Morning all, so I wrote quickly yesterday morning about feeling a bit overwhelmed about the day ahead, and I am very happy to report that I got it all done, and then some! The morning was filled with driving around, and my boy was just super well behaved in the car for a couple of hours, his favorite reward being a Kinder Egg which he attacks with such enthusiasm every time he gets one. He is such a sweet little boy, wanted to buy his big sister Emily a heart shaped ring from the dollar store and then gave it to her later in the day, warmed my heart so much to see that.
When I got home it was cookie production time, as I mentioned that I am starting up an online baking company, North West Bakery which has been such fun to start up. I found some awesome Valentine’s Day boxes to pack up cookies, and made some promo cookies as well that I am going to photo and add to the website today. My order from Vista Print arrives today as well so I can turn my Jeep into a mobile advertising platform, business cards and t-shirts to wear at the gym tonight when I work out. Going to be fun!
While Austin was down for a nap. I decided to hit the road for a lovely 10km run through the streets my subdivision on the 10th day of my 100 day run challenge. I was doing a Nike Run audio guided run and I humble suggest that any runners with an Iphone download the app and give it a try. Remember to turn your phone to airplane mode to avoid any phone calls as for some reason it kicks off the audio track during the run which has only been slightly annoying. I find the talking, the verbal coaching in your ear to be a great motivator, and I will try it again at the gym tonight.
After school was filled with icing cookies, and playing with my two young children. It was wrestle time and we had so much fun rolling around the couch, having pillow fights, and letting them pummel me and believe you me, pummel me is the right word. Horsey rides, tickle fights and playing Monsters (basically chasing them around the house making monsters sounds) and they loved it. Mom came and picked up the little ones, and I settled into the couch and a good movie and had a nap…
After a little despite, I engaged both of my older girls to end the day. Megan came home from the mall and was so excited to tell me all about it, share some videos that she took, showed off the 1000 page book that she bought. She even let me explain to her how to play the Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game that I have been dying to play, and then offered to play with me. I should have jumped at the chance, by I was down to my last little bit of energon for the da and knew I would be napping soon. We have rescheduled the space combat mission for this weekend, perhaps even tonight.
And then I talked with Emily about what is going on in her life. I challenged her to make a plan of action over the next few days to help her both feel better and get her school life back on track. She has been steadily improving the last few weeks and I want to see her take that next step. I need to remember to focus on the GREAT things that she is doing, and try not to focus on the negative things. I believe she will respond better with positive reinforcement when it is so easy to point out those negative things we all see and don’t like on a personal level.
I’ve gotten a bit away from writing about my daughters, as I learned a real valuable lesson about sharing too much especially when you have neighbours that think they know better than you do when it comes to raising your own kids. An absolute humbling lesson about a hand reaching out while sliding a knife into your back.. I digress as I choice to focus on the positive and the things that I have control over, right?
Today’s agenda is fun. Lot’s of playing with Austin today, in and around some website construction usually when he eats lunch, and naps. Swim lessons start up again tonight so back to the YMCA and then a nice little workout afterwards (run 11) and then home for dinner and a movie(s) night, first with the little ones and then another with my teenagers. Want to start a tradition each week watching one of the Marvel movies in order leading up to the release of Infinity War in May. This will give us the chance to talk about life, the day and whatever else comes up…
It’s 8:05 am and I need to leave this house in 40 minutes with a long list of things to do today, and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I have four kids to make sure they all need to get to where they need to go, and have to be at an appointment for 9:30 and then come home and flood a bunch of sugar cookies for an order, plus make some Valentine’s Day promo ones as well.
There needs to be a run done in there somewhere, breakfast lunch and dinner and I continue to update my website and new business venture that I have launched. All while not trying to be distracted by the other things that life may throw my way and still wanting to spend some quality time with each of my children today. I have homework and exercises to start for a group project that I am involved in, that started last night. homework if you will, 45 years old and still having homework.
