Posts Tagged ‘ Back to the Future ’

This Christmas Felt More Like Thanksgiving (And Back To The Future)

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Today is New Year’s Day, but it feels to me like we’re a week into 2014 already.

I think it’s because your 3rd birthday was about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving was a week closer to Christmas than it normally is.

Maybe I’m sort of stuck in a time warp continuum. I don’t know if this more like being back to the future or back in the past.

Somehow, Christmas felt more like Thanksgiving to me.

But not just because of that time warp continuum thing. It’s because this Christmas, I actually did what I guess people are supposed to do at Christmas:

I turned off all the lights in my head except for one and realized: Hey, I’m grateful and thankful for all the blessings in my life.

While I’m disconnected from 99.9% people living on this planet, because I’ve never heard of them and they’ve never heard of me… plus 100% of those who already came and went before I ever ended up on planet Earth, I am connected to enough right now to make me feel alive; to remind me that life isn’t simply a grand scheme taking place inside of a computer chip in somebody’s brain; at least, I think that’s what the plot of The Matrix was about.

There’s something about the actual origin of Christmas that at least peripherally points to the meaning of life.

To me, I would simply say that the meaning of life is to give life meaning, which requires being involved in other peoples’ lives.

And that’s something I was very aware of this Christmas.

As a family, we are by default those people who influence each other, and bring meaning more than anyone else we know.

So to think that I’m really nobody that special or famous or great in relation to entire world, it is both rewarding and humbling to know that I am a VIP in your eyes.

I remember back a couple of months ago during my lunch break from work, scurrying back and forth between Target and Toys R Us, trying to figure out who had the better selection of Disney’s Planes toys.

Mommy had given me the task of picking one out for you. My instincts told me to pick El Chupacabra, based on my predictions of you liking how he looked and as a quirky way to celebrate our shared portion of Mexican blood.

After all, I’ve bought you enough toys now to have a decent idea of what impresses you.

Without any prompt, the day after Christmas, you discreetly sort of pulled me aside in a way that a 3 year-old boy does, and told me, “Daddy, I like that plane you got me.”

I don’t think you could have known that was one of the few gifts that I had complete creative decision in picking out; Mommy chose most everything else herself, from the gifts we got for you.

It may seem like a simple story or even just a fortunate coincidence, but the fact you made an effort to tell me how you felt about that $4 plane I got you… well, it made my day.

And my Christmas.

 

Love,

Daddy

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Investing in the Undervalued and Underappreciated

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Nine months.

On Thursday, October 5th, 2006, I looked across a large, crowded room and saw a beautiful 25 year-old girl who had no legitimate reason to be alone. In that wishful moment at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee, I thought about how wonderful life could be if I could get that beautiful Puerto Rican stranger to fall in love with me. Turns out, she wasn’t Puerto Rican; it also turns out, she did fall in love with me- but it took exactly four months to the day for her to see me as more than just a friend.

Without knowing it, I applied a long-standing business principle of billionaire Warren Buffet, as explained in his son Peter Buffet’s book, Life is What You Make It:

“The idea is elegantly simple. Find something the world underappreciates, support it, don’t meddle, and allow time for the world to catch up in its valuation.”

I basically can’t stop obsessing over that very true concept. It doesn’t just apply to business; it appears to life in general.

How did a guy like me end up getting a girl like Jillanne Tuttle to fall in love with me? More importantly, why was this girl still even single, anyway?

Because she was underappreciated. So I supported her. And I didn’t meddle. Needless to say, it worked. That’s the only way I could have gotten a girl so out of my league like that.

I ignored the bad advice of well-meaning guy friends who tried to tell me I should come on strong and ask her out on a date from the very beginning. Instead, I privately vowed to be her friend first, not meddling with our friendship. Then interestingly, on February 5th, 2007, a switch flipped; she finally saw me in the romantic way that I had seen her from day one.

Is it crushing to my ego that she didn’t immediately fall in love with me for my weird and random conversations, not to mention my physical likeness of a plethora of Jewish actors such as Fred Savage, who played Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years? (Featured right, with his son.)

Not really. Subconsciously I knew back then that if I were to truly capture the attention, as well as, the heart of this girl, it would take more than all the culturally valuable assets I didn’t possess.

The truth is, I happened to be the right guy in the right place at the right time, making a conscious effort to invest in a person who others foolishly overlooked. So I made the most of it. Thank God it worked.

That same principle is how The Dadabase was born. I realized there was all kinds of information for moms-to-be, but not for dads-to-be. So a few weeks after we found out we were going to have a baby, I decided to start a weekly blog from my fatherly perspective. Sure enough, that was sort of a rare thing- unique enough that  American Baby took notice in their magazine in October of last year.

And when Parents.com started asking around in their search for an official daddy blogger, I happened to be the right guy in the right place at the right time, because their sister magazine American Baby had featured my blog on page 13 of their issue just five months before.

In other words, I found something the world had underappreciated (parenting advice and narration from the dad’s perspective), I supported it, I didn’t meddle, and the world began to catch up in its valuation.

As for using this concept in parenting, I’m already seeing how it translates. No other humans can see more value in my son than my wife and I can. So we will reasonably support him, do our best not to meddle in ways we shouldn’t, and wait for the world to catch up in his valuation.

It’s wild to think that we are surrounded by underappreciated things in this world everyday, just waiting to be supported and valued. What great things are we missing out on simply because certain rocks haven’t been turned over and certain doors have never been opened?

Some possible answers could include “flying cars like in Back to the Future, Part II,” “cell phone watches like Penny and Brain had on Inspector Gadget,” and “the comeback of Pepsi Clear.”


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