It is 3:45 pm. I’m at work.
There are a few ways I can think about the rest of the day.
Here’s what typically comes spilling out of my brain:
“So much stuff to do… what with the kettle bell swings, the cooking, the doing of the works and the writing of the blog posts. How can I keep Aiden busy when I get home?”
That is the status quo of my brain in all things: 1.) here’s this thing I want to do, and 2.) oh crap, I have a kid/wife/relationship/responsibility.
The In-Between State
This is not the way I want it to be. It’s selfish. When I’m in this ‘natural’ mode I end up making everyone’s life more difficult.
It’s like I’m trying to carry around my agenda – all these things I want to do, these little ideas I want to explore, these requirements I’d like to follow through on – while I also dawn the dadly duties, husbandly duties, and other duties.
When I do this it’s like I’m in some in-between state – not ‘ON,’ not ‘OFF,’ just bouncing off a bunch of walls, no good connections, no satisfaction, no real forward movement or contentedness.
Nobody wins in these times: I’m short with my son, I’m shallow with my wife, I’m thin on making any progress on anything, and it makes my time with my son so much more tiresome and sucky than it needs to be.
We need to fix this. I need to fix this now before I get home.
A Simple Fix
Here’s the simple fix: get rid of the agenda while I’m with my kid. I need to get rid of all those things I want to do, let go of the ideas and emails and dreams and work, wrap them up, put them in my Rickshaw Commuter bag and leave it in the car while I hang out with my son.
Then, when he’s down for bed time I can go get the bag and start going through all those things I want to do. But not till then. Between arrival time and bed time the agenda is on ice.
That’s the simple fix.
If I take this line of thought here’s how I could think about the rest of the afternoon and evening:
“What could I do with Aiden tonight? What’s something he would go nuts for? What could we setup around the house or the park or something that he’s never done?”
See the switch there? It’s not about me and my agenda; it’s about my son and what he could get out of tonight.
So, maybe you leave your agenda in the bag when you get home tonight. Maybe tomorrow too. And maybe you come up with a little totem so you don’t get incepted back into selfish-agenda-guy mode for a while.