Posts Tagged ‘
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
In the midst of a dozen other bloggers at the GM and Buick headquarters last week in Detroit, it was discovered that I was the only one there who… doesn’t have a smart phone.
(Just so you know, back in the year 2013 when I wrote you this, that meant major cool points were deducted from my street cred score.)
I sincerely laughed along with my fellow blogger friends in their amazement:
“How is it that the daddy blogger of Parents.com doesn’t own a smart phone?”
We all laughed even harder when I explained to them that my “dumb phone” is brand new… I just got it like three weeks ago.
The fanciest feature my phone has is a full texting keyboard. Yeah…
But the more we talked, it made a little bit more sense to all of us: They all blog as their full-time career, whereas I have a day job in HR, in addition to blogging.
Second, I don’t know that my psyche could handle a smart phone. It would totally mess with my internal feng shui.
The thought of “being on all the time” stresses me out. I need time to mentally rest and meditate throughout the day.
In addition to driving you to school each morning (1 hour), working at the office (8 hours), then driving us back home (45 minutes), then helping with dinner and cleaning up afterwards (1 hour, 15 minutes), and writing to you (1.5 hours), it essentially means I work all day long.
What I would love is a routine, whole, solid day off each week, like the Seventh-day Adventists practice… religiously. In so many ways, I already live their lifestyle and subscribe to their doctrinal beliefs.
However, I’m not ready (if ever?) to be so literally serious about taking 24 hours off from any kind of work, as instructed in the Ten Commandments.
So until then, not having a smart phone is my sabbath.
It’s my way of having sanity throughout the day- to not have to wait and wonder who might have Tweeted me or sent me a Facebook message or emailed me.
Until I become a VIP, I will continue living with as much peace of mind as I can, not having a smart phone.
And more importantly, not having to pay for Internet on my phone when I already have it here on my $290 ASUS laptop from which I write to you.
I’m going to stop talking now, because I am losing street cred points by the minute…
[Changes batteries in Walkman Cassette player and continues listening to Collective Soul.]
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Sunday, August 11th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
Now that on Facebook I’ve stopped engaging myself in conversations or debates involving anything political, religious, or regarding a plant-based lifestyle, or curing cancer through Gerson Therapy…
Or being sarcastic and therefore confusing people, or posting phony status updates meant to mock the desperate cries for attention and pity that are so abundant, well… Facebook just isn’t that entertaining to me anymore.
And I think Facebook is a better place now, without me playing that role. These days all I do on it is just publish my letters to you and “like” peoples’ pictures.
So basically, I’m only on Facebook for 5 minutes a day, looking at my friends’ pictures to learn if anyone is having a baby or just went on a trip.
Or, by default, seeing pictures of them running in a half marathon.
Through that process, I’ve realized the nirvana I wish to achieve on Facebook:
To be one of those cool parents who runs half marathons and otherwise leaves the general public guessing on their personal opinions and lifestyles.
To be someone who Facebook friends ultimately only know through pictures with no captions.
I admire those people. I think they are cool. I wouldn’t mind being a little mysterious… (As if this helps!)
Lucky for me, today is Mommy’s birthday! (She and I are the exact same age for 9 months of the year; and that 9 months begins today.)
So yesterday, the three of us went to Fleet Feet so Mommy could try on some new running shoes, with the advice and direction of an expert. After all, she and I have had our old running shoes since before we were married over 5 years ago.
And for the past couple of years, she’s been telling me she wants to run in a half marathon.
Though I’ve always encouraged her to do so, there evidently was something motivating about this birthday that caused her to decide to take the plunge… by actually buying the official, right shoes for it.
So as Mommy was picking out her shoes, I turned aside to her quickly as the sales associate was checking the back of the store for a different size shoe for her:
“Hey, should I get shoes too, and join you in that half marathon?” I asked.
The rest is history. It seems like only yesterday… oh wait, it was.
Mommy is now the proud new owner of a pair of New Balance’s- and for me, a pair of Mizuno’s.
This is a pretty big deal for us. Mommy and I get to have a hobby! We get to be somewhat of experts on a thing.
Even if it’s simply running for a sort of long distance in a race we’re not actually trying to win.
In the process of buying these new shoes and doing YouTube searches on running a half marathon, I am now quickly becoming familiar with “front foot running.”(When you run in place, you put your weight on the front of your foot, not your heel. “Front foot running” is using the running-in-place model to move forward, to keep from permanently damaging your joints.)
I have to admit, I’m starting to feel pretty cool all of the sudden… on my way to be one of those half marathon parents!
Not that Mommy needs a new hobby to be cool. She’s way cool. And way beautiful.
Not to mention, she’s so sincere and giving of a person. You and I are so blessed to have her in our family of three. But you already know that.
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Thursday, July 25th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
I’ve decided that in addition to writing about the funny things you do and say on a daily basis, and covering trending parenting stories, I want to start teaching you “life lessons from dad.”
So here’s the first one:
I have learned that the topics of politics, religion, and food are so interwoven into emotions, moral beliefs, and sense of identity, that to bring up a point that goes against or even questions a person’s already established viewpoint…
Well, it often ends up becoming an insult, a threat, or a display of arrogance: It could put you in danger of being perceived as self-righteous or judgmental; even if you have the purest of intentions.
