Posts Tagged ‘dad’

A fathers wish..

Friday, January 31st, 2014

rockJust the other day, my daughter asked me why I haven’t written anything in such a long time. I told her I was in a slump. My slump is now over and this one is for her.

Life changes overnight when you become a father. It’s difficult to explain but easy to understand when that day occurs. You see your daughter for the first time and understand how fragile and reliant on you she is, to care for her until she becomes of age to tend for herself. Naturally you have prepared the usual things, crib, playpen, car seats, etc… but as the days, months and years pass you can’t help to think about what you will imprint on her. What you will leave with her long after you are gone. The stuff that helps her get through life unharmed, perhaps even without a broken heart , maybe to show her how she can be happy without all the material things hers peers, friends and others cherish so needlessly.

When my little girl was born her mom and I were in a tough time. We didn’t last but 6 months after she came to us, and of course it was no fault of hers, but a number of things that accumulated in her parent’s relationship that caused the parting.

Looking back on those days, her mom and I only wanted to do what was best for her albeit we differed in ways of how we believed it should be. I can say that I was distraught with how the whole thing played out but I am grateful that for the first 13 years of my daughter’s life I was able to enjoy a lot of memorable time with her.

Those early years were always my favorite times. Of all the things that stuck with me the one thing that I will never forget is how I felt when she would fall asleep in my arms. From the time that she was an infant and nestled her head on my shoulder to when she was a toddler and rolled herself up in a ball for a nap against me on the couch.

“She wakes and struggles to open her eyes. She reaches up from her bed to climb into my arms. She hugs tight to my chest and rests her head on my shoulder. I am reminded now, how it feels to be a father”.

I wrote that about her, one morning 14 years ago, when reflecting back on my life.

When she became a teen, my life again took a turn. This time period in our life wasn’t a very good one. It’s hard enough on a father’s relationship with his teen aged daughter when they both live in the same house, but being divorced, that was not our case. I understood the challenges I would face and not getting along well with her mom didn’t help my cause. I learned through years mediating parents through their own divorces, that fighting wouldn’t help my daughter see that I really loved and wanted what was best for her, so I let her choose her own path. Those years without her in my life (like it used to be) were very difficult. Although I believed that in time she would realize the man I was, it is still a hard thing to get through. I preached to others that if you stood by what you believed in, what your parents instilled in you, what values were important to teach your children and that if you showed love, then you had to make a stand. I felt that if I compromised my beliefs then I would be doing her an injustice, perhaps for the rest of her life. I needed her to remember and understand that I was her father, the same person who she adored when she was a child, and that person wasn’t going to give in to certain things no matter what. It was a gamble but parents today compromise their beliefs and the things they were taught as children because they want “more “ for their kids then they had. What a bunch of crap that is. How bad did we really have it?

I don’t pretend to think I know it all when it comes to relationships. A father/ daughter relationship is a tough cookie to crumble. As a man we are wired to want to “fix” everything, including whatever goes wrong in our daughter’s life. But as a father we should realize that our daughter needs to find her on way at some point and hopefully what we showed her in her early years can help her get there. Parents today want to be friends to their children. They avoid laying down the law. They curse in front of them. They get drunk and stoned, sometimes even with them. And then, after it all, they cry out loud to their friends how their kids don’t show respect towards them. I remind them how their parents would never have done the things they do in their children’s presence and they certainly would not accept disrespect from their children but they say it’s different now. Yes, sadly it is, but it wasn’t going to be that way with me and my daughter. I would never want that for her and I wasn’t going to let society or a divorce turn my way of thinking.

When she graduated High School I felt like an outsider looking in. She became this beautiful, intelligent, young woman who I hardly knew anymore. I understood fully how divorce can really tear apart a relationship between a parent and a child. Not being there all the time always put me in the role of the underdog. Never quite enough time to build something between us and now with her heading off to college, there never seemed to be a time to talk and maybe reconnect.

Being the person I am, I tried to remain true to what I believed. I paid the bills, tried to give her moral support and waited for a chance to get to know her again. I fully understood that it’s pretty difficult for a young woman to open up to a man even if he is her father. She definitely couldn’t share the things she would with her mom as easily if at all, with me. Heck some of that stuff could get embarrassing, plus as a father we don’t need to know certain things!. But as years passed by things started to change and as she grew she needed support and advise and she began to turn to me for it. We began talking and spending more time together again and today we seem to be on a good path.

