This past month has been crazy! I've been to Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Louisville and Chicago as well as back home to Bloomington, IL. But it's been an awesome month and although much of the travel was for work, it was to be with people and to talk about what I love. So very much worth it!
With all that travel and about 3 straight weeks of not "working" (sitting here at my desk working), it's time to play catch up (or ketchup or catsup if you prefer). So on this cold Monday it's time to tell the world what's been going on!
I would have to say one of the most impacting times over the past month was my time in Dallas. I went there for a convention but scheduled in some time to see my dad whom I hadn't seen in about 5 years. If you remember my post from October 1, "Parenting Advice for a Single Guy!?", I had realized that a relationship with my dad is healthy and something that I needed to pursue.
So looking back on that post I am realizing that of the 4 stages (nursing, king/queen, coach, and friend) I hadn't ever really experienced ANY of these with my dad. Funny thing. . . I found myself acting like a kid around him at first. It was the weirdest thing! I would want to jump on him, hit him, and just play around. And immediately I recognized it and had to stop myself. That's what we always did when we would see each other over the years and so that was my first inclination. So basically I had to skip all the steps (partially consciously) and go straight to the "friend" stage.
And you know what?? It was GREAT! I had never really spent a good amount of time with my dad as an adult. I ended up staying with him about 3 days and it was one of the best things I could have done for myself.
I can think back over the years and I have said OUT LOUD that I didn't want to be like my dad. He's made some poor choices in life (haven't we all!?), but the funny thing is that I never really knew what it was/wasn't that I didn't want to be like. All I knew was that his absence in my life had created this inner turmoil that I still can't explain. This turmoil still exists, but I at least feel like I have a better understanding of it. Turns out we are very much alike. We think the same way about the very basics of life. About treating people with respect. About helping others. Granted, we are very different in many ways also, but I realized that I was OK with turning out to be like him. I'll learn from his mistakes and make a few different choices, but overall he's not the "bad guy" I always thought he was.
I don't know how to explain it but I left Dallas with a little touch of pride and a little more self-esteem and a little more confidence. I guess those are things you get from your dad?
I also got to spend some time with my younger brother, Evan! What a great kid! (kid? he's 26!) He's dealt with way too much for someone his age and he's a trooper! I haven't had much of a relationship with him either in the past. That's something I want to change too!
Keep in touch for some breaking news coming soon. . .