Things happen. Life changes. Often over time. Sometimes in an instant.
I was all excited for this weekend. I’ve been a bit bored and “lonely dad” since the boys are away at camp. It’s too quiet in our house and I’ve got all this “extra” time so I decided to sign up for a motorcycle licensing class.
I’ve ridden motorcycles since I was a kid. My dad first brought home a Honda 50cc when I was 7 years old so this is not some sort of midlife crisis , crotch rocket, impulse purchase move (Maybe it is, I don’t know, whatever...) I loved learning how to do things from my dad and that he always seemed to enjoy teaching me.
I haven’t ridden in a while as I’ve had this feeling that as a dad I shouldn’t take too many unnecessary risks (actually kate has this feeling for me as well) but really it’s more that riding just hasn’t been a priority and Houston doesn’t have the best streets for what I enjoy doing...But now that I write about it, I really should teach my boys how to ride...Ill add it to my ever expanding “to do” list.
With a Colorado trip coming up I thought it’d be great to get my license back, rent a bike and cruise. I’m not a speedster by any means...I just like the scramblers and the iconic nature of a simple, scenic slow ride through beautiful scenery.
Since we’ll be out in Steamboat for my son Harper to play baseball and having coached him all season in little league and then right into All-Stars I’m very relieved to not have a role on this team other than to be a supportive fan. I’m also a big believer in not “over coaching” my kids so I try to alternate seasons, give them some space and allow them to experience different coaches/parents.
As I pour so much of myself into coaching I need an off season too and my feeling was that riding would be a great way to get away from hovering around more 11yr old baseball and selfishly the idea of spending all my time at a baseball field when I could be out exploring Colorado just seems like a missed opportunity.
Quite frankly, it’s better for both Harper and I mentally, physically and for our relationship...Much better I’ve found.
I could attend all the games (part of me really wants to of course) or I could let him enjoy the games with his friends and teammates. If I’m around at every game instinctively my post game questions tend to be directed and steered at what I observed rather than allowing him to describe and talk about what he experienced himself.
Consider how this goes over right after a game...”Hey, why did you do______ in that situation?” Or “What’s going on with your batting stance?” He gets defensive, tense...Who wouldn’t! BUT when I’m not there, I have no choice but to simply ask questions like “Hey, how was the game?”, “Did you have fun?”, Or “Tell me about something you enjoyed?” and then he lights up getting to tell me his experience from his perspective not from mine...
He also gets to ask me about my experience, what I did while he was playing - he knows that I’m active that I’m going to exercise, explore, ride, climb and I want him to see that as an example. When I get to tell him how much fun I also had we connect on a much deeper level and our conversations and interactions have improved tremendously (usually over our mutual love of burgers).
Where I was going with this at the start is that I didn’t get to take that motorcycle class this weekend because I had to attend a funeral.
Our company CEO passed away. He was sick but this was also somewhat sooner than expected. He was a great man. A self made man; an extremely hard worker, dedicated and passionate. He was a straight shooter. He was tough but fair. He spent a lot of time in the office. He made a lot of money. He was a friend, mentor and I respected and liked him a lot. By definition he was successful.
My dad passed when he was just 47. David, our CEO was 75. The perspective I have is that it can all be gone way too early...47 is just two short years away for me...75 is 30 years away; which no longer seems that far off...How much of that time do I want to spend in an office? How much money do I/we really need? What type of clients and relationships do I want to cultivate? What type of firm are we trying to build, culture, legacy and what do I want my role to be in any of this? How do I want to spend my time? Who do I want to spend it with?
When we start to lose our health or get older do we look back and regret not traveling more, exercising more, seeing our family more...Did we really need to take that meeting? Did that deal really matter? Could that call or email have waited until after family dinner? What really drives our sense of urgency? Should we take that motorcycle class and ride the mountains or not risk it?
My goal for this post is to just ask questions. Encourage discovery, self awareness. To work to create a life of authenticity, happiness and balance.
Achieve, be responsible, produce. But make time for the big smiles, the belly laughs, the good food, the simple pleasures, the great friends, the tight hugs. Hopefully we all get the time to find what works for us so that we can live the lives we want to live without regret or remorse for as long as we have on this planet.