It’s been a challenge for both of us but I must say that I am impressed and proud of how things turned out. As a father I wanted her to understand the importance of family over friendship, the true value of a dollar, the show conviction in what you believe in and the pride that comes from earning everything you acquire in your life. As a father I would want my daughter to be strong and independent and to not have to rely on a man or the village to take care of her. To show both passions in all the things she does and compassion for the people she meets along life’s path. That she’d never fall in love too easily, fear for a broken heart but embrace it when it happens and learn from it, and never, never become fearful that she won’t find happiness because that might happen more than once. Take the bad with the good because it makes the good even better when it happens. And remember what my mom always told me when things turn bad, “it’s just a test”. After all these years and countless times of hearing it, I really have no clue what the hell that means because life itself seems to be a test. Mostly of showing patience and waiting for a point in time when you find that happy place. My advice to her would be not to wait to find happiness, but go and make it. Make a little bit everyday and when you get to be older you can look back and see that a lot of the sadness and pain is hidden deep behind all those little bits of happiness you made every day. I would also tell her that above all else stay true to who you are. Don’t let anyone or anything make you into something you are not. This is one of the hardest things to do in your life because everything you believe, everything you are, and everything you do eventually effects someone else and you will always have to find a way to balance your feelings against your beliefs. You are unique, there will never be another you and you only get this one chance, so make it count.

I love you… Your Father

Time stands still..

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Being a kid, I always looked forward to snow days off from school. When my friends and I heard that snow was coming we couldn’t help but plan whose house we would wind up at to build a fort and have a war with neighboring kids.

There is something really wonderful about being snowbound in your home as an adult. Time stands still.

When everyone in town is snowbound, nobody gets the edge on anyone because we are all in the same boat. There are no worries about lost business to another company or making an interview for a job. There is no getting the kids ready for school while you text on your Blackberry to a client. Time stands still.

You sleep in and when you awake you hurry to the window to see just how much snow your going to have to shovel to get that car out of the driveway. Your not worried so you go back to bed and catch up on sleep you wouldn’t normally get. If your real lucky, your laying next to someone who is feeling a little frisky. Hell you have all day. Time stands still.

You finally get your butt out of bed and you eat a really big breakfast because your going to need those calories for all that shoveling. You dress like its 20 below outside and your armed with shovels, salt and ice scrappers. All this doesn’t seem so bad because you have all day and nowhere to be, just like everyone else.Time stands still.

As you shovel that snow you begin to remember when you were younger and your dad made you go outside to clear a path so he could go to the store for the milk and bread he forgot to get in preparation of the great storm. As he slides and stumbles to his car, you can hear him mumble under his breathe how your mom is a pain in the ass and won’t stoop reminding him how she “told him so”, about the milk and bread!  As the cold air brings you back to reality, you look around and marvel at how breathtaking the snow and ice on the trees look. What a great day to be alive and you remember that you have all day to enjoy it.

Yes, when a snowstorm hits your town, its truly a magical moment. It brings you back to a simpler time in life when you had nothing but time..no worries, no responsibilities, no cares in the world, just time. Time that was so endless because you never knew just how fast it would pass in your lifetime. For me, being snowbound stops time just long enough for me to remember what it was like, when I had nothing but time, to enjoy my life.

Last rites on the institution of marriage…..

Friday, October 8th, 2010

It’s probably a good idea for you to first read the article linked to this post before reading my thoughts on it below.

www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=137298

As much as I hate to think that this person is correct in his opinion, I believe he could have hit the bulls-eye!

Marriage really doesn’t work, at least not like it used to. We have become a society of me rather than we people. Marriage after all, is just too hard for most people to become adept at, mainly because there is very little incentive for them to do so. People used to marry for love but if you ask couples today why they are marrying, most place love at the back of the list, and some never even mention it. It’s usually “we’ve been together for years and it was time”. How can anyone expect a marriage to last if that’s a reason to get married. Time together should never be a reason to marry.

