Christmas was a bit rough for me this year, and I’d like to tell you it was something meaningful like grief, being separated from family, or something that would seem to justify the discombobulation I have been feeling. But it is more like ennui, not really depression.
Normally, as I approach January, I’m excited. It starts in late December, and it carries me through to the New Year. I’m USUALLY looking forward to a new year, setting goals, making plans. Renewed commitment or a fresh page, whatever you want to call it. But I’m not feeling it.
It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about my goals, I have. Whether I would set some even though I promised myself I wouldn’t set any new ones until I achieved my last one — the weightloss one that has been kicking my ass the last 16 months. And trying to wrap my head around what I want to do in 2020. » Read the rest
I wouldn’t normally write about the #MeToo movement, and not just because I’m a man. The main reason I wouldn’t is that, in some respects, it is close to the third rail of politics, akin to talking about education or religion. It is pretty hard to have a cerebral conversation about it without emotional resonance upping the conversation to higher stakes. It is almost impossible to unpack something that has a strong normative statement at its core, a statement of how things ought to be but which are not currently that way.
Last week, somebody was handing out samples from the Moose Hide Campaign. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a grassroots campaign against violence against women and girls, with a strong Indigenous start, for men and boys to “do their part” so to speak in ending violence against women and girls. It’s a huge campaign, and people who have gone to the sessions have found it highly compelling to hear men committing to the same goals. » Read the rest
Over at the Heath Brothers’ site, they have lots of little posts about making better decisions. I signed up for the newsletter at some point and they sent me one entitled “Six Simple Questions That Yield Better Decisions”.
I quite like the list, partly as it is about thinking your way out of a box that you might have put yourself in earlier without realizing it. We all have shortcuts in our thinking processes, and the six questions they suggest are designed to help you avoid “lazy thinking”:
1. Imagine that the option you’re currently leaning toward simply vanished as a feasible alternative. What else could you do?
2. Imagine that the alternative you are currently considering will actually turn out to be a terrible decision. Where could you go looking for the proof of that right now?
3. How can you dip a toe in the decision without diving in headfirst?
When I started writing these, I didn’t know exactly where I was going to stop. After his birth? When he got settled? When I started not to worry? And then I realized it wasn’t about “becoming Jacob’s Dad” only, but a gradual change to “being Jacob’s Dad”. And once I got past the trauma of the last weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks of life, the story was almost fun to write. And although they take time to pull together from old notes, photos, Facebook updates, etc., I could trundle along. But when I wrote the last segment back in February 2017, Jacob had just turned three, and I hit a wall.
Because I realized that the coming year, as Jacob went from age 3 to 4, was one of the most difficult years of my life, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to write about any of it. » Read the rest
June 2011 marked a new beginning for me as a father, at least in some ways. It was somewhere around then that I realized that things had changed, and it was so gradual, I hadn’t even realized it. I had gone from being terrified at times, wondering “Is he going to live?” to a more nagging worry of “what kind of quality of life will he have”. This is the year, spoiler alert (!), that I transitioned to more “I think he’ll figure it out”. I hadn’t quite reached that point, but this was the year when the transition happened for me as a dad.
Not that the previous worry was “wasted”, as some people like to claim with superficial comments. Worrying about your kids in these situations is not a waste, it ensures you are thinking about options, considerations, asking the right questions. It is no more a waste than having had fire insurance and not having had a fire. » Read the rest