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Father’s Day, 2009: Goals & Priorities

June 21, 2009

Photo, by me!

Photo, by me!

I’ve been a father now for four years.  You’ve heard me say it before, it’s the most amazing job I’ve ever had!  I never knew it was going to be this much fun.  For the past two Father’s Days, I’ve had two children to shower love on me.  My Darling Daughter and I have always had an amazing relationship, but in the last month or so, my Smiling Son has just been crazy about me.  He is totally infatuated – when he looks at me, there is total unbridled love.  My heart swells with love when I’m around my kids.

I remember worshiping the ground my father walked upon. Unfortunately, he was never able to live up to the expectations I had for him.  What father does live up to anyone’s expectations?  I’m pretty sure there will come a time when my kids don’t think I’m cool; they’ll think I’m not very open-minded or tolerant; and, they’ll resent me for the missed opportunities in their lives.

As my brother says, “I fear the day my kids sit around and complain about me, the way we complain about our parents.

So, while I may not be able to prevent that loss of stature, I am able to take steps to minimize the impact and provide a solid foundation for my kids. I mean, as fathers, we don’t have to be fatalists – even as we continue to be pragmatic realists.  So, as I approach the rest of 2009, here is a list of my goals and priorities for the next six months:

  • Continue to practice the 12 Steps in my life. This keeps me balanced, available, authentic, transparent, and real.
  • Focus on health. Spiritual, emotional, physical, social (ugh, hard for us introverts), mental, and intellectual.
  • Give The Wife more of my time. Not just the one-on-one time that couples need, but time for her to achieve health in the areas mentioned above.
  • Lead by example.  As I achieve the goals and priorities above, I will set the tone and pace for my family.
  • Relax and live in the moment.  I’m pretty sure that one of the challenges we all face is that we are constantly trying to live our future life, and in the process, we forget to live our present life. I am constantly reminded that I should enjoy the journey – and be less busy!

Obviously there are a lot of specifics that are not included in the above list, but I’m a believer in putting the big stones in the jar first.  If I focus on the important issues, I won’t be such a slave to the tyranny of the urgent and non-important issues.  In addition, the more balanced and healthy I am, the better I’ll be able to deal with the unplanned urgencies in my/our lives.

What about you? What are your big rocks?  What are your goals for the next six months?  What areas of your life do you feel deficient in?  How is this affecting your family?  Your kids?  What do you plan to do about it?  Better yet, what are you going to do about it?

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4 Comments
  1. K. C. Robertson permalink
    June 21, 2009 7:31 am

    I think fatherhood is an instinct! Fundamental to it is just being who your are. No pretenses. By the time entered High School I started to realize my father was a unique human being. He never made a big show of anything; he was honest with the entire world. From the most esteemed in the community to the most loathed. He gave them the same respect. Race, religion, color, none of these garnered anyone special treatment or a slight. He rarely dispensed advice or counsel but he had a candid manner of pointing out examples to avoid. He readily related every aspect of his life. He never glamorized either the extraordinary or the condemned the disgusting. He just told his kids about life. He was the greatest person I ever knew one of my lifelong regrets is that I never told him.

  2. Terre permalink
    June 21, 2009 7:58 am

    Gary, thanks for sharing the pictures, and your thoughts on fatherhood, -especially reiterating your goals. Those seem like very achievable goals and realistic priorities. I’d like to stand in support of your list and join you in striving to achieve them in our personal lives.

    Gratefully, we have found the joy and freedom in being able to claim “spiritual progress not spiritual perfection”. We aren’t saints; but we are Dads.

    Happy Father’s Day to you, my friend!

    (PS: I will be looking for your progress report in 6 months!)

  3. Rubyjean permalink
    June 22, 2009 1:45 pm

    I really like your openness. You don’t dance around the bush, you are real and honest and direct. I love it that you put your family FIRST and are willing to keep it that way. I am really distressed that you have been asked to change that priority. It isn’t right, it isn’t fair, and it is NOT what God would ask of you. He didn’t give you a wonderful wife and adorable children for them to take second place in your life.

    Stay the course and God WILL continue to bless you and yours and lead you and when you enter the Pearly gates, you will not be asked, “where is the precious flock that I gave you?” they will be with you.

    I didn’t put my family first, I put my job first, after all, I did have to support them, didn’t I? What will be my answer to the above question? I wonder often, is it my fault? Did I fail?

    With love and concern…
    rjc

  4. Ekaterina Walter permalink
    July 4, 2009 6:11 pm

    Enjoyed reading your post, Gary. Now that I am a mother for the last 4 months, I can totally relate 🙂

    By the way, GREAT blog and website. Utterly enjoyed the pictures!

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