Just Another Day Without My Kids

Once again I’m showing my age. In 1992, one of the most popular songs was “Just Another Day” by Jon Secada (click here to play the song). The height of this song’s popularity happened to coincide with a trying time in my life. The time Kara and I were broken up.

Don’t worry, the story has a happy ending. We’re married now with two beautiful boys. But to this day, the song brings tears to my eyes. Every time I hear it, I remember what I almost lost, and how Kara and I fixed things by making major changes to ourselves. Changes that helped me become more of a man, and less of an ego based boy.

The song has been on my mind lately, and has taken on new meaning. Now, there’ s something else I’m losing. Something irreplaceable & precious: time with my kids.

Every day I go to work is just another day without them.

I waste my time, day after day working a job so I can get paid

It makes no difference what I do, for it just gets changed over and over so I have to redo (I’m a professional writer)

All the while my kids are at home, while I feel completely alone

I sell my time so my family can survive, but the feeling of loss just won’t subside

Please forgive my attempt at poetry, but this is how it feels.

The pain of loss. Frustration. Grief. Thank goodness it’s not all I have, but it’s here in my heart. Right along side the joy and gratefulness I feel because I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful family. There are divorced dads (and moms) who don’t see their kids at all for days on end. I can’t even imagine what that must be like.

I’m feeling a stronger need for major life changes again. Changes that will allow me to be with my family more AND make more money. This seems pretty daunting. But the thought of facing day after pointless day is pretty daunting too.

What’s a dad to do?

And remember, you are not alone…

Keeping Life in Perspective

There’s no question, being a parent is hard. Being a good parent? Even harder.

In an effort to do our best, it’s easy to get caught up in the thick of daily to-do’s, responsibilities and problems (which can linger for weeks, months or even years). This struggle can be overwhelming and even debilitating. Fatigue, frustration and dissatisfaction creep in and suddenly things appear insurmountable — a huge mountain that we’re standing at the bottom of. And our climbing boots don’t fit.

The size of the “mountain,” and our ability to climb it, is directly related to our perception of the mountain. In other words, it’s as big as we think it is. You’ve probably heard the statement, “your perception becomes your reality.” It’s true.

When my perception tips toward the dark side, the Universe (God) has a way of stepping in with a reminder to help me realign.

This week, my reminder came in the form of an article in Esquire Magazine called, “What I’ve Learned: Glenn Fitzpatrick.” Glenn is the father of a 5-year old girl named Maddie. He’s also dying from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

And suddenly I realize, my life isn’t so bad. I’m actually pretty lucky.

Click the link above to read Glenn’s brief, yet moving interview. It really puts things in perspective. He seems to be coping with his illness and imminent death with grace and dignity, and he inspires me to deal with my problems in the same manner (which often feels impossible).

Problems that seemed so large, and feelings that were so strong shift. I’m not saying they’re invalid. They most certainly deserve respect and attention. My issues are just smaller in comparison to Glenn’s — a man whose five year old daughter won’t have a daddy soon. How hard will it be for his wife to carry on? To raise their family? To smile?

At least I’ve got a partner, my lovely wife, to help my family through the peaks and valleys of life. I always say wife rhymes with life for a reason! I thank the Universe for her every day. How much harder must it be for a single parent?

I hope Glenn’s words help you as much as they’ve helped me. If you are a single parent, or if you are sick, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. I’m always here to listen if you need someone to talk to.

Remember, you are not alone…

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