I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately – a lot about how I don’t walk the dog enough. Her name is Lexi, by the way. That’s her, in the photo above…named for “Lexington” since her mother and litter were found in Kentucky. I didn’t have much say in the name…the kids named her while I was paying the adoption fee. I digress.
For me, thinking is usually a dangerous thing that seems to suck the time away from my more entertaining time sucks of checking on my Springfield in the Simpsons Tapped Out app, scrolling through Facebook or checking on my fantasy sports teams. This all ties into my constant thinking about why I never seem to have time (I think I just figured that out with my previous sentence)…never seem to be content…never seem to be able to prioritize the things that are truly important to me. Does anyone else have that problem? You know you have “big” things to do but get caught up in the small things. I often have issues following the “Big Rocks Time Management” philosophy.
Part of this is my self-diagnosed OCD. I feel more of a sense of accomplishment when I can hammer out several small things off my to-do list rather than focus on one large impactful detail. And then I get blinders on…it’s time to do laundry, need to clean the fish tank, have to pump out a few work e-blasts, just one more call to make. All relatively small and mundane tasks that need to be done, no doubt. But what suffers?
For me, this summer (as with the past several), my family has suffered. Selfishly, “all” these other things help convince me I don’t have an hour to go to the gym or to actually eat a healthy meal (those chips will do, and a beer to wash them down sounds even better…who cares that my knees and back are stiff and achy from atrophy?). For the rest of the house, they’ve gotten in the way of focusing on summer homework for the kids (sorry in advance about those low test scores this year!). They impede my ability to take quality time to spend with my wife (we work from home and while we both travel a bit, I take this time together for granted). I never feel like I can catch up on the massive list things I need to do around the house (have I mentioned that we moved this past spring?). Hell, I don’t even walk the dog!
So, how do I begin to fix this and put myself back on track? What works for you? How do you focus on the priorities in today’s world, where both parents need to work, manage a house and raise kids as a team?
All of my posts won’t be like this, but today has been an especially reflective day for me for a lot of reasons that I’m sure I’ll explain in due time. I also promise I’ll get to the fun stuff eventually…you’ll hear about my thoughts on Chicago sports, what it’s like being my age and playing in an 18-and-over baseball league, my thoughts on the brewery scene, and yes, even my “best practices” on raising kids (also known as “you might want to consider doing the opposite”).
But for now…how to start to get better at my life. I made a pretty big, and conscious, decision today…one that I would have gone another direction with just yesterday. After a busy day I wanted to head to the batting cages since it’s my only chance before my weekend game. As I was about to leave, I looked outside. My son had just gone into the back yard with his baseball glove and a ball. We don’t have a lot of friends in our new neighborhood yet. School and kid activities will hopefully solve that problem, but right now my son was headed out to play catch. By himself. Yesterday I may have said goodbye to him and gone to hit some baseballs (it’s a baseball academy that I have a membership for but can’t bring him quite yet…that will change soon). Today? I made the decision to join him. Threw some pop-ups…mixed in a few ground balls. Told him how good he was doing (and meant it…the kid LOVES baseball and gets better at it every day). Chased the occasional ball he rocketed over my head into the neighbor’s weeds and got bitten by countless mosquitoes. When it got too dark to see, we came in and I then got in the car to drive to the cages to hit baseballs. When I got there? They had just closed. And you know what? I was OK with that. Baby steps.
Oh, and one more thing…this morning, Lexi and I walked a mile.