Kevin Bell

Beyond The Struggle Bus

I found myself the other day frustrated with the behaviors of my kids. It was just a “struggle bus” kind of night.

There was a lot of screaming, hair pulling, and tears. I think what got to me the most was the lack of listening.

When I have to repeat myself 10 times before I get a response, it genuinely feels like I’m talking to a wall… or two tiny walls in this case.

They’re only 5 and 2.5, but I expect a lot from them. Maybe too much at times, but I KNOW how smart and capable they are.

I don’t take any of their behavior personally necessarily, it’s not directed AT me, but I do believe that as their Dad I have the remote control to the situation and take ownership of the situation.

When a night gets out of control like it did, to that degree, there’s usually an origin to the breakdown. Maybe multiple.

And once the girls were finally down and the tornado of tears settled, I retraced my steps through the night in deep introspection.

The “findings” of this “analysis” I believe applies to pretty much everything else in life.

I was being reactive and not proactive. I used the time while they were napping to get some computer work done. But when the little mice started to stir and they woke up, I should have shut the work down, but instead I turned a movie on for a bit while I finished things up. That was the mistake that set the night off course.

My attention was torn. I was there, but not really there. It was only a short amount of time, but long enough for the fire to begin to burn.

When I was done, it was too late. I was playing catch up. They had set the pace and I was simply hopping on the treadmill at level 10.

And this is the reality for most of us on any given day.

We are playing catch up and reacting to what comes our way.

Life within itself is out of our control in many ways, but there are two things that we can control:

  1. Our reactions to the experiences in life
  2. Our engagement in the moments of life

Both equally important.

If you’re falling asleep at the wheel, when something pops up, it’ll come as a surprise. It pulls that knee jerk reaction out of you. And it might not be the prettiest.

When that day turns to shit, everything’s a mess and nothing seems to be going your way, choose to be proactive and engaged.

It could be as simple as time blocking or habit tracking or just shutting the dang computer down sooner.

This is not to eliminate spontaneity in your life, but to be actively involved in making time for the things that are important to you. As opposed to sitting back and taking what each day dishes out.

There’s a quote that says

“build your own dream or someone else will hire you to build theirs”. I believe this to be true in the case of your day as well.

If YOU don’t take control of your day, something or someone else will.

You were meant for greatness. Believe it, live it and stay in the fight.

#books #entrepreneur #girldad #growth mindset #parenting