Waking up on Oct.3rd, never would I have thought I’d be lying in a hospital bed — in critical condition — with an oxygen mask, praying to see my kids again. At this darkest moment, Legionnaires disease had me questioning, “why me?” Days later, after I made it through, I felt blessed to have a second chance at life, and at fathering.
Now, a new, pivotal goal of mine is to model for my kids my priorities — attending to my health, and focusing on what’s really important in life: relationships.
▪ Celebrate life. Embrace and celebrate life where it matters most; through engaging deeply in the relationships with your kids, wife, extended family and friends.
▪ Take time during the week to exercise. Since being back to work, I haven’t missed a day of walking over my lunch hour. There will always be more work to do, however, that one hour I take away from work to be on my feet adds a sense of purpose and clarity to my work life. At home, I recruit my kids to walk with me. Sure, the walks we take are good exercise, but the talks we engage in are absolutely priceless. I’m a better colleague and father when I exercise.
▪ Go “man-to-man” instead of “zone.” I’m intentionally looking for opportunities to have quality time with my kids — one kid at a time. Lately, instead of watching another “Seinfeld” rerun, my 16-year-old, Addie, and I have been playing cards and engaging in meaningful, philosophical discussions. There’s nothing more impactful to a father-child relationship than spending one-on-one time with your kids.
The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides monthly Action Ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert Orndorff at email@example.com, Mick Trombley at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Dufour at email@example.com, Mark Oleynik at firstname.lastname@example.org, Doug Loviscky at email@example.com or Marc McCann at firstname.lastname@example.org.