I’m getting ready to teach English at a logistics company down the road from where I live here in Thailand.
It’s a part-time job (okay, maybe a part-time-part-time job). Because I only teach four hours a week. But it brings in an extra 300 bucks a month. That almost covers our rent. Not bad, huh?
Anyway, I have some time to kill before I leave so I’m shooting over a quick update. I haven’t updated you in quite some time. Apologies for that.
I’ve been busy with The Father’s Journey Podcast. If you haven’t gotten around to it, check it out here.
A few weeks ago I got a piece of advice about fatherhood that changed my life.
Now, I didn’t get this advice from some Internet parenting guru. I didn’t get it from a “How To” father book. I did, however, get this piece of life-changing advice from someone well-qualified to hand it out. But he’s someone you’ve never heard of before (I’m 99.9% sure of that).
But before I tell you who he is, I want to tell you why I asked for his advice.
You see, as a father, I struggle in so many ways. I’m still working on my patience. I’m still trying to become more financially independent so that I can give my family experiences.
But mostly, I struggle with being present in my children’s lives. Sometimes I’m there, but I’m not “really” there. You know?
I have this friend here at the condo where we live. He’s from America too. He’s been here for around 9 years.
We have a lot in common, but at 72 years old he has one thing I don’t have: insight.
Just the other day I was taking Little N for a walk around the park downstairs, and I ran into my 72 year old friend.
We got to talking.
“Jack, can I ask you something?” I says.
By the tone of my voice he knew I wasn’t going to drop any old question on him. “Sure,” he says.
“Looking back on your life and your time with your daughter, what piece of advice would you give me, from one father to the next?”
His wheels turned. He began to tell me about the importance of having financial security and health and all these cliche things.
Okay, he didn’t get my question. I figured I’d let him talk and not interrupt.
But then he stopped walking and stopped talking. I stopped right alongside him. He looked down at my daughter, who by this time was sleeping in the stroller.
“It’s about this moment right here,” he said. “Enjoy it. Because one day you’re going to look back and wonder where the heck the time went.”
It wasn’t what he said, but how he said it.
Jack patted me on the back and we parted ways. But his advice has stuck with me.
And it’s important advice. So I want to pass it along to you. Because sometimes we forget.
We could have our finances in order. We could have our health in order. But in doing so we shouldn’t trade off the most important thing…
Our relationship with our kids.