Just typing these last two paragraphs has lightened my mood and put a smile on my face, as I am truly grateful that this is my life. There was a time not to long ago where i would wake up with nothing to do and no one to talk to. So this short post was in no means meant to be a rant but more of a moment of pause, a deep breath if you will to understand and focus on what needed to be done today.
And most importantly to make sure that I have the right mental frame of mind to enjoy every second of it. I hope you all have a great day as well!
It’s another snowy day here in Barrie, calling for continual snow until about 1pm today and that mean lots of shovelling for me. I enjoy the workout aspect of snow removal but when your entire body is tired and sore, well it’s not something that I am looking forward to at all today.
I’ve challenged myself to a 100 straight days of running, and yesterday I hit the 7 day mark. It doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of this challenge but it is the most consecutive days that I have ever run. I am also starting training for an Ironman 70.3 race this summer which also requires a lot of swimming and cycling as well. The combined toll of these three disciplines along with being a single father of four children, well I always have A LOT to do. Cleaning the house, grocery shopping, laundry, paying the bills, etc..
It takes a lot of mental energy to keep all this up as well, add on the issues that you will always have raising teenage daughters. Wow, it’s been a tough weekend that has left me physically and mentally exhausted. Waking up this morning, I didn’t sleep very well and am not sure how I am going to get through what today has to offer. Continued web site creation for a startup baking company that I am trying to launch, based on Sugar Cookies.
North West Bakery – homemade Sugar Cookies made with love proudly serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area.
The snow is still falling…
As I type that a smile washes over my face. I know that I can do this, I know I can take care of everything that needs to be done today and when my head hits the pillow tonight I will have completed a lengthy to do list and a warm sense of satisfaction will wash over me as I drift off to sleep.
Afterall, as a fellow blogger said this morning, “Do sharks complain about Monday? No. They’re up early, biting shit, chasing stuff, being scary. Reminding everyone that they’re a fucking shark.”
Despite the occasional box cake mix, and lets get the joke out of the way right off the bat, I love to bake. It comes from being my mother’s faithful kitchen assistant growing up and helping her in the kitchen, that love of baking has really blossomed over the past six months. There was a run there for a few years when I was really into making cupcakes, and would often involve Emily and Megan in these projects.
It only makes sense to me to serve up my children delicious creations from my own kitchen as opposed to store bought delights filled with an endless number of preservatives. Jennifer and Austin also love to help out in the kitchen everytime that we make cookies and it is another great way to spend time together as a family.
The one item I seem to make most these days is Banana Bread, and I’ve been slowly perfecting the recipe over the past few months. Most weeks I make at least two, and a few times I’ve made as many as five in a single week. The kids devour them (I give them to neighbors) and even as I type this Megan is asking when I am making another one as it is her favorite snack…
Beauty of a blog post, it can be paused and picked back up (banana bread made, and in the oven!)
Ahh now I can smell the deliciousness in the air of a banana bread baking away in the oven, amazing. Always a great smell in the house when I have something cooking. The other reason that I love baking so much is that I find it very relaxing and a chance to practice some mindfulness.
I can turn everything off and forget about the rest of the world for a few minutes when I am making a tasty treat. The whole process can be equated down to Love vs Science, a post I have recently written about. I have always been a very scientific baker as it helps sooth my OCD a bit, however I have recently been schooled in the ways of baking with love (not the love ingredient I previously mentioned) but actually LOVE and being slightly less concerned about perfect measurements across the board.
After some debate I had to agree that cookies made with love rather than pure science seemed to taste a bit better when eating them.
Some other items I have been working at perfecting are homemade pies and Sugar Cookies. My favorite pie would be a good old fashioned Apple Pie with a slight taste of cinnamon. Granny Smith apples seem to work best based on their texture and slight tart taste which plays great against all the sweetness of the sugar you would add. I’ve also made my first Peach pie, Cherry pie, from scratch Pumpkin pie and even a Chocolate Pudding pie a few weeks ago.
