Web Toolbar by Wibiya


The Year 2011: A Look Across

I was unemployed (except for the blog) for all of 2010 and underemployed for most of 2011 (and so was the wife). In June of this year I DETERMINED with God's help that my family would not ever suffer because of this economy and I prayed on it. Now this Christmas I am looking a the biggest tree I've ever owned and more gifts than I've ever seen as a child or adult. We both have career oriented gigs now and I am thankful that God saw us through the storm. A way was made out of no way. The impossible became possible. My heart is glad. I am at peace. And I am filled with praise and thanks. Merry Christmas!

~ Me, via Facebook - Christmas Morning 2011

This year has been a doozy...

Many people passed away as they do every year. Quite a few unexpectedly, as they do every year. A family member passed just as recently as three days ago. Quite a few were young. This surprised me or maybe I'm just getting older and death's touch isn't just grabbing the "old folks" anymore.

This blog had a number of ups. Three years into it's existence it was named a Top 50 Dad blog not once, but twice by two reputable online sources. And then the PR people came running asking me to rep everything from chainsaws to male enhancement supplements. Obviously I didn't represent either of the two I just mentioned.

Social media finally clicked for me and my life changed forever. It's not about having thousands of "friends" so you can yak away on a keyboard about absolutely nothing, but rather turning a social media connections into real world contacts or dollars. Either way social media will only be an overwhelming distraction unless you decide to convert some portion of it into reality --- the one you can touch, hear, see and smell.

The point above allowed me to be a reporter at Steve Harvey's Dreamer's Academy in Disney World, it opened the doors for me to become an eBay Brand Ambassador and a Family Night Parent Ambassador. I was invited to blog for the Huffington Post and a huge magazine (though I dropped the ball on the magazine and never followed up with them - next year if they'll take me). I also opted to review laundry detergent and less than stellar made for TV movies. There were times when this blog resembled other blogs rather than what you and I are accustomed to. This will change. I'm going back to the basics. Chef Michelle will remain with her tasty recipes, and I'm going to introduce you to a new dad so you and I can read and be reminded of what that experience is. But beyond them, I'm going back to the basics of what made this place what it was.

While I thought I was functioning in a vacuum blogging, being a dad and generating a lifetime's worth of content people with jobs were watching me and in a few days I might have some very good news to share with all of you.

Atlanta - I still haven't gotten fully on board, but I'm not holding a torch for any place I've I spat in the face of traditional publishing and published two books of my own, followed all the correct steps, but the truth is selling a book is tough, digital or paper, even tougher when your a man speaking out being a better man because all men think they're perfect unless they realize they are not and then they keep it to themselves. I opted not to and because I'm not a Kardashian, or Steve Harvey or Hill Harper or anyone with a national media following so sales have been slow. But these things take time and if I'm perfect at anything which I'm not, I'm pretty close to it when it comes to being patient.

Marriage...well...my patience has been stretched, as has my compassion and my understanding and my strength. I've learned my limits as a man and a human and I now the love (actively putting the needs of another before my own) that the Bible speaks of and am not ashamed to say I practice it whether I am rewarded for it, or not. Nothing great was ever achieved without struggle, nothing beautiful was ever achieved without some ugly moments and should you click and never clack along the way God bless you. But for the rest of us, put love first and leave the rest of it in the trash. Marriage has made me a better man in ways I'm sure no other experience could.

Fatherhood has been a blessing, even with the days when it exhausts me. Despite the days when I feel lost and can't find any of me anywhere. My daughter is a jewel that I'm blessed to be the steward of. She can't get enough of school, she's acting, dancing and close to winning a statewide art competition. I feel that she is the amalgamation of many that came before her, all wrapped up in ponytails and pink. My son is shaping out to be quite the young man. I'm proud of him, but he's a teen and teens like to rebel. It pains me that he rebels against us, as mildly as he does, because I'm not the father to him that my father was to me. He wants out of my house as bad as I wanted out of mine, but life is served to him on a platter whereas I felt like I was in a fight with my father every day of my life until I left home. And old crotchety dad has been right on the money dad as of late - most of my warnings which have gone unheeded, dismissed and discounted have all come to pass - at his expense. But he'll learn. Just as I did.

I can go on like this forever. So I won't. Aside from all of the above I'm working on my To Do List for 2012...all the things I want and need to accomplish. Some are carryovers from 2011 and I suggest that you do the same. Take today not to regret what didn't go right this year or what could'a should'a would'a happened. The economy is not your fault. Our politicians are your fault only if you voted or didn't vote against the ones you don't like. Embrace the missteps, analyze your mistakes and turn the messes into messages. Live today as if it were your last, because it technically is as far as 2011 goes. There are plenty or great personal organizational tools such as Evernote that you can use to get your life in order quick fast. Aside from that whatever you want to do, overcome, accomplish the tools for getting it done are no further than a Google search, a workshop or a trip to the library. If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me here or via Twitter.

Thanks for riding on this train with me. I'll see you in 2012!

For more on Fatherhood, Relationships & Lifestyle:

blog comments powered by Disqus