Marriage works if both people want it to. Period, end of story! If you aren’t fully commited to making your marriage the single most important thing in your life, it’s probably doomed. I always beleived that if a person put their spouse’s feelings before their own, it would increase a marriages chance of survival. Too often I am around friends that talk bad about their spouse openly. I also witness couples that curse at each other. I have never in my life,heard my parents curse at each other. You need to respect your spouse and treat her that way. Never talk bad to people about her or curse at her like you curse at friends or others, especially when in a disagreement.

I am one of the unlucky ones who married then divorced. I am also one of the luckier ones who found the right girl the second time around. When I married the second time, my mom told us both, just one thing. “Be kind to each other”. That’s all..just be kind. Sounds corny huh? I sure as hell thought so. But after thinking it over  I conscientiously tried it. It makes sense too. It can only make your wife love and appreciate you more if you treat her kindly. Kind words, hold hands, little notes in everyday places, open doors for her (ALL THE TIME) and treat her like a woman used to be treated when our dads were young.

Yes, maybe the institution of marriage as we know it is doomed. And maybe its because we have forgotten what is truly important in our lives because we have all gotten caught up in computers, long hours at work, reality television  and what makes me happy. We allow our lives to become so complicated that we often don’t think about how to make our marriage better but just let days turn into years without thought of how it is actually falling apart. We allow our childrens’ interests to rule our marriage and forget that at one time, when they weren’t around, we were both what was important. Now, many husbands that started at number one in their wife’s eyes may very well be three or four, depending on how much she loves her parents and pets…

The formula for a good marriage isn’t that complicated. It just takes two people to be committed to making each others happiness the most important thing in their lives…Pretty simple huh?

Just one mans opinion…from a friend

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
( the following was contributed by a friend..thanks)

I went to PNC to see John Mayer last night. Sound was OK but loud. I couldn’t really hear vocals clearly yet the crowd knew every word and they were ready to party. Now to my point. It was like eye candy. Young high school and college girls all tan, wearing short shorts, tank tops or sundresses, laced with coconut tan lotion and smelling great. As men, we are so turned on by that and the girls just strut their stuff without thought. They hang in groups, laugh, giggle and boy watch. So my question is” does anyone wonder why young girls so often get pregnant or date raped?”  Don’t the parents of these young women check out what their daughter is wearing and educate them on what message they are sending to men of ALL ages, prior to them going out in public? As fathers, we know what men think when they see this, and we should insist that our daughters don’t make this mistake, even if  innocent, by dressing in this manner. Temptation is always present and most men know their limitations, both morally and legally, but unfortunately some don’t, and these are the ones who young girls need to be aware of. It’s as if the girls play this head game, but they know exactly what they are doing. It was like a boob-fest. Hang them out but if a man looks he’s a jerk or pervert. There was a time when this was inappropriate behavior and society, let alone parents, would not accept this from young ladies. Add alcohol to this equation and now you have the perfect setting for trouble. Parents seem to have forgotten just how naive we were at this age and how important, especially in today’s world it is to be aware of the message our young people are putting out there. My feeling is this is just one more example of how liberal and accepting our nation has become.

a High School senior on her way to the prom( See The Dress That Got A High-School Senior Arrested

What gift do you buy the Regular guy?

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Some one tell me why in Gods name would ANYONE, man or woman buy a candle for a man? Does a person stand in the middle of a chachki store with scented candle in hand with a smile on their face and say” Wow, Joe is going to love this!”

Men don’t do well with gifts. I can understand now what my dad went through all those years for birthdays and Christmas. How hard it must have been for him to smile when inside he was probably thinking” What the hell am I going to do with this singing fish?”

Men don’t do well with gifts especially when women buy them. Not always but most often true, women don’t get us in life, so picking gifts for us is just nuts. Most of us have everything we want, unless its too expensive to buy, which means we aren’t going to get that as a gift from someone else!

So what do you buy for the Regular guy? Probably nothing. Unless you pay attention to what he does in life and especially in his spare time, then nothing works better that a gift card.

In closing, perhaps an example of such a tragic gift story would be fitting. This is what happens when, not one, but two women engage in what they believe is the perfect gift for yours truly.