I am also in the process of working on getting an online baking company up and running with the help of Patrick and Kristi we have had a few orders and I look to dedicate a section of my blog site dedicated to this venture next week. This has been focused around Sugar cookies and Kristi has taught me a tremendous amount about how to properly ice these cookies, as well as continuing to bust my chops about using a boxed cake mix.
I’ve had the idea of making a special meal all made with love for several years now, in fact I’ve dreamed about it on several occasions. To every single detail I knew exactly how this meal would go. And while it took several years, and the right timing to actually get around to making it I don’t believe it could have gone off any better.
It was actually perfect…
The preparation for the event started on Saturday with all the baking that needed to be done, first off it was two different types of cookies, a banana bread and my first all love Apple Pie. My goal is always to make sure that items made with love, actually taste good, not to know that even love exists in the product. Home runs were hit with this baking my friends.
On Sunday’s menu was a full Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Again never having made a turkey dinner filled with love before, I was slightly concerned about the deadly combination of tryptophan and love knocking out all my guests. It turns out I would be partially correct with this assumption.
The stuffing was loaded with love butter, more crumbled on top and underneath the bacon layer. As this would all melt into the turkey and help form the base of the gravy that was still to come. This whole meal was done on the dreams and thoughts I had over the past few years, I didn’t consult a single recipe and just whatever felt natural to me.
The gravy came out perfect with the pan drippings of the turkey, plus a roux made of love and might have been the most potent item on the menu that evening. The vegetables were sauteed in love oil, and the mashed potatoes turned out better than I could have imagined. The whole meal from top to bottom was perfect…
We lost Corey early on, almost right after we finished dinner. Patrick also needed a short winter’s nap and Ryan and I were the sole survivors. There were a lot more friends that joined after they finished working to help with the leftovers and to enjoy the warm out of the oven Apple Pie and coffee sweetened with love honey to end the night.
I could feel the after effects of this meal for a few days afterwards, perhaps I was just basking in the glow of a job very well. Ryan won the wrestling challenge that night as we always try and predict who wins each match and got to walk out with the ceremonial title belt. I was able to cross something off my bucket list of things that I always wanted to do. This meal also marked the last time that love was ever a part of my life, and it was a great way to close that chapter for ever.
It would seem that a lot of bloggers like to recap the year, as many of the sites that I follow and read have done this recently. I also happen to think it is an excellent idea to take note of where you have been, so it can help you focus on exactly where you want to go. I spent a part of my morning scrolling through my recent Google photos from the last few years and I present to you Ed Dillon, A Year in Review picture style.
The year started off still at my old house with the hopes of listing and selling it while the real estate market here in Barrie was going a little bananas. Austin has his 3rd birthday, with Darth Vader himself even delivering his present.
As we got closer to listing and selling our house, our favorite game quickly became lightsaber battles as Austin was discovering the magic that is Star Wars. I also started to contemplate buying a new Jeep this month.
The kids started swimming lessons, I ordered my Jeep which was custom built for me in Ohio and shipped North after the assembly was completed. Megan as always, loves to take selfies on my phone every chance that she gets.
Lot’s of quality time spent with the kids, and we got ready to move into our new house at the beginning of May. My Jeep also arrived with only 3 km on the odometer. Oh that was so sweet…
Was able to get the golf season off to a great start in May, finding some beautiful Ontario Trilliums in bloom. I would take the roof off of the Jeep every single chance that I could, despite what might have been questionable weather to some.
I enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather as much as possible this month, taking the roof and the doors off whenever possible. It was one of Austin’s favorite things to do, he had a little too much fun in there if you ask me. On Father’s Day the kids asked if they could paint me, not quite what I had in mind but it was awesome.
I turned 45 in July and I had one of the best months of my life. It started with a Road Trip to Chicago and St. Louis for some ball games and then back to Canada, to pick up my daughters and a great camping trip up in Ottawa. I started to build my recreational room at the front of my house aka MAN CAVE. I even found a four leaf clover this month!
