Carly told me I should write a guest post for her blog and honestly, with how much better she is at social media and sharing her thoughts, I feel kind of like I’m on Ellen or Oprah. My wife is the rock of this family and has impressed me in so many different ways in the 10 years since we met. I, on the other hand, sometimes feel like I really am her 4th kid behind the dogs and McKenzie. So I open with a heartfelt thanks to her for everything. Literally everything.
I am guilty of being a little less than generous with the sharing of my feelings. Not sure what that’s a product of, but I have numerous ideas. More on that maybe in another post. Carly has decided it is time to embrace the imperfections in our lives in order to become a better person and I couldn’t agree more with this philosophy. Especially in this time of 24/7/365 exposure to information, there are plenty of ideas on how to be a better mom, dad, kid, student, golfer, athlete, person, gardener, gamer, homeowner, renter, driver, drinker, non-drinker, friend…you get the idea. There is always someone telling you how you are supposed to be acting in every conceivable situation and/or how they are doing it better than you. Friggin’ exhausting if you ask me. I want to go back to the days when we were told to be ourselves, and that was good enough.
Being yourself is so hard. So you should never do it alone. Relationships are where the magic happens (in more ways than one). Am I too old to make that joke?
You are certainly built by your overall personality, and that doesn’t change as frequently if ever. You are shaped by your infinite amount of previous life experiences that no one knows anything about, even if they saw it on Snapchat or Instagram, #nofilter, #reallife, #hadtobethere. But you are also a reflection of the relationships you choose to maintain and strengthen.
Gee, Chris, thanks for the self-help talk.
You’re welcome! So where am I going with this? I’ll tell you where: Daddyshack.
Every phase of your life is different (this is where the changing self comes in). Your parents have warned you FOREVER that time flies and you should enjoy each and every moment because you’ll be “old” before you know it.
And dammit, they’ve been right every time.
When I found out I was going to become a father, on a golf course, via text message with a picture of the test, at 9 AM on a Saturday morning, you can only imagine the thoughts that ran through my head. Will I be a good father? Will I finish these last 10 holes under par? (I finished 2 over, PGA here I come) Where does one go to figure out how to be a father? Is there a course? Can I take it online? Can’t put anything on the internet that’s not true, so that could work. But, most importantly, in that moment I realized that life was going to change in a huge way. There were plenty of dudes out there that told me that life was “over” and I could say sayonara to golf on the weekends, strip clubs, riverboat gambling trips and eating meat. This bothered me in two ways. One, I felt like I was an outlier in that I was actually EXCITED to be a Dad and two, why the hell would I want to gamble on a steamboat?
Caddyshack was quickly going to become Daddyshack.
I was and still am pumped that this phase of my life is here.
We tried for so long to start our family. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think it was all over for me as a man and why I was so happy.
More importantly I think I was prepared because of my relationship with my amazing wife. In the 10 years we’ve been together, I have always thought we have pretty great communication skills (most of the time). I always get harassed for having to “check in” with Carly about plans after work, making tee times, going to sporting events etc. But I have always had a solution and a reason. Carly is my best friend (insert eyeball from the masses here). Cliche but entirely true. I can say this because we share so many great interests. Football, American football, golf, movies, superheroes, the outdoors, the list goes on. Sharing these things has always helped us connect and half the time “checking in” usually comes with an invitation.
Every relationship is different, I know this. There are many ways to be in love and have a successful relationship or marriage. I am definitely not telling anyone that “if you’re best friends with your wife, everything is wonderful! #besties #wifebff #ballandchainsoundslikefun.” That would defeat the purpose of my message.
You do you. If it works, it works. AND DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU HOW TO DO IT.
My relationship with Carly is the reason why turning Caddyshack into Daddyshack never scared me. Even though so many internet sources, books and other sources told me to prepare for the worst. That I should prepare to lose my trips to the pub, sporting events and tee times. Well, McKenzie was in a pub within the first few weeks of life, she’s going to a Liverpool match in July and Carly and I have plenty of golf outings on the calendar (yeah, I do have to keep a family calendar, so what?).
We want to expose Kenzie to all of our favorite things so that she can share them with us as well and eventually roll her eyes at them as well. So we keep on doing what we love doing and adjust as needed, because that little bundle of joy is the best thing that ever happened to us and she is our world. But that world does not have to be free of all the things that you enjoyed pre-toddler tantrum machine. Include the baby bear in all that you are able and enjoy what you can. We haven’t regretted it. Even when she is melting down because the straw fell on the floor for the 50th time or we wouldn’t let her play with the fork on the table.
Live your life. Take care of your partner. Keep your relationship strong and remember how you feel for one another. That is the foundation of embracing and enjoying all the changes that will come your way as you get older.
I’m not telling you I know how to do this. I’m just telling you I know that YOU can do this and anything else with the support of those around you.
Of course, I now have to golf at 6 AM and find myself singing the number of the day song from Sesame Street on the way there, but my game has never been better on and off the course.