At some time in my past I mentioned that I always wanted a small pair of binoculars. One that I could easily carry, you know, like to the beach to check out bikini clad women ( What? Were you thinking I was going to say for a sporting event!). So armed with this information, my wife sets out to buy me the gift I always wanted!  UNFORTUNATELY, she shopped at a store that a woman she knows owns and this woman proceeded to talk her out of the small pair of binoculars. She instead, thought that a singular monocular would be much better for me. So, that Christmas, I got half the gift I always wanted!!

To be honest, in the end I did get my binoculars about two years and three gift occasions later but I figure you get the point. This past year I started a list with details like brand names, model numbers, colors, and even a contact person from which to buy these gifts. Not bad huh? Get to it guys……Merry Christmas!

Just one man’s opinion…

The Regular Guy

Fifty ain’t so nifty…

Monday, April 26th, 2010

“Age is only a number”! I used to hear that all the time when I was a kid and visited my relatives. The “older” ones, would always say things like that when they talked about getting old.

Something that has always fascinated me about age is when I look at my parents, no matter how old they were, they always seemed “old” to me. I can remember when my dad turned fifty and we gave him a party. I thought he was so old then. Now I think I must have been nuts to think that because I am that age now and I still feel like I am in my twenties. Probably how he felt then too.

A big part of aging is definitely a mental thing. Unless you are ill or in very bad shape, getting older happens so slowly that its hard to believe that you are old. I know this because when I look in the mirror, I see a very different version of the man I see in my head. If it wasn’t for reflections, I probably wouldn’t believe that I was indeed as old as I am. Getting older always seemed at least ten years away from where I am at.

I do however know what reality is. As a man, I know when I got old. Although I believed I knew when it happened, I wasn’t sure if it was just me who felt this way. That was until this past Saturday night, when a friend of mine mentioned to me the same thing I had believed was the measuring stick for when a man gets old.

He said that he knew he was old now because young girls don’t notice him anymore. When he said that I couldn’t believe it. He just said what I had thought was the reason I was old. I first noticed it when being in a bar. Girls would say “excuse me sir” when they needed to get past me. And worse yet, they didn’t even look at me when they said it. It used to be they would at least make eye contact with you. My friend said he realized it was happening about two years ago. We compared notes and both figured that for a guy, it was a true gauge to when we get old.

I sit in the chair and get my hair cut. The girl is maybe 36 yrs old and shes talking about meeting a guy. Her parameters are that he has hair, teeth and no more than forty because that would be too old. Wow, forty huh?? I laugh about it and say something and naturally she says that I don’t look my age but the point was already made. Forty seems to be the cut off to being young.

So my regular guy friends, get ready. Age will creep up on you and blindside you when you least expect it. One day shes cutting your hair and the next day she’s trimming your ear hair. Life’s funny like that. It takes hair from where you want it and puts it where you don’t.

So in reality, fifty ain’t so nifty but it’s better than the alternative. Anyway, by my calculations, I still have at least ten years until I…. get old.

The Regular Guy…

Please leave a message at the beep…..

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I am not so sure as to exactly why Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone, but I am quite sure, that he didn’t think people would be wearing them like an article of clothing.

I remember when my dad purchased and placed in use our “family” answering machine. Everyone practically stood around staring at it waiting for the phone to ring so we could see how it worked. As kids we would rush home to “check the machine” for messages that we would have from missed calls. It was also great for dinner time when believe it or not everyone had to be at the table and no one was allowed to answer a ringing phone. Now my dad, who set the rules back then, is probably the first one to jump from the table to answer a phone call. Go figure!

Out with the old and in with the new. From tape machines to digital to voice mail, email  and now texting, we have become a nation too much in touch. There are phones everywhere you look. We even have laws now that are in place to protect us because people have to be told when too much phone use is enough. In movie theatre’s we have short skits to remind us how rude it is to hear phones ringing and someones conversation while we are trying to watch a movie.  But even with that, we found a way around ringing phones, we developed texting. We just have so much to talk about!!!

I used to find it funny how some people had phones installed in the bathrooms of the home, so they wouldn’t miss answering the phone even when nature called. Now, there are some who don’t have wired phones at all, in their homes. Just a cell phone.  One phone does it all.