This month saw a great trip to see Monday Night Raw, the pool table arrived and the games room was decorated and completed. I played lots and lots of golf often getting up at the crack of dawn and playing a few rounds in a day.
The kids went back to school and by the end of the month I was unemployed by choice. I really wanted to spend as much time at home as I possibly could. After almost 21 years working for The Keg I needed a break as I was emotionally and physically spent. I started to bake a lot, and dove into my children as much as I could.
Jennifer’s birthday lands on Halloween and that will forever be an extra special day around here, and always lot’s to do in preparation for it. I played as much golf as possible while the weather was still nice, and continued the trend of baking more and more.
This month just went by far too quickly as all month’s seem to do when you are having the time of your life. Despite some hiccups with Emily, who turned 16 this month I enjoyed spending time with my kids all month. I had all my old Keg friends over for a dinner on the eve of Survivor Series, and there were only two of us left standing. What a great night!
The year ended on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but a lot of great lessons were learned. I am in the process of getting an online baking company started, focusing on Sugar Cookies. I lost track of the number of loaves of banana bread, and pies I’ve baked this month and of course Christmas morning is always magical around my house.
2017 was quite the year for me. From where I started at the beginning of the year, what I was able to learn along the way. The changes I saw in my personal and professional life, what I thought was important at the beginning of the year has changed by the summer months, and completely changed again by September. The last few months I have been on a mission of self discovery and growth, and I am very excited to see what 2018 brings.
I’ve met an incredible lady who inspires me to be my very best, I have improved the relationships with all my children and I’ve started down a few roads back into the workforce in new and exciting directions. 2017 was such a year, and I suspect that 2018 will be even for so for all the right reasons!
Happy New Year everyone. All my best wishes to you and your families in 2018!
This has become a topic of conversation recently between Tiffany and I, it came about while we were baking chocolate chip cookies on Monday night. Tiffany definitely comes from a place of love, and I most definately come from the view of science and it was perfectly illustrated watching her bake cookies.
My background comes from 20 years in the restaurant business, where it was literally my job to be concerned with food cost and portion control. So with this mindset my baking adapted this philosophy. I am exact in my measurements, I think of the cost of chocolate chips when adding them to the batter. I use an exact .75 oz scoop when dropping the dough onto the baking sheets, using a fork to slightly flatten each cookie. The end results are symmetrical shaped, almost identical looking cookies.
Just like ones (in appearance only) that you would buy in the store… they are all the same. Mine just taste waaaay better!
Tiffany comes from the other end of the spectrum and philosophy with regards to baking, she comes from a position of love. Her measurements were not exact at all, she had an instinct as to how much of each ingredient she added, and then when it came time to place the cookies on the sheet to bake she opted with the two spoon method that resulted in in uneven, very different looking cookies.
We debated back and forth about which method was better and why… honestly I never even considered her method for many years, my mom taught me using the spoon method but my experiences and life over time taught me to adapt the portion control, the scientific method if you will of baking cookies.
Looking at the final results yielded two very different looking and tasting cookies based on the same cookie dough. If you were to actually weigh each cookie they were all roughly the same weight, but the taste of the two were very different.
The love cookies tasted better. It was due to the randomness in each one, the fact that they were slightly thicker than science, and had pockets and clusters of chocolate chips that you could taste when eating. The science cookies tasted a bit more like the dough than chocolate, as the chips were spaced out more so you actually got less chocolate taste in each bite as they were thinner and more spread out.
Just another lesson that Tiffany has taught me over the past week and a half…
Chocolate Chipper Recipe
Butter, softened 1 cup
Brown sugar, packed 1 1/2 cups
Large eggs, 2
Vanilla 1 tsp.
All-purpose flour 2 cups
Cornstarch 1/4 cup
Baking Soda 1 tsp.
Salt 3/4 tsp.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 cups
Coarsely chopped walnuts (optional) 1 cup
Cream butter and brown sugar in large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Combine next 4 ingredients in small bowl. Add to butter mixture in 2 additions. mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains.
