“I’m not fully aware of how I let time with my family slip away as much as it had. I can tell you this: it was a slow process.” – Michael Ashford
Well, we have here our second installment of Beer and Wisdom. I have opted to follow up my first session with a guest writer, Michael Ashford of Fit Dad Fitness. He is a father, husband, professional, personal trainer and podcaster. I couldn’t think of a better person to share some wisdom and, of course, beer.
As I sit here enjoying an Omission Brewing Co. Lager— one of the best gluten free beers out there — I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my priorities and the activities with which I fill my days. I’ve recently become consciously aware of how life has a way of chipping away at the things that matter most to you if you aren’t steadfast in protecting those relationships.
My two children started back at school last week, and as my wife and I were preparing them for their first day, I realized that during the summer, nearly every weekend, I had had some other thing I had committed to that took me away from spending time with my family.
We love to go on hikes as a family on the weekends, and yet, this summer, we barely got up into the mountains that we love and enjoy so much. And with school starting, the weekends are really the only extended time we have together as a family.
Then, on our kids’ first day of school, I watched a TedX video by another father, Justin Batt, where he made the point that at 9 years old, your children are halfway to the point where they become “adults” and most likely move out of the house. And my son just turned 8.
Finally, my wife and I just celebrated 11 years of marriage, and on our date to celebrate, we took a walk around a park before going to dinner and just talked — about life, marriage, faith, goals. And then we talked more at dinner. And then as we got dessert. And it was a wonderful evening.
I’m not fully aware of how I let time with my family slip away as much as it had. I can tell you this: it was a slow process. A commitment or two here. A “yes” answer when it should have been a “no” there. Picking up my phone to check social media mindlessly instead of playing a game with my daughter, or playing Legos with my son, or just simply talking with my wife.
In the last week or so, I have started the recalibration process. I told a few people “no.” I reworked my schedule to completely clear out my weekends. I’ve started putting my phone upstairs — out of sight, out of mind — when I get home from work. I’ve said “yes” nearly every time my son or daughter have asked me to play with them.
Already in the last two weekends, we’ve gone on two of the most incredible hikes as a family, and those memories will last a lifetime.
It’s still a work in progress, but I find that I am more conscious about my time and my priorities, the easier each and every decision becomes.