While it seems most people are familiar with the fact that politics and religion are sensitive subjects, I recently learned that the topic of “food you don’t eat” is equal in regards to one’s emotions, moral beliefs, and sense of identity.
But my opinion about these topics isn’t worth dividing people. I want to connect to people and make them feel included, and I’ve learned that openly talking about, or even just asking questions about, these three topics isn’t the way to do this.
So for the past month or so, I’ve been trying something out. I’ve been very careful not to use the “V-word” to label myself in regards to my eating lifestyle or the “L-word” to label my political beliefs.
And when it comes to speaking about my religious faith, I am trying to focus on humility, more than anything; which is one of the most important aspects of what I believe anyway. What good are my religious beliefs if my personal beliefs regarding politics and/or food distract people from my faith?
This is me trying to deliberately not perpetuate America’s polarizing tendencies, especially in social media. Both CNN and Fox News are pretty good at that already. I’ll leave it to the experts.
Regarding politics, religion, and food I don’t eat, I’ll let my viewpoints remain as much of a mystery as possible… until people specifically ask, or it works its way into conversation more naturally.
I want to earn the right to have these conversations with individuals, not broadcast my lifestyle across the universe to the masses like I’m the ultimate authority on these three sensitive subjects.
Here’s to finding out if my actions can speak louder than my words.
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
What’s the difference between a parent brainwashing their child versus successfully influencing them? After all, a child will ultimately grow up and make up their own mind when it comes to stuff like moral issues and relevance of religious faith. Yet it would be unwise to discount the impressions made on a child by an involved and encouraging parent.
Brainwashing carries a connotation of something forced and militant. That’s obviously not how I aim to influence my child. Instead, it’s a matter of making what’s normal and accepted to us as parents, normal and accepted to him.
My strategy is to simply raise my son in the way I know as right, so that when he is older, he won’t depart from it. My son Jack was born into a specifically Christian household. His exposure to our family’s religious beliefs won’t be presented as a respectable suggestion, but as reality and actual history.
But I can’t make him believe anything for the rest of his life; nor would I want to. As his dad, I can only influence him in ways that most other people will not be able.
What parts of our parental influence will really stick with him by the time he’s our age? I guess we’ll know when we’re sixty. But as for now, we’ll continue
brainwashing influencing him in our quirky ways.
On a related subject, I am giving away 5 copies of a brand new book called Sticky Faith, which specializes in giving parents everyday ideas to build lasting faith in their kids’ lives, specifically at key transitional stages (i.e. elementary, middle, high school, etc.).
Just be one of the first 5 people to leave a comment on this post, and within 60 minutes, send an email to nickshell1983@hotmail providing your name and address so the publisher will know where to send the books to.
UPDATE: Congrats to the winners of this free book!
J. Valentine from Pompton Lakes, NJ
S. Cruce from Fort Payne, AL
C. Williams from Cincinnati, Ohio
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W. Pierson from Houston, Texas
G. Grey from Berlin, Germany
Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
“Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven.” -Wikipedia’s definition of “purgatory”
I’ve never actually met anyone who truly believes in purgatory, yet I feel that the general population is familiar with the idea of it.
On the final episode of Lost, the people from the Island who had ultimately lived their lives for the goodwill of others instead of greed and selfishness, reunited and reminisced in purgatory before entering Heaven together.
For those who are not Lost fanatics but like the band Coldplay, in their song “42,” some of the most memorable lyrics include the refrain, “You thought you might be a ghost; you didn’t get to Heaven but you made it close.”
Most of us don’t believe in the actual place, but for me at least, there is something pretty fascinating about the concept. I think it’s so easy in this life, in this culture, in this country, to feel like we are lost, or at least that we don’t belong wherever “here” is. We want to think that we deserve to transcend this lowly and boring situation, asking the question:
“What am I supposed to learn from this? Why am I here?”
My life has been filled with stretches like that. Even right now, my wife and I are having to adjust back to the busyness of our full-time jobs in Nashville, this time with a kid; which is a completely new balancing act for us. We are having to figure out and work out our new lifestyles and schedules, making time not only for the three of us, but for the two of us, as well.
It’s a purification process that is not easy; but it is necessary. We can see how natural it can be to let your kid consume your leftover energy and thoughts, slacking on making conscious efforts to keep the marriage relationship fresh and engaging. But we don’t want our lives to end up like Everybody Loves Raymond.
Ultimately, we are being forced to mature our marriage relationship. This “forced maturity” is sort of the whole point of purgatory. You suffer until you overcome.
Not that I am constantly immature or naive, or maybe I am (?), but I am always needing to grow in a way that I never could have without entering my newest purgatory.
But really, the more I think of the literary device we know as purgatory, the more it just seems like a straight forward yet abstract way to describe life itself; the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, we are made ready for Heaven, at best.
We may figuratively compare our lives to hell at times, but really, hell is an eternal end; it’s never-ending loneliness and destruction. Purgatory is temporary.
I don’t mind viewing life as purgatory. Until I pass on in to the afterlife, I will always have much more growing up to do, more necessary suffering, and one more level of maturity to reach- even if I live to be 80.
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afterlife, Coldplay, culture, eternity, finance, God, Heaven, hell, LOST, meaning of life, purgatory, religion | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Must Read, Nostalgia, Spirituality