Add chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix well. Drop, using 1 1/2 tsp. for each, about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in 350F over for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
That of course is the scientific version, or if you believe in love just wing it.
It was that kind of weekend for me, filled with the highest of highs and at the same time the lowest of lows. These kind of weekends make life very interesting, at the same time can make life difficult to handle. Things started earlier this week when I had to ask Emily to leave my house, giving her until Friday to find a new place to live.
I had given her a reasonable list of house expectations, and while at first she didn’t even want to look at or consider my list, to a few days later saying that what I was requesting was not unreasonable. As she is telling me the words that I want to hear, she is at the same time going to school but skipping every single class. Her words were definitely not matching up with her actions, and when I called her out on it she got angry, pulled back emotionally and did not come home from school on Friday afternoon.
I am trying to work with Emily and have her face her problems, her issues as opposed to running away from them as she has started to do recently. I ran and tried to hide from my own problems for too many years, I hid from them buried under an addiction and I could now see my daughter doing the same thing. It took me the better part of this year to finally exact life altering, and lasting change for the better. This blog being a huge part of that change, the sharing, the not feeling alone, unburdening myself of the giant ball and chain that I have been carrying around for many years.
Sitting around on Friday night, after telling my daughter that she was no longer welcome in my house was incredibly hard for me to do. But I did it, I packed up all her clothes, makeup and personal effects placing them into the garage and letting her know she could come and pick them up whenever she wanted to. That night was difficult, many different emotions ran through me as I sat there and thought about the last few years, and how things had come to this. It was a tough night.
I can proudly say that not one time did I think about returning to my addict ways, to numb my mind and hid from my problems with marijuana.
Saturday morning started the turn upwards towards those aforementioned highs. The morning started with some fun with Jenny and Austin, picking up Megan and starting my weekly 3 hour drive to return various kids to various mom’s. This drive was one of my absolute favorites as Megan and I talked for the entire two hours we were in the car together, not once did she pick up her phone and get distracted. We talked about an eclectic range of topics that included: her first crush, the Christmas dinner and the dress that she wanted to get, Tom Holland aka Spider-Man, her sister Emily, basketball, volleyball and a million other things… It was such an easy back and forth and upon dropping her off I was on the receiving end of several hugs and kisses goodbye as I headed out on my return trip to Barrie.
I stopped at the YMCA for a great 2 hour workout, after signing up for an Ironman race, I have found it has given my workouts an extra layer of focus, and taken them to the next level. I have already started to the see the results in the mirror which is always a bonus, vain yes I know… This time around in the Ironman triathlon the goal isn’t just to cross the finish line it is to cross that finish line strong and at the front of the field. I have no illusions of winning the race but a time of or under five hours and top ten in my age group would have me literally jumping for joy again. Have 7 months of great training ahead!
When I was done the gym I headed home to an empty house, as is often the case on Saturday and Sunday’s. I full custody of my four children pretty much Monday through Saturday morning, and then get to live the single man’s lifestyle on the weekends. You know hanging out at bars, and hitting on the ladies… throwing wild and crazy parties in my kid free house… actually none of those things at all. I am the opposite of 99% of men, whom are kid free on the weekend, I was going to have a glass of wine, listen to some music, dance around my kitchen and do a whole lot of baking.
My friend, Tiffany was having a bit of a rough day so I invited her over to help and to help take her mind off things going on in her own life, and over the course of a seven hour conversation I learned a whole lot more about her. She carried most of the conversation and I think just needed to share and unload some of the crazy events going on in her life. Just sitting there listening, and I mean actually listening to another person is such an amazing thing, She had my undivided attention, not interrupted by checking cell phones, a tv on in the background or any combination of kids running around. We eventually did get around to baking and that was another whole adventure.
