Michigan: March 2018 — Thoughts, Musings, Reflections

Soulful thoughts in 3… 2… 1


http://liveforyounow.com/?chimpy_shortcode_subscribe[form]=1 Okay… after this paragraph.

So, in an incredible round about way, I was invited out to the Michigan Physical Therapy Association for their Student Conclave 2018 conference to speak on career development and job market readiness. It also so happens to be where I’m from (which is a hilarious gag when people ask me “Hey, where you from?” And, I say the heart of automotive America… and, they kinda go “Huh?”); and, where much of my paternal in-laws family hails from (literally, Ann Arbor, #HailToTheVictors #GoBlue #MichiganWolverines). And, if you know my academic past, you also know that I got my MBA from the University of Michigan. AND… despite the loss, I’m still proud of my team for their run in #MarchMadness2018.

SO… ANYHOO…..


enter   ONWARD WITH THE REAL POST!


The real reason for this post was that this trip offered me some concentrated family time and helped me recenter on this very path of working at home… creating now two businesses and supporting the vision of growth using the technological levers we now have that allow for such a lifestyle.

Was was remarkable was the amount of reflection time I had on the severely delayed flight out to Michigan… all the driving we had to do around the state… and, the joy of juggling the time change. PS… Michigan is seriously more East that West, LOL! #PSTissues…

When it all became said and done, I realized some life lessons (both core centric and just for fun’sies) I wanted to better grasp for myself and pass on to Nathan as his father. I want my son to learn:

  1. To be mentally tough.
  2. To be physically tough.
  3. To be emotionally perceptive.
  4. To learn how to cook using cast iron.
  5. To experience martial arts, team sports, and the glory of suffering a hard won task.
  6. Survival skills, urban, oceanic, bushcraft, etc…
  7. First aid, CPR, and emergency response.
  8. To find a passion he can geek out on.
  9. To fail, miserably… and, learn from that failure.
  10. To pick himself back up.
  11. To work under the authority and command of others.
  12. To sell — an idea, a product, a service… to learn the art of meaningful communication.

While in Michigan, it was peaceful. There was a countryside… something you don’t get in the urban environments of big cities, especially in SoCal.

  • There was open country, minutes from downtown Ann Arbor.
  • I was reminded the balance in life is dynamic — you have to keep moving if you are to keep up.
  • I remembered my thoughts about “Physicist” Steven Hawking’s passing… and, I thought to myself how I’d want to be remembered? And, that I must work toward that goal. Ultimately, I think it comes down to philanthropist and/or inspirationalist (regardless of what prior meaning it may have had in the past) — essentially, if I am to be known… I wish to be known for the positive impact I’ve had in the lives of others.
  • It was fun to be in a town where people could live off the land — free range chickens and all… it’s something I’ve always had an interest in.
  • Ann Arbor, being an older town… it has history, charm, personality… a romance, even.
  • Talking to some family and seeing just that different approach in life of the MidWest, one can appreciate that college grads are truly adults, ready to contribute to society… rather than what I fear more and more college graduates are becoming… over educated children still trying to find their way… a cost of a failing-phobic culture and stressed out system of education producing a generally economic welfare that has more uncertainty than it does stability. But, hey… when was human history really that stable??? LOL.. so much for ending this list on a positive note.

I was pleasantly reminded that life isn’t about the “whats”… the achievements. It’s about pursuits… HOW you live your life and WHY. And, to be honest, I was very much attracted to the possibility of living life, honestly and off the land. It’s always been a romance for me — the reality is probably way different 😉


All together, I was thinking a lot on this trip… soul searching… not that I was lost or had something to find. I was merely taking the available time that I had hustled to earn to take time, appreciate, and reflect.

It’s an amazing time.

People can work for companies, miles and miles away. The need for a brick and mortar situation is become less and less a requirement of business and general commerce. Information asymmetry has become less so a thing… so much so that organizations that try to safeguard their secrets actually get punished in the marketplace for doing so… being seen as devious or maliciously trying to hide things.

I guess the other crazy thing is that we’re coming up on three years of me doing this from home. It hasn’t been easy… not in any way. But, has it been worth it? Immeasurably. I can’t even imagine giving my son or my family the type of lifestyle we’ve been having in any other way. Can it, could it, would it come crashing down… I’d still say its worth it. In these formative years, I’m seeing that my son has become a sweet, caring, positive minded kid. He’s not afraid to tussle with me and fight like a crazy person to get out of controlled Jiu Jitsu positions… or, to slam on my focus mitts as if he was training Muay Thai… all before the age of 5 😉

He loves music, spontaneously dances… and, regularly tells my wife and myself that he loves us — all without prompting and just out of the joy of his little heart.

All to say… I think we’re doing something right.

It’s easy to be in negative moments… wondering if the path you are on is any good, or perhaps was a terrible mistake. I’d advise you to take a step back and consider those who are most dear to you… how are they? And, how are they to you, and you to they? If you and yours ultimately have joy and joy abundantly… then, I’d say you’re doing pretty good. And, if there’s room for more, whether by improvement, by growing the capacity you have to love on them… anything of that nature… then chase it, pursue it, and don’t let it go until you have it!

So much for random musings, thoughts, and straight typing… Have a good one!

A Wedding and A Surfboard

So…! It’s been pretty busy. There is constantly stuff I want to share. Honestly, I’m starting to consider switching my format into a video blog vs. written content. Two reasons: (1) it’s faster, and, (2) it’s just faster. LOL! If you’re a parent… you get it. Which reminds me of a funny thing I saw on Facebook re: people saying they are “Tired” & don’t have kids.


