This is about me and how my life has exploded into an embarrassment of riches for which I wish I had more time. I’m retired now, which you would think would have given me the freedom I never had when I worked an average of 60-70 hours a week. I had a full time job as an engineer and a part time job as an officer in the Air National Guard. There I had structure. When I came home, it was “husband and dad” time. Usually nothing fancy. You don’t decide to take on projects or hobbies when all you can do is work and catch up with your family.
Which brings me to another point. Have you ever looked at the Board of Directors of any organization and read their Bio’s. President of that, volunteer for this, member of dozens of organizations! How do they manage this? It’s amazing what they can accomplish! So why can’t I manage being retired? Why can’t I get to everything?
Here’s my dilemma.
My blog came about because I wrote a book called “The Power of Dadhood: A Better Society, One Child at a Time”. Hopefully it will be published by Father’s Day, 2014. I worked on this book for 12 years, squeezing in time during those work years after my kids had grown. This blog is necessary because I need a “platform” as a complete unknown in the area of parenting. Writing the book I found is the easy part! Having the book be edited, published, and marketed is tough! Developing a platform is not always fun, but it is necessary if I want my book to be read by anyone other than (some) my family. I have to look for opportunities to speak, volunteer, market, etc. The topic is important to me.
Beyond the blog, I’m a very involved grandfather. I love it! I have three grandchildren now ages 5 years, 1 year, and 2 months. My wife Kathy and I help out with babysitting two days a week and we see them more often than that. Part of my retirement plan was to help my daughters’ families (my son is single and in the Army). They do keep me busy!
My passion, for my personal enjoyment, is photography. It started out as simple snapshots. It evolved to taking my camera everywhere I go and annoying my friends, family, and especially my beautiful 5 year old granddaughter. Now, I just bought Photoshop Elements, a very complicated software program that can help with endless, imaginative ways to work with photography. I could spend 8 hours a day just playing with it.
Five years ago I bought second home, a farmhouse built in 1900 in a beautiful area near Augusta, Missouri. It is only 2.6 acres but there is a small shed, which I made into a playhouse, a large shed, filled with junk, and a large barn which has infinite possibilities. I rehabbed the farmhouse with the help of my brother. I love the place for personal tranquility, family get-togethers, and time with my grandchildren building memories. I also love taking care of it - most of the time. But it is another time consumer.
And lastly, we have great friends with whom we visit and go to dinner with often. We meet every Tuesday morning and visit a new restaurant once a month, but we meet more often than that. And travel! We love to travel and see new things!
One passion I have passed up is flying. I was a pilot in the Air Force and it was the favorite occupation of my life. But since flying at my own expense is quite costly, I just gaze at aircraft as they fly over and imagine. I don’t follow aviation at all because it is frustrating when I can’t participate financially and frankly, I don’t have time anyway! Oh, and reading, if only I could stay awake more than 10 minutes. Those people I see on TV curled up by a fire reading a book are much smarter time managers than I am.
And speaking of TV, why is it now that HBO and Showtime, etc., have to come up with great programs like “Homeland” and “Breaking Bad”, not to mention others I only hear about? I love watching them but they are, alas, another time consumer.
Now, just how do the Warren Buffets’, Donald Trumps’, and Bill Gates’ of the world do what they do when I barely find enough time to write a blog? So many fun and important things to do. No wonder my basement or garage never gets cleaned out! But life is good.