Father’s Day 2002.
I remember the day this photo was taken clearly. That was fifteen years ago, ironically, Father’s Day. This was the day I found out that I needed to be brave and be single. Little did I know HOW brave I needed to be. Months later, I was divorced, financially broke, and my ex became a paraplegic.
That year, I did my best to just hold everything together with a safety pin. Jake and Tarah deserved that, at least. I felt tired, broke, and hopeless. I had learned to scrimp on everything and live off very little. McDonald’s was an infrequent dining experience, free videos from the library saved a trip to Blockbusters and the hefty $3.69 rental fee, garage sale shopping became an art form, and trips to Target were only made to acquire necessities.
I learned to be both mom and dad. I know it is stereotypical, but mom is the “go-to” for a hug, permission, or an encouraging word and dad steps into the light, front and center in matters of money, direction, or maybe unwanted disciple. My kids never knew when they approached me if they were going to get “mom” or “dad”. If they didn’t like the answer they would quip, “Where’s mom?”
Here are seven lessons, I learned about being a dad and a single mom.
1) Dad typically makes the money and has the burden of being the provider. No one holds mom, out on a line to dry, for losing her job.
2) Dad’s don’t get the luxury of whining. You need to put on your suspenders holding up your trousers and “ Man-Up.”
3) Dad’s don’t get be cute. They hold the heavy plate of responsibility. You want cute, “Go to mom!”
4) . There is no game of “tag-your it.” You are always it. So take a time-out and learn to sit on the sidelines kick back and enjoy a good “cigar” or a big bowl of ice cream.
5) The decisions are always yours. There is no democracy. There is no polling. It is all you, but thankfully it is all YOU. There is no “second-guessing spouse” playing, “Monday Morning Quarterback. Call your play, get your team in position, and go for it.
6)Dad is usually the “heavy hand”. If I had a dime for every time I heard, “You just wait until your father comes home,” … Own up! Being the dad isn’t for sissies.
7) Being dad is a thankless job. Mom gets all the cute handmade cards throughout the year. Dad is remembered today.
It may be a thankless job, being both mom and dad but occasionally you may get surprised.
Fifteen years ago, I struggled to mask my tears as my six-year-old son whispered to me, “Mommy, are you alright?” “Yeah, honey.” But I was unable to convince my smart boy.
“Don’t worry, Mommy; ‘God will meet all your needs.’ Philippians 4:19.” I realized nothing gets passed God. He had the big and small details of my life and used my own little boy to teach me the biggest lesson.
Today, the little boy is 21 and my little girl is 20. I am proud that I am their “Go-To” with their tough questions, as I happily pour myself a scotch(or Fat Tire), kick back in my recliner ( my beach towel) and breathe in the sweet taste of a Cuban ( or salt-water breeze) and listen to the Whisper Within. Happy Father’s Day.
Do you remember what you were like as a kid ? I do . Summers meant riding my bike around until dinner time and then back out , giggling at whatever silliness crossed my path .
I can still feel my pig tails whipping my face as I would swing for hours , challenging myself to jump off the swing. Each day brushing off the pebbles embedded in my knees, trying to reach towards the personal best .
Do you hear your silliness calling you ?Why not unleash that kid tonight & give him/ her a pass to swim past dark ?
I think your boss will understand . Just tell him my child was whispering to me & I ran to answer . What is your Whisper Within ?
It is Sunday . I am a habit of creature . The above picture is my Sunday ritual – church and then the farmer’s market .Nick, my avocado farmer said ,”You are my favorite customer . You are always so happy . I think we need to take a picture and show your Chicago friends how happy you are.”
I am happy.
This simple life is what I craved. I wanted lazy weekends relaxing at the beach or adventurous ones maybe hiking a mountain.
I recently moved from Chicago to California and God surrounded me with two friends, Judy and Marji, who live their dream every weekend. They hike and kayak almost every weekend. They know how to rejuvenate. Do you?
Here are 7 weekend activities to create a more productive work week.
1 ) Sleep in . Give your body & your brain permission to relax. In our ” high productivity ” go- go – go” society – we lack the downtime & therefore our mind, body, and spirit suffer.
2)Create alone time and read outside – the view helps relax the mind.
3)Go for a walk or hike with a friend – sharing laughs & stories. The time spent with Judy and Marji lift me up, plus I get benefit of the endorphin release. Bonus.
4)Have a Sunday ritual – whether it is attending a farmers market, going to church , or going for a bike ride .
5)Do your laundry- clean your house but only for an hour. Yes, you heard me right I find I have a better work week if my physical space is not cluttered .- cluttered house equals cluttered mind .
6)Take time to hug someone . Lacking personal contact is the biggest emotional drain. How often during the work day do you hug someone ? You have to get it sometime .
7)Go to bed early. Turn off the news, quiet your mind, and envision what a happy work week looks like .
What can you add to the list ? You need to create your own joy .
You are the only one who is responsible for your happiness . Give yourself permission to rest .
” And on the seventh day .. God rested .”
Are you brave enough to live the authentic life your heart desires ?
What is your soul whispering to you ? Will you listen ?
Follow me on FB at the Whisper Within .
Funny to think it was five years ago that I wrote this Facebook post.
May 28, 2012
” You know you are living in the wrong place when you you feel complete bliss running the lakefront downtown instead of the streets of Schaumburg.”
That was five years ago when I lived in Chicago … and now I live in CA.
When we were children, we played in the streets. We did not know the meaning of fear. I know I would swing high on a playground swing and when I would reach the top of the arc, I would jump and try to land as far as I could. I was not competing against anyone- except myself . I was not afraid to get a little “road rash”, if it meant a greater achievement for the day. I would dust the pebbles that were embedded in my knees and know tomorrow, I would try for a greater distance.
Can you say this is true for you today? Or have you lost your inner-child like wonder?
Are you just doing enough to get by?
If money, time, and responsibilities were not an option, what would you do to let the child in you free?
God gave you talents and he expects you to use them. You do the world a disservice by not using your gifts. Dream Big!
God knows our heart & plants the whispers, all we need to do is listen … and daily walk forward to get our authentic self .
Yes, the picture is ME-five years ago. I am not afraid to wipe out, dust off the sand, and get back up. It is time to release the child in you and dream BIG! Be brave!
Follow me on Facebook at The Whisper Within.
” Be strong and courageous. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Funny I wrote this 5 yrs ago and now I live in CA. God knows our heart & plants the whisper all we need to do is listen … and daily walk forward to get our authentic self . Follow me on FB at the Whisper Within .