Living Columns & Blogs

A second chance at life and parenthood

Waking​ ​up​ ​on​ ​Oct.3​rd​,​ ​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.

ACTION​ ​IDEAS:

▪ 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​ ​​e5x@psu.edu​,​ ​Robert Orndorff​ ​at​ ​​rmo104@psu.edu​,​​ ​Mick​ ​Trombley​ ​at​ ​​mick@micktrombley.com​,​ ​Chris​ ​Dufour​ ​at chrisdufour19@gmail.com​,​ ​Mark​ ​Oleynik​ ​at​ ​​ohmarkoh@yahoo.com​,​ ​Doug​ ​Loviscky​ ​at doug@lovisckylaw.com​ ​or​ ​Marc​ ​McCann​ ​at​ ​​marc.mccann88@gmail.com​.

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