So how did we become a nation of people who can not be out of reach no matter where they are? What has become so important that people wear a blue tooth device like its an accessory? I remember doctors wearing beepers because they could stay in touch in case of an emergency. Somehow that made sense to me, but the blue tooth on a real estate agent in a funeral home, I just don’t get it.

I figure I am just an old fashioned guy, trying to hold on to the simpler things in life and somehow gadgets like these just keep getting in my way. Cell phones, like most technology, were supposed to make our lives simpler, less complicated and give us more quality time to spend doing the things we enjoy. Like with most technology, that just doesn’t happen. We become more dependant on these gadgets and our work days no longer end at eight hours. In the past, at ten o’clock at night, no one would call you. It was just unheard of unless it was an emergency. Then we got voicemail so they could call and leave a message. Now we have email and texting so phones don’t have to ring ( although you still might hear” you’ve got mail” during the episode of House your watching ) anymore and you can still get your message to someone. And that’s really not the bad part. The bad part is that we answer the emails and texts late at night as if it is a matter of life and death.  So in reality we are never out of touch. No one can wait until the next business day anymore to deal with business, because it is now being done at times when we used to relax and unwind after a long days work. Isn’t life just grand.

I use a cell phone and I can see the good in having one. I especially think its great when your on the road and break down in your car. Couple a cell with AAA and you have a lifesaving tool at hand. I also know when enough is enough and I can shut my phone off and not worry that someone is trying to call. I like to put an end to the day and not answering a call is one way I do it. I still fight the good fight in hopes that I can have my “simpler life”,  so if I don’t answer my phone, please leave a message at the beep……..

The Regular Guy

Heartbreak again

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

heartbreakWhat is it with being a fan of a sports team that when they lose we feel like we were there on the field with them.

Being a fan for so many years ( thirty nine to be exact) of the Minnesota Vikings has not been a good investment of my time. Thirty nine years without a Super Bowl win is not a thing to be happy about. Losing the last five Championship games isn’t fun either. I think it could possibly be worse, only because my team didn’t get to play in the Super Bowl let alone lose it.

After this weekends lose to the Saints, I swore to myself that I was done. Too many years of wasted time, energy and emotions left laying there on the floor of my living room, has made quite a mess.

It seems so odd to think that our emotions can get so drained, that we can fall into a funk of depression ( if only for a day, if you are one of the lucky ones) and then the next year be so optimistic that our team will get us to that glorious game. How can it be that being a fan of a team can become so much a part of our being as love, hate or any other long lasting emotion? Think about it. I remember the feelings I had when I lost one of my early girlfriends. It’s really not that different. Its like a part of our life is taken away and that missing piece takes time to heal and grow back. With love, its just replacing a lost love with a new one. With sports, its just replacing one team with the next. Football is over but maybe this year my baseball team will win it all .It’s how we heal.

How about all those Steeler fans. Boy do I envy those guys. How lucky are you if you happened to become a fan of the Steelers in the seventies. You have had a pretty good run haven’t you. But even with that, you still felt that heartbreak when those Steelers tanked this season after starting so well. Lucky you though. You didn’t have to go through that agonizing loss like us Viking fans did last Sunday.

So what does a guy do? Thirty nine years of futility is enough isn’t it? Isn’t it time to step away from being a fan and live a life less stressed and emotional?  Don’t we really need to find something better to invest our selves in that won’t let us down when it really counts? I for one have decided its time to try.

I have stepped back from baseball. I have found ways not to watch. As tempting as it is to read the back pages each day, I turn away. I figure it this way. Maybe if I walk away, my teams will find a way to win. Maybe they will do it without my emotional support. Maybe I can step away and if they make the playoffs, I can watch. Maybe then I won’t have so much invested in the team so that if they do lose, it won’t be so bad. After all I didn’t spend all season watching, so how bad can it be watching one game. It has to be better than watching every win or loss leading up too the big letdown.

