Dad Diary: Clothes Mountain Has a Song

I might write a children’s book with the sole purpose of turning it into a cartoon, and with an awesome theme song.

Remember, I change the bed sheets each and ever week and my daugthers have clothes everywhereand since I refuse to determine which clothes are dirty, and which clothes are clean, I stack it all in a mountain.

Here’s the theme song. Picture this with a banjo and more lyrics.

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Dad Diary, Someone Still Thinks I’m Awesome

Regular readers are probably aware – I have two teenagers in my house, and a sweet, kind, smiley pre-Teen (she calls herself a “Tween”) heading in that direction.

I’m compared often to Phil Dunphey on Modern Family. I should be offended that sitcoms always paint us dads as dimwitted simpletons who are way-too-easily entertained. I’m supposed to be complex, I guess. But I’m not. I like every “Best Dad Ever” mug I’ve ever gotten from every Secret Santa shop. I haven’t thrown any away. I like the cheap keychains they buy me (even though I don’t use a keyring). I keep the keychains in a drawer. I have a box under my bed filled with every father-themed artwork, picture, or ash tray – and I don’t smoke.

Basically, if one of my kids poured their heart and soul into something, I’m sappy and nostalgic, and I can’t throw things away, and I can’t let things go.

With teenagers, the “Super Dad” mugs and art projects are all gone. They don’t think I’m as funny anymore. And when I use our family message board to encourage everyone to write down New Year’s Resolutions, the wife and the teens roll their eyes and walk right by.

Not my Tween (her words). She, instead, makes a resolution typically made by someone 30+ and quotes a song more than 50-years-old.

I’m tellin’ ya folks. She’s gonna break the mold on typical teen behavior, and she’s gonna be respectful to people, while also being relaxed.

Leave a Comment with your resolution. Also, leave a comment …what should this feature be? Dad Diary? Dad Evolving? Fatherhood Chronicles? Lemme know.

Dad Evolving, Carpool Lane Etiquette

Having a teenage daughter is the best. Right? Everyone?

I currently have a teenage daughter, and another on the way (but I have hopes the younger one, when she reaches her Teen years, will revolutionize how teenage daughters and parents interact with each other).

Let’s discuss the morning drop off at school with my 14-Year-Old in the carpool lane. She’s been a high-schooler for 4 months. Too many times I’ve made the mistake of telling her, as we pull up to our spot in the carpool line, “have a great day,” and, “I love you,” and, “I’m proud of you.” Each time I say those horrible things, she ignores me, can’t leave the car fast enough, and storms off. I drive away wondering, “what did I say? Did I use the wrong tone? Is telling someone you love them not what it used to be?”

Turns out, I’ve been doing it all wrong. What was I doing wrong? Well, I was saying these shameful things when the car door was open and other random girls, parents, administrators, and TMZ reporters might hear me. For a teeange girl to be seen openly communicating with a parent in a joyful, friendly way is not cool. Not cool at all!

Today, however, as the car began to slow, my daughter said, “OK, Dad. Tell me you love me and get it out of the way before the door opens.”

Whoa! This is a revelation.

I told her, quickly, “I love you. I’m proud of how serious you take your studies. I think it’s great how well, and early, you went to bed last night. Sleep is so important. Have a great day. It’s going to be a great day. When you get home from school, eat a healthy snack …”

I could hardly stop myself. To be given this access and permission to speak directly to my 14-year-old, and without earbuds, or a screen in her hands illuminating her face …this doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t.

And because I followed proper protocol, before she opened the door to exit the vehicle and storm off with her way-too-heavy backpack and lunch, she said, “I love you, too, Dad.”

Yup. Those words came out of her mouth (would it have been embarrassing if I was filming that moment with my flip-cam? …probably). I heard them. This happened. My daughter said, “I love you, too.”

That kinda moment is better than a cuppa coffee for getting the adrenaline going.

Needless to say, when I pulled away and started on my commute to work, I turned on Imagine Dragons and cranked it all the way up.

p.s. I’m not sure where “Blogging about your teenager” ranks on the “Most Horrible Thing a Parent Can Do” list, but it’s gotta be up there.

Great Reading – The Stories We Tell Ourselves

51y1-une0elEvery Monday, for more than twenty years, a guy named Roy Williams has sent a memo to his friends, fans, clients, and subscribers called the Monday Morning Memo

Every Monday! Period. He never misses. The “memo” is interesting. Sometimes it applies to what I’m doing. Sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes it smacks me in the face like a 2×4.

