I sat there in the urban conference center with open ceilings, exposed cement pillars, and abstract art scattered across the walls. The most exciting piece was one a collage of magazine covers from High Times. As I sat in the green velvet chair, listening to in-depth conversations about a project that we were in the middle of at my day job, I couldn’t help but multi-task in a way that I have never been able to. I was answering questions about the project while answering emails from everyone back in the office.
I was productive.
It is not that I am unproductive on a day-to-day basis, but this was a different type of productive. On day 2 of the conference, one of my colleagues sent me a Skype message and said, “WOW you are getting a lot done.”
“Sometimes all we need is a change of scenery to get us back into a productive mindset.”
That was precisely all it took to get my creative and productive juices flowing again at work. Day 3 of the conference, I still sat in that green velvet chair that had become my headquarters for the week so that people knew where to find me. I started to think about how as parents are we able to push the reset button on our parenting careers and begin to feel that productive and creative mindset that I was having.
Over lunch, I started to think about how the past week had gone for me as a parent. I had been getting onto my oldest for his forgetfulness and his inability to listen to simple instructions and forgetting that he is still only 8-years-old. My youngest was in the middle of throwing some of the most epic two-year-old tantrums that I have ever seen.
With every plea for that my oldest wear a coat to school when it is 20 degrees outside, I was running out of ideas. My voice was raising, and the sheer exhaustion from reminding our oldest and I was worn out from putting in what felt like a full 8-hour day before even reaching the office.
I needed to find something, somewhere that would; I hesitate to use the word reset, but re-center me as a parent. I needed to hear that I wasn’t alone in these battles of getting shoes on.
Finding the time to re-center myself became a priority. I needed to make sure that I was able to hit the pause button for a second, breath, and be the best father, husband, and man that my family has come to rely on. The day-to-day drudgery of parenting was wearing on me. Get up early enough, so I have just a few fleeting moments to enjoy my morning coffee, get the kids up, breakfast while making lunches, kissing my wife as she leaves for work, followed loading up the car and off to school and work.
It can wear on a person.
This past October, I was able to hit pause on all of this and spend some much needed time and reconnect with my wife. We spent a week somewhere in the middle of the ocean around the Bahamas, relaxing on the beach or poolside. Many times, we sat there in silence, enjoying the moment. Dinner conversation was minimal as we enjoyed just being able to enjoy our lamb shank dinner without the need to scarf it down so that one of us could watch the kids.
As I started to look ahead in my calendar, I saw the dates of Feb. 21st – 23rd on my schedule. These dates had been blocked off on my calendar for a year and sitting there in the conference center, I could see that these dates were the time I need to pause, reflect, and re-center myself as dad, husband, and man.
The Dad 2.0 Summit
The yearly fixture in my life that has become the Dad 2.0 Summit for me is not so much about the blogging aspect of it all and the potential work that comes from working with the brands. For me, that is all ancillary to what I see happening at the summit.
As fathers, when we are knee deep in a steaming pile LEGOs, it can feel like we are alone and isolated. This summit has provided me a community of fellow dads who remind me that I’m not the only one standing, feet wreathing in pain from standing on that steaming pile of LEGOs.
For the 3-days of the summit, hearing the stories of fellow dads and being able to reconnect with those who I am part of in the community of dad bloggers, gives me that time and that chance to be able to re-center myself as a dad.
Being able to find that time to re-center ourselves as parents, is something that we all need. Whether it is getting into a good book while the kids make a mess of the house, maybe it is a much-needed date night with your spouse, or perhaps it oddly is attending a summit where we talk about parenting… the one thing we are trying to find our balance.
We all need that moment to be able to re-center. Where do you find your moments to re-center?