Years ago when I was younger, it wasn’t as bad as it is today. Years of watching, reading and talking sports still doesn’t add up to the exposure we have available to us now. I can remember being lucky to watch a Vikings game on television. Usually it was a Monday night game. Living in New York, it was near impossible to see Viking games on Sundays. Today, we live in a different world. Directv has the NFL ticket. The NFL network now brings us games. Sport Center plays the tape over and over again every hour in case you missed it or want to see the replay until it makes you puke. And satellite radio, the Internet and pod-casts give us infinite ways to see or hear our teams games, even though they play in a different city then we live in.

Unless your head was buried in sand all winter, then you know that Brett Favre came to the Vikings. Because he did, I was able to watch twelve Viking games on television this year. That is ridiculous!!! I was in my glory. All because of the allure of Brett Favre to the sports writers, broadcasters and fans.

The stars were aligned for Viking fans.  The time was now for Viking fans. All those horrible losses would be forgotten with a Super Bowl victory this year. ” The pieces are in place”was Brett Favres own words this year. KFAN radio in Minnesota, played that over and over everyday during their  sports talk radio shows. They actually gave us fans hope that this year would be different. We all know how that turned out!

So with one more broken heart I go forward into the next sports season. Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks, but this time will be different. This time I will look the other way in hopes that I will remain strong enough not to fall prey to their catchy phrases and slogans of a better year ahead. On no, you won’t fool me again! You won’t break my heart again! Today I take ESPN out of my channel guide and hope that someday, someone calls me and says ” Hey, congratulations on the Vikings Super Bowl win!” ….

The Regular Guy

I am not Homer Simpson!!!

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Robert Young was an actor who played a father in a television show aptly named “Father Knows Best”. Growing up I watched some of the episodes in rerun and thought they were pretty funny. I also didn’t see anything wrong in this fathers approach to raising his children. In today’s world Robert Young’s character would be hard to find.

Television today portrays men as murderer’s, rapists, and cheats. Just check out the Lifetime channel for proof. Today’s father’s aren’t given much of a break either. In fact most of today’s fathers are shown as bubbling idiots and the brunt of most jokes. Find me a handful of television dads that are portrayed as smart, caring and in control and I will show you a hundred that are more in line with Homer Simpson and Al Bundy!

I have a problem with the way men and particularly fathers are not getting a fair shake in today’s world. I have, over the past twenty years, given my time as a volunteer, to help fathers get through the sad reality of divorce. I have devoted thousands of hours to help keep caring fathers in their children’s lives. I fully understand that divorce is rarely one person’s fault, as I too am divorced with a child. I know how difficult it is during and after divorce, for a man who wants to remain in his child’s life. After all, isn’t everything we see on television about Deadbeat Dads, husbands that cheat and men who run away? I am here to tell you, that is not the majority of men.

Deadbeat Dad. What does that phrase imply? Ask anyone and they will tell you that is a father who doesn’t pay his child support. Did you ever hear the term Deadbeat Mom? I know I never did. They just don’t exist do they? Lets face it, there are a lot of fathers who probably fit that term, but there are a hell of a lot more dad’s that fight just to see their kids, and they have to deal with people labeling them deadbeats because that’s how television portrays us.

So how did fathers go from such respectable men like Robert Young, Ward Cleaver, and Fred McMurray to losers like they are today? Did men really create this mess or were we dealt a bad hand? After all it is partly men who write, produce and create these televison dad’s as we know them now. Is it just that they can’t come up with a strong male parent who is loved and respected by their kids or have we all just given up.

I know that I have a lot to offer my child. I know that I can share things with her that her mom can not. I know that time lost now with my child can never be replaced. I know that lack of a father in a household is devastating on a child’s future, especially a boys. I know that men are just as capable of raising a child as a woman is. I know that real fathers are better than television fathers, because my friends dad’s were never idiots or fools or scammed by their kid’s. And I know, that as a man and a father, that I will never allow my child to believe for a moment, that her father is isn’t the single most important male influence in her life.

I say the Robert Young’s are still around, but we don’t get to hear from them too often. I say that if you are a Robert Young, let others know. Let others know, including your children, that you are not that idiot Simpson and teach them about what fathers are really like. My dad was always larger than life to me. When he walked into the room it was like everything slowed down. I always had a feeling that something special might happen when he was around and that I should pay attention. Maybe he quietly demanded that of us. Maybe it was just the awe I felt in his presence. Whatever it was it still exists today between him and I, and I wouldn’t want it ay other way. He is what a father should be. He showed me, what a father should be and that’s why I am so upset with how things have turned out …..

