It’s been interesting, over the past few months I have been asked multiple times about my hobbies. At the same time, I have been in settings where I’ve been able to meet lots of new people and learn about their lives, how their lives are structures and how they are able to manage it all. I love learning from other people!
In the meantime, one of the things that I really started thinking about is, can parents really have hobbies?
I think the answer is Yes and No.
Yes, parents MUST lead balanced lives. As as a parent, I have come to understand how much our children observe what we do. They are sponges! They soak up everything and are extremely impressionable. It is amazing what simple behaviors we dismiss or minimize, becomes long-lasting constructs for them. Long days are the gone, do as I say and not as I do. It is a reality that we are in the “See it, do it” generation.
Parents must have social lives so that children are able to see that modeled in a healthy way. Parents must prioritize their health. Parents must find room to laugh. After all, laughter is medicine. Parents must have healthy friendships. Parents must maintain healthy marriages. All of this matters!
While at the same time, while children are growing, I believe the most important thing that they need is our time! Among investing in hobbies that involve dancing, running marathons, date nights, cooking classes, sporting events, networking events, and travel, it must absolutely be a non-negotiable that one of our hobbies as parents be our children.
Picture that – investing time in our children that builds the relationship, creates memories, and inherently provides them with a picture of what healthy fun looks like.
Honestly, I see too many parents who are working so hard to provide “stuff” for their children that they never spend quality time with them. And based on my experience and exposure, children spell love T.I.M.E.!
So, no – if you are limited on time and are trying to maximize the YOLO theme in your life or feel like you’re not ‘fun’ enough with your personal hobby list, as a parent, delay your own personal gratification and pour your hobby time into your children.
The impact that you’ll be making into the next generation and your own legacy gets magnified and there’s a price that becomes unmatched.
Let’s start a revolution! Let’s join millions of other parents in listing our children as one of our hobbies. Our children will appreciate it and our world will too! I’ve got to go now…my wife and kids are waiting on me to play monopoly.
The conversation around race and racism is not an easy conversation. I remember while a Graduate Student at the University of South Carolina, I had the privilege of serving as a Diversity Trainer with S.E.E.D. (Students Empowering and Educating about Diversity). Among all of the training sessions, conversations, one thing that absolutely stands out in my mind were the raw emotions involved in every single conversation. Without fail, the presentation would start, the statistics would be quoted, the breakout groups would commence, the questions would get debriefed…and almost without fail, a question would be asked, a follow-up question to that question, and then a turning point. Working hard to follow the “dialogue rules”, you could feel the temperature of the room change. The tension would thicken and the emotions would intensify. Before we’d end, there would be folks who would shut down, others who would cry, and even at some point some who would leave the room. No matter how you cut it, these were raw emotions.
I thought about these experiences when I read that USA Today and Starbucks had teamed together to create a nationwide discussion around race.
Some debate whether this is effective or not. I won’t get into that, but I will at least commend them for having the discussion. Make no mistake about it this was a risky business decision on behalf of both companies. Very risky! In light of all that’s taking place over the past twenty four months in our country, it is absolutely a relevant topic and a highly emotional topic. Simply, I commend them for having it.
I hope you’ll join the conversation. I hope you’ll think about your own biases and thoughts. I hope you’ll discover your own raw emotions. I hope you’ll challenge yourselves and invite others to the table. Most importantly, I hope you will have the conversation. It’s worth it.
Happy New Year! It is already 2015 and we’re only a few days away from saying Happy New Year 2016 – or at least it already feels that way.
The New Year is a great time! In the U.S., it gives some a few more days to breathe without having to run into the office. It’s a sport fans dream as NCAA College Football is in overdrive with bowl games, NFL teams are vying to play for last few playoff spots, NBA teams are now trying to prepare for the home stretch, NCAA basketball is kicking it up for March Madness, the talk is picking back up for hockey, NASCAR, and so on. Shoppers are excited about the New Year retail discounts and foodies are excited about the launch of the new menu items.
Lest we forget there are thousands (maybe millions!) of new themes, declarations, and resolutions. Oh, the gym memberships have increased, the request for list of books to read, music to purchase, places to visit – It’s Endless! Dare I say – it’s OVERLOAD!
On the last week of the year, I was literally overwhelmed as I read the social media postings, the text messages and emails that I received of people sharing new phrases, new ideas, and thoughts about what the year would bring and be about. The fancy videos done to capture peoples take on what 2015 would reveal. It was – to me – Overload! I am not the anti-resolutions police. I support it! Whatever it takes for people to be inspired in their lives, change for the better, and pursue the best – do it! Vision boards, cue cards, spreadsheets, accountability partners, meet-ups, and technical reminders – do all of that! Whatever it takes! BUT – I also believe that we pile it on, jump on the bandwagons, and leave the ideas of intentional reflection and strategic consideration aside. I honestly think – we have too many options! Sometimes simple is better. Sometimes eliminating the options is the best option. Sometimes having too many options and too many decisions is paralyzing.
So, what did I do? What should you do? I pushed back. I literally pressed pause and starting asking myself the reverse.
Instead of adding things to my incomplete 2014 list, what should I evaluate from that list that needed eliminating? What do I need to hit the delete button on? What should I stop doing?
Then the questions starting flowing:
How much clutter have I accumulated?
What can I throw out in each room and in each closet?
How many contacts need to be deleted from my phone?
What apps on my phone should I delete?
What music should I get rid of?
How do I eliminate the time wasters?
What files on my computer need to be deleted or archived?
What goals shouldn’t I attempt for next year?
What conversations should I avoid for next year?
What issues should I resolve not to tackle for next year?
Essentially, here’s the summary of my questions –
1. Have I cleared out the clutter?
In a culture of consumers, we have a lot of stuff! There is now an entire industry that makes billions on storing our stuff. And I’m just talking about the tangible stuff. There are companies now helping us collect our electronic stuff. And then I started wondering, where do we store all of the mental stuff? Often times we don’t write it down – so it’s consuming our minds. Less room for any new or greater thoughts or ideas to come through. Where can you clear out the clutter? Here’s a plan to help get you started – click here.
2. Have I said No as many times as I’ve said Yes?
Every time we say Yes to one thing, we inevitably have to say No to something else. Really simple. Look at what you’ve said Yes to – with your time or your resources or your effort and then evaluate your priorities. What don’t I need to spend money on? Have you said No to something that you should be saying Yes to? Here’s a great video to get you started on the right thought process.
3. Have I created enough margin (room) in my life to grow?
Our calendars and timeslots of jammed packed. Our lives are crammed and our work moves at break-neck speeds. Have we created a system in our lives to slow down at points? Have we made a considerable effort to build in time to breath, reflect, soak in life around us, and build relationships, and so on? All of the stuff that really matters in life cannot always happen when you are on roller skates. Much of it is built as you walk. Are you walking or roller skating? Here’s a great book to get you started. Here’s a great video to watch.
On that note, enjoy 2015! It’s the year for Excellence, Rest, Rejuvenation, Restoration, it’s your year, it’s your hour, your decade. Doggone it – it’s your world! Take the world by storm! Hustle, grind, stay focused! Have fun with your faith! Take it up a notch! Take all of that and then decide – what matters most – what’s your destination – and then – go forward with strategic wisdom on your life’s assignment. Driving in your lane will cause fewer accidents. Happy New Year!
I’m going to be writing more stuff to keep you inspired! I’d love to have you join me on the journey. You can subscribe right here.
More Normal Than You Think