I know that Tiffany wasn’t impressed when I pulled out a boxed cake mix to make some cupcakes, and when I saw the expression on her face I kind of got nervous. From my point of view I do almost all of my baking for my kids and using a box cake mix is simple, quick and easy, makes a decent cupcake as well. I think when I mentioned baking she was thinking, flour, sugar, eggs, etc. To be honest it threw me off my game and I ended up making the worst batch of cupcakes I ever have made. They were too big, the frosting was far too sweet, the candy canes I put into the icing you couldn’t see, and the colour scheme was all wrong. Just not happy with the finished product…
Looking back, I was nervous, and the results showed that. This was the first time I had ever baked with another person. And I got into my own head a little bit, we both talked and laughed about the results and what had gone on over the last hour. In good news, the banana bread we made was absolutely delicious. I sent that home with Tiffany to enjoy and heard it was quickly consumed. Before heading off to bed I thought about things and what I would do differently the next time we got together.
That turned out to be Sunday! The sugar cookies I had made a few weeks ago, has led to another job and five dozen Christmas sugar cookies and I was going to make another batch on Sunday to both perfect the recipe and send to school today with Jennifer for her class to enjoy. I asked Tiffany to help me out on Sunday, as on Saturday we talked a lot of baking, and icing and how much she enjoyed the whole process.
Sunday was the exact opposite from Saturday night. There were no nerves involved whatsoever, and I was totally able to be myself. On came the awesome 80’s tunes, one of my favorite songs, Doesn’t Really Matter by Platinum Blonde to which every single time I hear this song, no matter where I am have to air drum the drum solo midway through the song. I found myself singing out loud, which I never have done in front of another person before, as I do not have a voice for it at all. I played my best air drums using a few wooden spoons in my kitchen, it was epic.
Over the course of several hours we talked, we laughed and we had a great time. Tiffany and I worked very well together in the kitchen, instantly had an unspoken language while making these cookies. Several times throughout the process we were helping each other without having to say a word. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before working with another person. A communication without speaking a very rare thing indeed.
From the low’s of Friday night, to the learning curve of Saturday to the pure fun that I had on Sunday all came to a head Sunday night as I drove Tiffany home and picked up Emily who had finally decided that she wanted to stay at my home and we had our best talk in a long time while driving down to pick up Megan from her mom’s house. Sitting in the car with Emily, just being open and honest and not being afraid to talk to my daughter was the most powerful hour of my weekend. I truly believe that in that hour I was able to reconnect with Emily in a way I had been searching for these last few months.
I wasn’t nervous or afraid to open up and bare my soul to her, to share with her the experiences from my past that parallel exactly what she has been going through. I believe we came to an understanding about each other during that car ride and have taken the first few steps towards regrowing the bond that should exist between a father and his daughter. We still have a lot of work to do, together, being able to talk to be open, to share with each other one day at a time. One thing at a time. Baby steps, one after another and over time we will have climbed that mountain. Together.
I’ve learned so much about myself on this journey, this weekend in particular was one of learning, growing and most importantly being myself. Even with small periods of nerves spattered throughout, I was able to adjust, to learn on the fly and to grow one small step at a time. It taught me that I could take what I experienced one day and could directly be applied to the next day making it a wonderful experience.
I will leave you all with this thought for the day, each day that passes for me is one step further away from my old life and one step closer towards the man I am truly am meant to be. It’s still is amazing to me, this journey has been so wonderful. Each day presents to me such beauty and wonder in every situation that I have the pleasure of experiencing both good and bad. I will continue to learn, to grow, to evolve from each experience and shape my life, the life of my children and those I am lucky to call friends so much better.
It’s been a baking kind of day. One of my favorite things to do is make tasty treats in my kitchen as I not only enjoy the process I find it to be a big stress reliever in my life. It’s a bonus that all my kids love my baking too! Every day after school they ask for a snack of my own creation and by far their favorite is Banana Bread, loaded with Chocolate Chips!
I bake at least one loaf every week, sometimes two (like today) and a few weeks ago I actually made 4 loaves. Three of them we ate and the fourth went to the neighbor’s house. They love it too! So here is my recipe for Banana Banana Bread, enjoy!