I am now my dad

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Middle age has a way of creeping up on you. One day you’re this young guy and the next day your not. The crazy thing about it is I realize it every morning when I look into the bathroom mirror that the man I used to be is no more.

When we are young, we tend to think that everyone else is old. For instance, when I was a boy in fifth grade, I had this crush on my teacher, who I thought was so old. Not old in a grandma sense, but older, like my parents. Looking back on it now, she probably was my parents age, which would put her around twenty-five. When I was twenty five, I thought my dad was so old. He was only forty-nine then, which is of course what I will be in less than a months time.

So how does it happen that one day we wake up, look in the mirror and we see our dad? When he was forty-nine, I thought he was old, but now that I am the same age, I don’t feel like I am old. It truly is a crazy thing. I don’t feel any older now than I did when I was twenty-five, but when I see my reflection, I have to believe that I am forty-eight. Looking in that mirror every morning I see a guy I think is some one else. I see a guy with a gray hair, love handles (that used to go away at least once in a while), hair in places that I never had it and missing from places I did. Maybe the most convincing thing about aging is how our bodies don’t just respond so fast anymore. Getting out of bed each morning takes a series of steps to insure that I don’t twist something the wrong way and wind up out of work for a week with a bad back. What used to be a jump out of bed is now a deep breathe and push up on my elbow to take the stress off my lower back.

I watched my dad age but never heard him speak about it until he was in his fifties. Him and his friends would joke about things like getting out of bed every night two or three times to pee. I just thought he was being funny or something and never payed much attention to it, but now its my friends who are saying the same things. With all the talk about prostate problems, its something our generation needs to pay attention to, and could probably learn a lot about from our dads.

People, especially young girls, treat you differently at this age too. Most young girls stop noticing men at about age forty. You can go to a club now and twenty- somethings walk by you like you are invisible. Waitress’s call you “sir” which at first makes you look around like she must be talking to someone else.  This is not really good for your ego. I hear women get really pissed when people call them “ma’am”.

Although aging is a tough pill to swallow, it’s really not such a bad time for the Regular guy. A lot of good things happen to you when you reach this age. You find that there are more things in life to laugh about, even if it’s something that drives you crazy. Your relationship with a woman is easier because you both have done most of the stupid stuff already and hopefully won’t repeat the earlier mistakes. Your kids are probably grown and now you have time for yourself again to enjoy the things that you couldn’t do for years. Your friends are different too. They are around more now then they were when you were younger and they are better now too. There is a sense of oneness with each other that is unlike when you were younger. I think its a feeling that we all came so far in our lives and that it’s good to have friends to share those experiences with. When you were young it was every guy for himself, but now it’s more like a “band of brothers”.

In my mind I am still twenty-five. I say twenty-five because that is the age that I think we become men.You leave the boy behind and people notice that. You start to get the respect that you have earned from your family, friends and co-workers. You are probably in the early stages of your career and feeling good about how far you have come. Your starting to aquire things like your own place and a cool car. You are responsible for yourself now and thats okay with you. I liked being twenty-five. It’s just the right age. Not too young and definitely not old. Your whole life is out there waiting for you.

You know the only problem with being young?  It is that you don’t realize that you are and how fast time will go by. I don’t have many regrets in my life and probably wouldn’t change a too much, because if I did, I would not have met my wife. When I was young I didn’t do too much except work. Building a business will do that to you. Luckily when I turned thirty-six,  I woke up and realized I needed to balance my life better. Since then, I have made up for most of the lost years I had while building a successful business. Today I can say that the balance is pretty damn good.

We learn a lot as we age and hopefully with all that we learn, we can make aging a positive thing. People say that men age gracefully so that’s a positive thing to look forward to. And I hear ARPP isn’t such a bad thing either. They make a five minute hair dye for men that is probably one of the reasons a man can age gracefully. If this is middle age we still have a lot of time left, so get busy! Don’t let the second half of your life slip by like the first half might have.

Being my dad is not so bad after all.