In a little over a month, my dad is turning 80. To celebrate, he wants to have his kids and grandkids all around him, which is going to happen in Florida, where he's retired.
Dad's upcoming birthday got me thinking about the differences in the work/family balance when my dad was in the working world vs. what it's like for dads today. Back in the '60s, '70s and '80s, when my dad was in primetime work mode, he was pretty much the sole breadwinner. He worked as a chemical engineer for a giant chemical company to put bread on the table for seven kids: six boys and one girl. Yep, we're Catholic.
The arrangement between my dad and mom was that he went to work and ran the finances, and my mom ran the house. It worked out really well for them, and for us.
But things are very different in today's modern family. Women work just as much, and just as hard as men, and men have had to get much more involved in family chores and caregiving at home -- all of which is a great thing. I am forever grateful that I have been, and continue to be, deeply involved in the lives of my two sons.
With that said, there is something major that I think most guys are missing in their lives: taking time to be with their fellow dudes. We just don't think to take the time to plan an outing with our buddies. Sure, we could try and blame our wives, significant others, or girlfriends about this. But guess what. It's not their fault. It's ours. Because, for most of us (including me), we just don't do anything about it.
My dad's time away with his friends was on a golf course. He never really mastered the game, but he didn't really care. That's because dad was with his guy friends, relaxing in nature, taking his frustrations out on a little white ball, and then laughing about it afterward at his favorite drinking hole, "The 19th Hole."
I don't have any golf buddies. I don't have a 19th Hole Bar. And I don't have anyone to blame, except myself.
Well, it's time to change all that. I like to play basketball, and there's a wonderful pickup game at a nearby church that happens three times a week at noon. My goal, this week, is to lace up my high tops, which by the way are currently gathering major dust deep in my closet, and hit the court. How my knees are going to fare is anyone's guess, but I'm throwing caution to the wind. It'll be worth every minute.
So, fellas, what's your plan to get together with your fellow man this week? Share with us here what you're planning to do.
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