And, in case you want a quick laugh, check this one out. Nathan cannot get enough & will dance exactly like it!


Okay. Enough distractions. On to the post!

So, my best man got married! CRAZY. Haha, it all went so fast. I found out. Three months later. Boom. Married. I also had the pleasure of being his wedding MC. I probably should’ve jabbed a bit more at him; but, honestly, I prefer weddings to be clean, joyous, and a pure celebration. No need for shenanigans… no matter how socially expected it may be.

All to say, seeing my best man married got me thinking about my boy. In as possibly quick as 15 years, he could get married. That, was a daunting thought. It means I have 15 years to make sure he turns into an honorable, kind, caring, self sufficient, and socially contributory man.

I am VERY glad I have my wife in this quest. After all, she is a #HeroWife.


In addition to that big development, I also recently took up surfing.

See… years ago, I was a hardcore surfer. I mean, when the surf advisory was up, that means I was out surfing that nonsense. There were waves I rode that I had no business even thinking about. Many times, I’d come out of these obscure local spots where only a few people were looking on. After I was done, people would shake my hand and tell me I did great.

I was all confused. They were just waves. That was, until I turned around… and, saw the MONSTERS I was riding. Surfers were like little dots. And, I was one of those dots!

Ultimately, back in 2009 or early 2010, I went out to one of my favorite spots. Unfortunately, things went poorly. Tide went out, reef got exposed, and the waves jacked up 50% higher than anyone was prepared for. I sat there, bobbing around and dodging huge waves… wondering if I would ever get back in. Plus, we were getting swept out to the kelp beds due to the current. NOT GOOD.

After that time, I basically quit surfing. I felt it was too selfish of me to go on doing stuff like that.

Well… this summer, one of my best buds dragged me back into the water. The water temperature in San Diego was 75 degree F… warmer than the air temperature, many mornings and evenings.

Suffice to say, surfing is back in my life. And, it’s really nice to be back in the water. It’s also nice to feel like a smarter/wiser surfer. I feel I’m actually better at surfing now, even after taking such a long break. I think what has changed is that I’m much more judicious of the water conditions and the waves I go for. I need to be safe as much as I need to be having fun.

It’s not about me, anymore.

What connects surfing and fatherhood came when I started noticing a LOT of dads taking their kids out to learn how to surf. It spanned all ages; from 7-8yo to mid-teens. It was really cool to see. The kids were TALENTED, too. Now, other than teaching Nathan about the world at large and introducing him to martial arts… I can’t wait to take him surfing!


Oh, it was also kinda cool to see this blog on Top Dad Bloggers, again!

And, this…

Yup. #dadblogger #parentingblogger #Snapchat #starwars #starwarsfan #chewbacca

A video posted by Ben Fung (aka @DrBenFung) (@daddyintheraw) on

Joy And Sadness

So, as you can imagine, the 1st week away from home… working in clinic full time (for just that week) was rather “life changing” for my family. Rather, it was changing in terms of the fact that my being gone shuffled EVERYTHING around. And, it accentuated certain parenting patterns.

During one our play times last week, I realized from tussling with him along with a reaffirming conversation with my wife… that I am truly Joy & Sadness to my boy.

Whenever I get a chance, I try to play and be as happy as possible. So, whenever I’m stern… it MEANS something. My wife takes the brunt of the disciplinary presence… remorse comes from me… she get’s anger and resentment from our son.

*sighs*

I suppose that’s just how it kind of “is.” It’s a bit emotionally tragic as Nathan basically gets the “best” and “worst” emotions from me. It’s a huge responsibility. When I rebuke him, it basically shatters his soul. But, if I don’t, then we reinforce bad behaviors. For the moment, I guess this is how things are going to go down. Hopefully… it’s just a phase & these toddler emotions will even out.

Until then… I remain yours, emotionally dynamic…

Joy/Sad/Dad–dyInTheRaw

About Precious Moments

It’s easy to want kids to grow up fast.

ESPECIALLY, when they are toddlers. Yes, they are ridiculously cute at this stage. They are talking… and, talking back. They are walking… and, running away from you into dangerous traffic. They are eating… and, determined to paint the house with dinner. And, they LOVE the word “No!”

Take last night for example: Last night, we didn’t sleep… until it was already “tomorrow.” The time change screwed up our boy… and, it was a ROUGH night. It’s easy in times like this to just wish the kid would GROW UP!

Yet, I’d offer to say this is rather the wrong mindset.We need to ENJOY this little window time we have for precious moments… like these!

Nathan SMASHING his face into me… which he still does. And, I know one sad day… it’ll stop.

 

Or… Nathan getting so happy from playing his favorite game of knocking down blocks… he get’s sad.

 

Or, him getting FURIOUS at me… HOW DARE I TAKE HIM UP TO THE SLIDE… Oh, WAIT! THE SLIDE?!

He WAS angry. Then, became happy. #toddlerlife #lifewithatoddler #DaddyInTheRaw #DadBlog #dadblogger #workathomedad #stayathomedad #toddler

A photo posted by Ben Fung (aka @DrBenFung) (@daddyintheraw) on


I guess the point is this: Life only comes around once. And, you don’t get to rewind the tape and get that time back. Enjoy it! Enjoy (as best you can) those melt downs. Enjoy the emotional weirdness that is toddler life. These are precious moments.

These are the moments I quit an accelerated corporate career for. These are the moments I quit a $6-Figure job for. THESE are the moment I completely derailed the direction in my life… so, that I could be a better father.