This week’s was one of his best …ever! It’s about the story we tell ourselves is how our story unfolds. What story are you telling yourself?

I encourage you, read the whole thing. Subscribe. Read it weekly.

The most important stories I tell, by far, are the stories I tell about myself, to myself. Those stories are the source of my identity and the foundation of my purpose in life. Here’s the truth…

  1. Whether good or bad, your current circumstances are temporary.
  2. Success is temporary.
  3. Failure is temporary.
  4. Your future depends on your choices.
  5. Your choices depend on what you believe.
  6. What you believe is not determined by what you see and hear, but by how you interpret what you see and hear.
  7. How you interpret what you see and hear is determined by the stories you tell yourself, about yourself.

He asks…

Who do you believe yourself to be? What do you believe about this world we live in? What does the future hold?

Then he asks…

Did you experience 5 years of life during the past 5 years? Or did you experience 1 year of life 5 times? Don’t let 2018 be the 6th straight year of 1 years’ experience.

Then he begs…

Do something new. Tell yourself a different story about yourself.

I beg myself to do the same, and beg you, too.

Donnie Jalapeno Reigns Supreme! And spunkybean and The Bachelor Recaps

10420130_886021651420367_2669192316384554899_nWhen I leave this world, if there isn’t a patron Saint of Salsa, I hope I’ll be canonized in that category. Why? Because my Donnie Jalapeno salsa is that good. Since about October, I’ve been hammered with requests for it, and since my salsa makes the world a better place (hence my push for Sainthood), how’s that song go???  This little light of mine? I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

“It” = salsa

I think I need to bring in Scott and Weldon to tell me if my worst-ever-business-model has any sustainability, but for now, I’m going to keep with how I do my salsa business.

  1. I post to Facebook, Twitter, and social media (and email my Donnie Jalapeno email list) that I’m making salsa on Thursday.
  2. Make salsa on Thursday in my kitchen.
  3. Have people come to my house on Friday and Saturday and pick up their salsa.

I don’t think you need an M.B.A. to recognize the flaw – limited distribution capability. The problem is, I know my salsa is the best but only when fresh (seriously …read the reviews).

Some food expert once said to add a preservative, and it changed the flavor. Someone else said “can it” and that worked, OK, but even then only has a limited shelf life.

That’s my challenge for 2018 …how to increase output without sacrificing the freshness that makes it the best salsa in the world.

What else? Oh, yes. The Bachelor is back!!! And so are my recaps at spunkybean. You can get started before Monday’s premiere by reading my quick analysis of all the women who’ll be chasing Arie.

Now, here’s that song about letting my light shine.

An Inspiring Poem

I made a pretty drastic change in my life, recently, and feel inspired. This poem has helped me know I made the right decision, or to say it better, if I didn’t make the right decision, I’m not going to worry about it. Or, to say it even better, still, I’m going to do what I need to do to make it the right decision. Not everything in the poem applies to me, but most does.

The poem is attributed to Nadine Stair, and she wrote it at the age of 85. If you Google it, you’ll find many versions very close to this, many have been altered. You’ll even see it attributed to Don Herold because he plagiarized or modified it slightly for Reader’s Digest in October of 1953.

Live is meant to be LIVED …not dreaded over.

If I had my life to live over,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances, I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives
prophylactically and sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I have had my moments
And if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another.
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a
raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things.
I’d travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more. I wouldn’t make such good grades
except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.

I’d pick more daisies!

 

Beginning or Resuming?

I’m feelin’ like my old self. Like anything is possible and I’m king of the world.

I like this quote (even I don’t entirely understand it)…

“Begin. Keep on beginning. Nibble on everything.
Take a hike. Teach yourself to whistle. Lie.
The older you get the more they’ll want your stories.
Make them up. Talk to stones. Short-out electric
fences. Swim with the sea turtle into the moon. Learn
how to die. Eat moonshine pie. Drink wild geranium
tea. Run naked in the rain. Everything that happens
will happen and none of us will be safe from it. 
Pull up anchors. Sit close to the god of night.
Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the
top of the highest tree until you come to the branch
where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast.
Wear them on your forehead. Lick the mountain’s 
bare shoulder. Measure the color of days 
around your mother’s death. Put your hands over
your face and listen to what they tell you.”  -Ellen Kort

But I think it just means you and I should get started doing what we’ve always said we were gonna do. Not tomorrow. Not later. Not in 2018. But …now.