Banana Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (optional)
1/3 cup Chocolate Chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9*5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
Stir in eggs, mashed bananas, and (optional) sour cream/yogurt until well blended.
Stir banana mixture in flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
Fold in Chocolate Chips (optional)
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
One of my friend’s on FaceBook shared the picture below, and it emcompasses everything that I have come to believe in over the past few months.
I spent 45 years of my life blissfully unaware of anything that existed outside of the bubble that I had created for myself. As the years went by the thickness of my bubble grew and grew, eventually I wasn’t able to see beyond its barrier and for me nothing else existed in the world.
When we are first born, we are born outside of this bubble. Think about it, as a child you are not weighed down by the weight of life itself. It is our experiences as we grow up that force us into the bubble, call it a defence mechanism. All the negative things that happen to us push us just a bit further inside.
For me, and many of us we first start to lose our fearlessness when we are kids and playing anh hurt ourselves. In that moment we start to live with fear and play it safe. You slow down a bit when running full speed because last time you tripped and scraped your knee. As we age things like peer pressure and wanting to fit in, to be like everyone else teaches us to hold back, to not be the true version of ourself, to settle for less because we want to be accepted, to be like everyone else.
My first marriage was a perfect example of settling due to fear and insecurities. I wanted to have children before I was 30 and settled for a woman that I knew wouldn’t make me happy, I just that she would be a good mother because she worked in the childcare industry. I kept the same job for 20 years but was only ever to reach at certain level in the company as when I got comfortable it became about being comfortable and I stopped growing. I was afraid of change. This all led to a dull life and just surviving.
I spent 25 years trapped in this existence.
I have been rediscovering my childhood through the eyes of my son, he will turn 4 next January and I am so blessed that I have been able to stay at home with him over these last three months. Everyday I get the chance to see the world through his eyes and have such a unique perspective on everything. Watching and PLAYING WITH Austin on a daily basis I can see his confidence as his explores new things, he is constantly laughing and always happy, he wants the most out of every day he is with me never stops asking me to play, he has no fear when he embraces the unknown and always has an abundance of energy.
He lives every second of every day outside of this bubble.
And I just had an epiphany as I was pulling the banana bread that I just baked out of the to cool, it’s our job as parents to help our children exist outside of this bubble their entire life. Imagine that. To teach them to continue to live their lives with the eyes and the attitude of a child that has no fear, that embraces the unknown that doesn’t settle for comfort and will continually to test their boundaries and grow.
I knew this journey I am on would take me to some amazing places, and I knew the power a parent has being able to influence and shape the destiny of their children. Both good and bad. I am only now learning what that really means and I am excited for each and everyday that the future holds for us. One filled with love, testing our limits and growing spiritually, physically and emotionally in every way possible.
In my own life I want each and everyday to be filled with an abundance of happiness, to live without limits and embrace the unknown. I am able to do this more and more everyday, I celebrate the little success and the small steps that I can take to move forward and further away from that bubble until it seems like a distant memory or a lifetime ago.
Yesterday after school I was picking up Jennifer as I always do, this beautiful 5 year old is definitely an old soul and looks at the world in a way that I absolutely love.
She asked me to dance with her while we waiting for Megan to meet us outside, and I found myself standing on a wooden stage holding her in my arms slow dancing to John Lennon’s Imagine playing on my phone. It didn’t matter to me that a 100 other parents and kids were watching us, we were dancing and singing like no one was watching. As we were doing this the most magical thing happened.
Almost every other kid in Jennifer’s class joined us on the stage and danced around with us. Here I am all 6 foot, 5 inches of me dancing with my daughter for all the world to see and a host of other children circling around us without a care in the world. Now close your eyes and imagine the smile I had on my face. Got it? I challenge you to do something today to put that smile back on your face again.
That my friends is the power of living outside your bubble.
And I guarantee that you will be glad you did. Have a great day everyone!