break, and that's fine, but I think more often than not, the distractions are what wear us down.
Our kids need us to lead and guide them in this life. If we aren't there mentally when we are with them, what message is that sending? I have known this for some time and have been struggling to focus on those moments when I'm with my family. The podcast I just heard put things into perspective for me. Listening to this man describe his relationship with his son showed me what mine can, and I hope will, be like with my kids.
Josh talked about when his son was a baby, he would just sit there and look into his eyes and if something started to distract him, his son's gaze would bring his attention back to him. Now that his son is older, he does the same thing by gently grabbing Josh's face and pulling his dad's focus back to him. The few times where my son or daughter and I have really focused on each other's eyes have been such powerful moments for me. A few times I have glanced over as one of my kids was staring at me, waiting to see if I was paying attention to them. Those moments are heartbreaking for me as a father, because I know there are many many more where I didn't even notice them waiting for me to look; waiting for their hero to notice them, to connect with them, to be proud of them.
In about 30 minutes I will be home where I can look into those big blue eyes and reconnect with my two precious babies. Then tomorrow my family is coming on the road with me for a short trip just so we can spend the day together as I travel for one more day this week. I hope I will be able to keep my mind from running away with the distractions of life, to stay focused on them as we spend the day together.
It's amazing how the most important things are often right in front of me as I search, strive, and worry about what may or may not come tomorrow. I am often reminded, as I was today, that this very moment is the only one I am promised. It's up to me to make the very best of it; to enjoy it, to feel it, to cherish it.
Do Good || Be Strong || Fear Nothing