6 Things you can do to help you reclaim the life you had before you became “Dad”
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6 Things you can do to help you reclaim the life you had before you became “Dad”

Diamond in the rough

Does this picture represent anything close to the state of your dreams and wishes?………. Are there corners of your mind that have been collecting discarded, unwanted stuff filling unused space in your head with clutter?

It’s time to get rid of it, out with the old and in with the new. You can do it!, take a step today. I have just spent 16 years renovating a derelict barn into a small but warm and comfortable dwelling for our family of four,  now I have more time not building,  I can reclaim my former life and the picture shaows the centre of operations as it stands today. With all the skills I have picked up during the long building project I am transforming this neglected corner of the yard both spiritually and physically to my own control room. This is the beginning of the story and in the coming weeks and months you will see not only the development of the “Bowridge Bothy” (The name I have given it) but the topics I cover will reflect the transformation from

 

  1. Find yourself some space This can be anywhere, the spare room, one end of the dining room that is never used, better still another building that is sonically and physically isolated from the others in the family ( See what I have in the photo). This first step apart from deciding that you are going to reclaim your life back from what has been slowly ebbing away is one of the most important steps in your quest to become  renaissance man. The place you see in the photo is where I am going to teach/ play guitar, write, blog and generally retreat from Eastenders, Jerry springer or any other trash TV that’s on in the house.
  2. Fill that space with your own stuff  Once you have found the right place, you are going to have to defend it from invaders and the inevitable creep of other members of the family’s desire “Dad, can I just put this in here for a while”, you might think that to say no is being unreasonable and they may even try to make you feel that way but it’s not true, everyone has their own place and anyway how often have you commandeered the girls bedroom for storage for your bike?
  3. Make your own time  I have found  this almost impossible to do during the last 15 years while we have been doing the barn conversion without feeling guilty. I know we have had a lot of work to do and with a full time day job it means inevitably that your evenings and especially weekends are going to make demands on your own free time but take a reality check, this is your life, is it absolutely necessary to spend the few hours you could be out on your bike or walking the hills by the coast helping with chores that could be done easily without any real need for help other than making someone else s life easier.
  4. Learn to say No This is probably the hardest one of the list to work out mostly because for years as a dedicated father you have been the pillar of all things practical and been there to help fix broken devices, both software and hardware  engineer, composer of letters, research assistant, mentor, cook, taxi service and naturally you would say yes to all requests without question, but are you really obliged now to get drinks for the teenage daughter and mother who are so busy watching the latest episode of Waterloo road and find themselves unable to move because maybe the cat is sat on them? or just because you happen to be near the kitchen and looking as if you have some time on your hands? Which leads us on to our next point….The best way of saying no is to have retreated already to the new space that you are creating for your campaign for world domination but I’ve found
  5. Don’t let the bastards get you down. You are a child of the universe, you have unique gifts that can enrich the world, it doesn’t matter what they say, how they might mock you or with the best of intentions advise you against becoming too intent on your idea that you want to write, learn to sing or paint even because they know that you will never be able to make anything of it. If you can dream then you can make it happen.
  6. Get in touch with your spiritual side We are spiritual beings even if you cannot accept or believe it of yourself right now, we really long to be in touch with the greater universe and not just what we take in through our five senses. Try meditation, tai chi, yoga or any other esoteric discipline you may have your eye on at the moment. Either way, you should be aware of where you are now and be able to see where it is you want to be and there are a million websites out there helping you get in touch with all that. Not all of it is bunkum but it might take you a while to find your own path. I found mine and can give you some tips to save some expense and time.

I know that this post is not specifically about any aspect of playing something on your axe and I make no apologies for that, this is a new direction for me now that I am beginning to realise all that I am but indirectly it has major implications for others in a similar situation, how many of you out there, dad’s particularly; now the kids are teenagers or older, need your own space to at least set up up your own space. I know so many blokes like me specially the guys with all female families that have real trouble having the room to express their inner visions easily and without being made to feel foolish even if the comments (Guidance) are well intention-ed.

Further reading: Here’s a couple of articles I cam across that are somewhat related to where I am thinking.

http://www.professorshouse.com/Family/Children/Articles/Giving-Dad-the-Credit-He-Deserves/

http://artofmanliness.com/2008/05/27/how-to-be-a-renaissance-man/

The sort of thing I do when I have the time and the space and what I am going to be doing more of in the building above is show people how to fix and play their guitar here’s a link to one of my vid’s

http://peteprzyszlak.com/2010/06/19/intonation

 

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