[Before we get started, enjoy this lovely photo of a gnome holding a tiny frog while standing guard over a mushroom:]
One thing I’ve always prided my self on is that I’M the fun one – the one that brings life to the party and lightens the mood. Almost to a fault. While I’ve never viewed myself as the class clown, I do believe that everyone else is far to serious and it’s up to me to bring them down to a base level of life’s little pleasures.
Or so I thought until this past Saturday. [But before we get to that, enjoy this photo of a cute cat sleeping:]
Back to this past Saturday – I was at my daughter’s latest swim meet. As vice president of the club, whenever I am at an event there’s a non-stop flow of parents asking questions about everything (most of which are on our team website). I was sitting next to another dad who is a close friend of mine. When the meet was almost over he turned and asked if I was okay. I asked why, and he said that he had noticed over recent months that I was cheering for the kids less and being crabby and complaining more. Me? No way. Then, on the way out, one of the swimblings (as the younger siblings of the swimmers have come to be known) asked if I had any candy and I about snapped her head off (I’m known as the “candy guy” because I always bring it to meets to share with everyone). Well, I made her cry…not on purpose, but it made me stop and think a little. Not too much though; until the next day – Father’s Day by the way – when my daughter mentioned we don’t do cool stuff as much and she just wanted to go and kick the ball in the street with me. Hold on, was I becoming the no-fun way too serious guy??
[How about a random picture of flowers?]
Even though I’m not currently working, I am very busy. I am taking a full load of classes in school. I am working 30+ hours per week as vice president of the swim club (self-imposed, but I do have time available to do it). I have a two story, five-bedroom house with a HUGE yard to maintain (trust me, as a single father it’s a ton of work to keep up on). After my weekend I began looking at the things I have going on and how I’ve been processing them. Like many of us I turned to the internet and ended up spending a large amount of time on Chris Combs’ website. He’s a little extreme and I’ve always enjoyed his stuff. One article I read really struck home for me: 17 Reasons Not to Take Life Too Seriously. You should check it out – he has some very sound advice. Some of it is humorous, some of it is harder hitting, some of it comes with a language warning if swearing offends you, and some is even wrong (Seinfeld does not belong on this list. Worst show ever. It’s my blog so I can say that).
#7: Life is more fun when you don’t take it so seriously. After a few days of self-reflection and talking to those with opinions I value, my conclusion is that I am taking EVERYTHING far too seriously and it’s showing. It’s not where I want to be. Yes, life isn’t a big joke festival, but I shouldn’t be causing those I know to not enjoy my company. My temper shouldn’t be making little girls cry (that one hurts. A lot). My daughter shouldn’t be commenting on my behavior either. Going forward, I’m going to step back a bit and really review what’s important and how I react to it. I’m going to force myself to do irrelevant, quirky things like I did in the past (such as adding random photos to my blog post) and refocus on smaller, happier things. We’ll see how it goes…the point is that I’m really going to try.
What do I want you, my reader, to take from all of this? It’s very simple: take a step back and really look at yourself, your behaviors, and attitudes. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to try and take things a little less seriously. We will all benefit from it!