Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Secret to Parenting

I was making my monthly rounds around the Facebook scene today and something got to me. This is something that I find amusing, and usually I just let it go, but for some reason the stars are in alignment and I feel like going on a tangent tonight. So here goes.

I see all the time on Facebook the comments of people talking about other people and their kids. They are full of advice, correction and judgement. Additionally, those of us who are parents likely all know someone who is always willing to tell us what they will do when they have kids. They have a plan of action that will yield results that you could duplicate in any lab. And, those of us who are parents, smile knowingly and if we really like them, we hand them another shovel.

Here's the point I'm getting at. Those who don't have children of their own have no idea how to best care for someone else's kids. Those who have children of their likewise have no idea how best to care for someone else's kids. This is because even those who have their own children do not really have any idea how to best care for their own children.

Parenting is a  learning process. Their is no instruction manual. There is no magic plan that will yield the same result, time and time again. The reason for this is simple. We are all different. Our society embraces it. The hipster group that so often is willing to voice their opinion on how other people should raise their kids holds this fact up like a banner. And so why is it that we can't seem to understand that children are all different as well. There are unique challenges that must be overcome, and that is what parenting is. It is the ability to adapt to all of the unique situations that each of their children may present to them, and to prepare them for life and for success, using love as a guiding force.

So the next time that you see a parent dealing with a child throwing a tantrum, or hear a child screaming or throwing a fit in a store, stop and think before offering to solve all of their parenting problems.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Change of Pace

2013 brought with it a number of changes in my life, almost all of them good. At the beginning of 2013 I was running a truck for Zerorez, a revolutionary carpet cleaning company. I was making good money, but it was hard work. I was working 5 days a week and 12-14 hrs per day. On top of that, I was finishing up my degree in accounting, working ever-faithfully towards the goal of getting my bachelors. 

In March things changed. I was given the opportunity to put my new degree and education to use by handling the accounting, human resources, and safety(OSHA regs) for the Salt Lake base. It was a great learning opportunity. There was a lot, particularly in the matters of human resources, that I did not know going into the position but was able to acquire through on the job training. Overall it was a great opportunity. 

In November I was then given the opportunity to stretch again, and since that time I have been the Production Manager at the Salt Lake base. For those of you who don't know what it is that a production manager does, think of it like the person responsible for the tactical implementation of the strategic directive from the General Manager. 

It has been a wild ride, and one that has sapped my time. I love my new position, and find myself thinking of ways to improve things all the time. 

And that might be a problem. 

I've felt unbalanced through the months of December and particularly January. I couldn't put my finger on it initially, but I think I may have stumbled across the problem. I've been lacking a balance in my work and personal life. 

My wife, who has always had to put up with me working long hours and has always supported me is used to me being submerged in work. But as I have thought about this more and more, I think that it's true. I need to refocus and achieve balance in my life. 

Great. I nailed it. That was easy. Oh, wait. I just assessed and end result that I needed to achieve. I don't really have any concrete action plans to bring that to pass. Well, crap. 

I think that will be my focus this month. I recently finished reading 11 Rings by Phil Jackson. It's a wonderful book about leadership, but also one that is fresh with insights for living and helping others to live a more balanced, productive, and effective life. There are a couple of other books that I am reading and I will have a week trip to Pheonix to try to clear my head and re-center myself. 

One thing that I have noticed is that as I keep up with this position, and dive into the prospect of getting my Master's Degree in Accounting, and struggle to find enough time to play with my kids and treat my wife to a regular date night, and get ready for the newest addition to our family... you get the idea. I'm busy. It's a good busy. But one thing that has completely fallen by the wayside is my writing and drawing. I'm a little sad about that. I still love to do it, but there is just not time in my day. 

So that may have to sit on the back burner for the next few years. I'm not thrilled at that prospect, but I think that I have made my peace with it. I still intend to keep up with it from time to time, as I will continue to post on this blog, but I think for now my focus has to be elsewhere, and that's ok. 

Perhaps I've rambled a little long and gone in and out of some subjects in a confusing fashion, but I think I'll tie it all back together and end with a line from one of my favorite books, Blood Rites by Jim Butcher:

"Life is  a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar." 

Thanks for reading.