Today sped by like a blur. Luckily, because of the time change we were able to sleep in a little and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. After that, it was Sunday school and church. My middle daughter sang with all the other little boys and girls which was a nice treat. And the sermon was very thought provoking — career vs. calling. I liked it and it paralleled some thought changes I’ve had in the last year or two where I am a disciple, husband, father and friend foremost and an employee second.

—— WARNING —— TANGENT BELOW ——

I now joke to people that my work is “only what I do on the side”. But it’s not always easy. It can be hard releasing those corporate or career ambitions especially when you see others passing by and enjoying the trappings….er, spoils of their success. I can still sometimes be torn by my plan to provide for, nurture and be involved in my family versus the pursuit of “being all that you can be” and making the most of your life. It’s not often in society that we heroize and glamorize the successes of being a great father and/or parent. We idolize and praise successful businessmen, athletes, politicians, etc however we fail at that when it comes to parenting. Maybe it’s because there are so few really good businessmen, athletes and politicians. Almost everyone is a parent — there are lots of those to go around. Maybe it’s because success defined in parenting is so nebulous; so undefined; so long-term. It is a lot easier to identify who makes the most money, scores the most points or wields the most political power. Maybe it’s because I’m reading the wrong publications. Business mags, tech pubs, and the local paper are not going to gush praises on exceptional parenting skills. Whatever it is, I sometimes wonder if I’m missing something. But then something always happens that yanks me right back to my reality that I’m doing the right thing for this family. A sunset highlighting the fall palette of colors. The kids discovering something new on the property. A view of wildlife out the back windows. I don’t care what people say but you can’t have it all. And I am cashing out my career and corporate successes for the dividends my family will pay back in the years to come.

—— TANGENT END ——

We returned home late from church only to have to get ready for the “Trunk or Treat” back at church later in the afternoon. There was a confirmation during the late service so our normal leisurely afternoon only gave us an hour or two before we had to head back. We rummaged in the basement for some old costumes. My wife got all the decorations for the “trunk” (actually the back of her Tahoe) assembled and loaded. I was able to do a few quick chores around the house before we turned around and headed back to church. Once there, my wife exploded her Halloween decorations throughout the Tahoe while I marveled with the kids at the numerous hot air balloons in the distance. We ended up counting a total of eight. Soon enough more cars showed up filled with costumed people and lots of interesting characters. My favorite were two sisters who were 1) peanut butter and 2) jelly each with a piece of bread on their back. Very creative. Not your typical Wal-Mart costume. A combination of candy securing, hayride, pumpkin painting, story telling, apple bobbing and snack eating took us to what seemed like 9pm. It was a fun time had by all. We loaded the hyper, candy eating, nap lacking, costumed kids into the truck and were floored when the clock read 6:30pm. It seemed like we were there for a long time and coupled with the time change, felt like it was late at night.

We got home in time to catch the end of the Denver-Philly game and then sedated, er….calmed the kids from their sugar highs into bed. Normally our Sundays are quite routine and peaceful, but today we always had something going on.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

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