Posts Tagged ‘ infographic ’

Today Just Felt Wrong Without You

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

For me, this was a weird day. I had to leave early this morning for a business trip in Kentucky.

So instead of taking you to and from school, I was across the state line. By the time I got home, you were already asleep.

My only interaction with you was saying goodbye to you at the front door.

While that may not seem like such a big deal, it is for me.

Today just felt wrong without you.

I feel kind of sad. I feel kind of wrong. I mean, I had to go for work- so I did what I was supposed to.

And I know I’ll see you in a few hours when we both wake up. But seriously, not seeing you for a day is just plain odd.

My day went great. It was very productive. I got a whole lot done. But I was aware the whole time that something was missing- it was you.

Since you’re only 3 and a half and are obviously way too young for a cell phone, it’s not like I could text you to say I miss you or even call you to a donkey noise to make you laugh.

So I settled for Mommy promising me that she would tell you good night from me as she put you to bed.

It only makes sense that if research shows that kids make men happy, as the infographic below explains, that I would be less happy when I’m not around you for a day.

I believe it. I have been psychologically conditioned to associate feeling happy and fulfilled with having interaction with you.

Without that, I’m like an actor on stage who suddenly forgot his lines. I’m staring into the blinding spotlight, trying to find you in the audience.





Infographic courtesy of Happify:

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What Scientifically Makes Kids Happy, Part 1: Optimism

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

As I was driving you to school one day last week, a lady in an SUV was driving towards us in the opposing lane. I saw her smile at us, just in a friendly way as if to say “good morning” to random strangers, so I smiled back.

But as she got closer to us, I realized she was only squinting at the sun.

It didn’t make a difference though. I had already received a feeling of “the world is a good place” from her because I perceived that another human being was making an attempt to brighten my day.

I think that was around last Thursday- and it’s weird, because since then, I have been making a more conscious effort of being more of a giver and less of a jaded critic… or as Gandhi put it:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Yeah, I’ve seriously been trying to do that. I’m beginning to be the guy at work who is going around sincerely asking people how they are doing and asking about what’s new in their lives- with no intention to tell them anything about myself.

I’m remembering to smile even when no one is looking, but especially when people are looking. I’m reminding myself that “being nice” is more than just not being rude; it’s going out of my way to positively affect other people by actions and attitude.

What if I’m the best news that happens to them all day?

Before, I basically just said hi and kept walking.

It just so happens that a few days ago I came across this infographic (featured below) called “The Science Of Raising Happy Kids,” which explains a lot of cool things, some of which I’ll be talking about soon.

As for today, though; one of those things is the importance of a parent being an example of optimism to their kids.

Whether or not you end up having a sunny outlook in life is actually determined in part by how you see me, your parent, react to things beyond my control.


You live with me. In theory, you may even know me better than I know myself.

So you have been a witness to my streaks of pessimism, which can have an effect on you. This is me beginning to make a deliberate effort from here on out to be more optimistic.

Because I’m seeing now it actually matters scientifically, according to the studies this infographic is based on.

I needed to be reminded of that. Perfect timing.

This is me trying to be the change I wish to see in the world. I am more likely to be an example of optimism to you if I’m already that way to everyone else in my life anyway.

So much for the glass being half full. I say, “Hey, it’s totally full.”

It’s full of chocolate almond milk, just the kind you like. Even when you’re being a slightly sneaky little rascal!





To be continued… See Part 2: Less TV Time.


Infographic featured courtesy of Happify:


Read the entire What Makes Kids Scientifically Happy series:

 Part 1: Optimism

 Part 2: Less TV Time

Part 3: Love From Dad

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I Survived A Year Of Being A Vegan, Part 2

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Continued from Part 1

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I pitched an idea to an infographics company about creating an infographic regarding the the rise of veganism; specifically explaining how Netflix documentaries have contributed to this movement in America.

My goal was to have something to back up this letter, in advance, for my one year vegan anniversary; which is obviously today. To my surprise, they actually used my idea!

Even better, before I could even type this letter, I found that this “Rise Of Veganism” infograph that I pitched and contributed to, was already showing up on my Facebook feed from other people.

I take that as a major compliment that I could be involved in creating something that people are sharing right now on Facebook and Twitter.

(Good word gets around, before I can even get the chance to spread it myself, in this case.)

So I finally took a minute to actually check out the findings of this infographic.

Son, it turns out, I’m one in a million after all… literally.

There are now about one million vegans in America, or 2.5% of the population. This infographic shows that only 21% of us vegans are male, only 11% of us follow a major religion, only 33% are not political, and only 10% of us are raising our children to be vegan.

Those findings tell me that I’m the minority among the minority: Of that 2.5% of American vegans, I am a non-political, religious male parent who is raising his son as a vegan… or at least mostly vegan.

Clearly, I do not fit the stereotype. I realize now, that makes my veganism stand out even more in the crowd. Oh well, I’ve been living outside the box my whole life; I’m used to it.

Like I’ve been saying this whole time, I have no desire to convert anyone else; nor did anyone pressure me into it a year ago.

Yet, the conversions are still happening. That’s obvious, considering that the number of vegans in America has more than doubled in the past 3 years. There’s something that’s contagious about the “vegan gospel” and, for lack of a better phrase, the alternative lifestyle that accompanies it.

It has nothing to do with social pressure. In fact, it’s the opposite of social pressure. In my opinion, being a vegan is one of the most outright rebellious things a person can do in our society.

Especially if you’re a guy, who is supposed to like meat and potatoes. (Or specifically in my case, as a Southerner, of Italian and Mexican heritage… then it would be fried chicken, pepperoni, and queso.)

Your daddy is a non-politcal, religious vegan. Yep, that’s me all right, the perfect rebel.




Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.



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How To Talk Like A Man

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.


Dear Jack,

I’m starting to really appreciate infographics. They provide an organized visual for interesting research; like this one, below, on sending text messages:

  • 69% of all respondents said they “would be lost” without the ability to text
  • Men text more than women (an average of 17 regular contacts)
    • Men send shorter messages
    • they generally see texting as a functional form of communications
  • Women have an average of 13 regular text contacts. Men are 3x more likely to text work colleagues than women:
    • Women tend to send longer messages
    • more likely to say “I love you” via text (54%)
    • they often use texting to deepen relationships

That’s interesting, yet I’m not at all surprised to see those findings.

Men and women not only think much differently, but they speak much differently to match it. You and I are males, meaning we are wired to speak in a different language than females.

It’s not a bad thing, though it often is a frustrating thing. But it’s also what makes the dynamics between males and females work.

Otherwise, we would function more like robots.

So instead of writing off the other gender because I’m not the best at speaking their language… I’m learning to speak their language.

I’m making myself the victor, not the victim.

Being married to Mommy for 5 and a half years has helped me a lot, via immersion, to learn how to say what I am wanting to say, in a way that others will hear it the way I want to say it.

Similarly, I have learned how to better understand what Mommy actually means versus what it naturally sounded like she was saying- because I was hearing hear with “man” ears.

I will always be very aware in helping you to speak. And I don’t just mean basic sentence structure and vocabulary, as I am right now with you only being 3 years old.

Basically, I mean for the rest of our shared lives- I will be here to help you know how to talk… like a man.

But more importantly, like a man who knows how to speak and listen in a way that is most efficiently understood by the listener; regardless of their gender.





Image By Scratch Wireless



Scratch Wireless Are You Textually Active? Infographic

Infographic by Image By Scratch Wireless

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