Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Is there such a thing as “free time” after becoming a parent? When can a new mom or dad find time in the week to just simply chill out together in peace and quiet; or even more difficult, be able to participate in their beloved hobbies that reflect who they are as individuals?
Other than daddy blogging, I also enjoy playing guitar and writing songs (though that hardly ever happens anymore). But the hobby that is a bit less sporadic in my schedule is simply exploring, whether it’s via hiking or mountain biking.
In his book, Daddy Dates, author Greg Wright perfectly describes why “exploring” is a solid hobby of mine:
“It’s the way guys operate. Exploration amps us up. There is this moment when curiosity rules and you get kind of jazzed and you think, ‘I wonder what’s in there, this is so cool!’ You’re going to figure out how to get around that mysterious place because you’re motivated by some instinct of discovery.”
While in California last month, I found a few 90 minute nuggets where I could slip away virtually unnoticed, amidst all the family. I snagged a mountain bike from my mother-in-law’s garage, then went exploring along the Sacramento River.
I ended up accidently discovering the neighboring 15 acre community of Locke. The Chinatown, settled alongside the river, was built in 1915. These days, it resembles a closed down, but kept up, exhibit at the Epcot Center. I read on Wikipedia that most of the original Chinese population of the town moved out to Sacramento and that today only 10 Chinese-Americans remain residents there.
See, that’s the cool kind of find I’m always looking for when I go exploring. My favorite part of the expedition was finding a Buddhist church. In Thailand, Buddhist temples were everywhere, but never a church. Weird and cool.
As far as finding and/or making time for myself and my hobbies, it takes creativity. There’s that strategic balance of being a good husband, a good dad, and still getting some “free time” anyway I can. Even now, as I write this, it’s 11:08 on a Monday night- my wife and son are sound asleep; I’ll be waking up at 6 AM to get ready for my “real job”.
My free time often translates as “time when I’m the only one awake,” as well as, “time during which most normal parents would be asleep if they had the chance.”
I’m one of those people who functions strangely well on less than six hours of sleep each night. If I wasn’t, The Dadabase would be on life support right now.
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Home Life, Nostalgia, Storytelling, The Dadabase, Writing
Thursday, July 28th, 2011
I love John Mayer’s music. He shares my same love for the year 1983. The first date my wife and I went on was to one of his concerts. I will confidently buy every single album that he ever releases, knowing that John Mayer just can’t produce a dud. When it comes to making music and writing songs, he’s undeniably a class act.
In 2005, John Mayer won a Grammy for his Top Ten hit song, “Daughters.” The song contains the lyrics, “On behalf of every man looking out for every girl. You are the guide and the weight of her world. So fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.” He wrote the song completely on his own. And it is definitely one well crafted and well written song.
However, I know to separate the music from the man. Technically, John Mayer’s dating life is none of my business. But after all, one of the most played albums in our house is Jack’s favorite Taylor Swift album, Speak Now, which contains the song, “Dear John.”
After hearing the song the first 23 times, it became pretty clear to me that the song is most likely about the highly speculated, brief relationship between the then 19 year old Taylor Swift and the 32 year old John Mayer. One of the most stand out lines in the song is, “Don’t you think nineteen’s too young to be messed with? The girl in the dress cried the whole way home. I should have known.”
Whether or not it should, it definitely bothers me that the man who wrote “Daughters” does not apply the song’s advice in his personal life. It’s not just Taylor Swift that he’s messed with. Granted, it’s not a matter of whether Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, and Taylor Swift should have known better. It’s a matter of John Mayer knowing better.
In the same way that Bentley is known as the infamous player/villain from the Ashley Hebert season of The Bachelorette, so John Mayer falls into this same category. Just like in his song, “Who Says,” where he nonchalantly states, “Who says I can’t get stoned? Call up a girl that I used to know. Fake love for an hour or so.” This kind of talk just doesn’t sound like it should be coming from the guy who was intuitive enough to write “Daughters.”
I view John Mayer as a modern day King Solomon, having access to countless beautiful women, unending wealth and glorious fame. Yet as King Solomon admitted later in his life, in the book of Ecclesiastes, it was all meaningless. Similarly, John Mayer admits in another one of his more well known songs from the same album, “something’s missing and I don’t know how to fix it.”
So while I think John Mayer is flawless when it comes to making music and writing songs, I recognize that there’s a disconnect between what he knows is truth and the way he actually treats the “daughters” he dates.
And that is why I am giving away a free copy of the book Daddy Dates to the first 5 readers who request it by leaving a comment on this post. I will need your mailing address, whether you leave it in the comment itself or would prefer to email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) right after you leave the comment.
The nonfiction book Daddy Dates is written by Greg Wright, who regularly takes his four daughters on “dates.” In other words, he is making a very conscious effort to spend individual, quality time with his daughters, assuring them that they are beautiful, loved, and worthy of being loved. Coming from the guy whose mission is to positively re-brand fatherhood (I’m referring to myself,) I admire Greg Wright for what he is doing.
Therefore, I proudly give away his book here on The Dadabase.
*Within an hour or so of this post being published, I got my 5 winners for the book. Hint: When I give away books here on The Dadabase, it’s always on Thursday nights around 8PM Central Time. But not every Thursday…
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Deep Thoughts, People, Spirituality