Tag Archives: family

Things you Need to Do and Things you Want to Do… and wondering when you could do the latter

There are 24 hours in a day. 12 hours are spent on sleep, meals, getting ready, traffic, routine… the nitty-gritty. And then there’s work, which consumes pretty much the rest – 8 hours spent listening to meetings, going from one place to the next, clacking away in front of a laptop. Sometimes (most times in fact), work stretches to 10 hours.

Which leaves to 2 hours. 2 hours for YOU.

Or is it really just for you?

There are house matters to take care of. Bills. That leak in the sink that needs to be fixed ASAP. Some of you may have homework to help finish with your kids. A baby that needs a new diaper.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you realize that there are things you need to do and things you want to do… and somehow there is never any time to do the latter.

Things like hitting the golf course, playing tennis, fishing, exploring Montana with the Mrs., reading a book – not to learn so much as to enjoy the play of words. Having a phone conversation with my son, Koby Bernard. Playing chess with nobody but myself, simply because I want to relish the silence being punctuated by the tap of the chess piece on the wooden board.

The irony is that we delay these simple pleasures to earn money. And we earn money to secure a better future and enjoy the finer things in life.

But when is it time to start the “enjoying” part? Now that the flush of youth has left me, in my senior years? My back too frail to truly enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle? My eyes too strained to read more than a few chapters?

Or should it have been years back, at the prime of my life, when I felt like I could conquer the world? When instead I chose to limit my world to the confines of work and routine?

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Grown Ups and The Great Outdoors

I had low expectations when a rerun of the Grown Ups movie showed on TV. That it was starring several big names in comedy suggested that it would be just one of those crazy movies that’s more slapstick and laughter than anything else. I was very pleasantly surprised though that while the movie did have its offensive moments, it highlighted something I feel strongly about:

The family that goes outdoors together, stays together

What is it about the great outdoors that brings you closer together? Sure, you can argue that you stay with your family at home, watch TV together, but there is something about nature’s display that makes the experience even more memorable.

In front of the TV, there is something that demands most, if not all of your attention – hundreds of images flashing before you at breakneck speed. They are for your personal consumption. They bring you to a whole new world. Even if you are beside your loved ones, giving out occasional comments, ultimately the experience is just you and the TV. It’s even worse now that we have all these gadgets around – the iPad for example. Apps are so engaging that you can enjoy without any other human companion.

On the very opposite end, the beauty of the outdoors seems to be heightened when you are in good company. A sunset is beautiful even if it is just you sitting down on a bench gazing at it, but there is something that makes you desire to be with someone – the urge to hold someone’s hand and revel in the glorious painting before you.

lake

What good is skipping rocks when nobody is there to skip with you and marvel at the distance? And what a waste is it to enjoy a cool dip in the lake alone when you can share the gift to others?

A barbecue meal is best enjoyed by the whole family, with everyone doing their part.

A big catch of fish should be celebrated by all.

A friend can help you row the boat.

A swing will not move by itself without someone to push it.

 

Nature compels you to love and to be one with everything and everyone around you.

The family that goes outdoors together, stays together

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Fishing in the Age of Fast Food

The art and sport of fishing seems to be so out of place in a generation where we can drive through and get our food in a jiffy or even “cook” food out of a plastic cup in just under 3 minutes. The world and everyone in it moves at breakneck speed to get everything done – news articles are at our fingertips in just a few clicks. Shopping can be done without having to leave our work desk.

So how does a sport that relies on slowness and patience fit in?

It doesn’t and that’s the beauty of it.

fisherman-scenery

Source: Photo by Daniel on Flickr

In the constant restlessness and hustle bustle of our fast-paced day to day lives, there will come a  point when we will seek refuge. A point when we will find ourselves spinning madly out of control. And that’s when we will see the need to get away from the urban jungle and find some zen.

But why wait when we get burned out to do that? Why not make it a habit to celebrate slowness from time to time? Consider a periodic fishing trip and explore what wonders it can do to you:

1. It teaches you to be patient.

Nope, dinner is not a delivery hotline number away tonight. You’ll get dinner if you catch a fish. And then when you catch it, you have to gut it, clean it, and cook it. It’s going to take at least an hour. Maybe more.

Catching the fish itself is not easy. Even if you can already see the fish, you can’t guarantee that the fish will like your bait. You have to experiment. Wait. And keep silent so you don’t scare the fishes (yes, this is not just a myth)

2. It teaches you to cherish accomplishments.

Fishing is hard but ah! Just think about the sheer joy and accomplishment you feel when you do catch one. It is a result of hard work and time. It is not the sort of shallow accomplishment you get when you play a game on iPad and get an instant badge just for signing in

3. It teaches you to cherish the moments.

While you’re outdoors and trying to catch a fish, by all means – relish the sights and sounds around you as well! Can you hear the wind blow? The distant rustle of trees? The lilting sound of seagulls? The subtle splash of the water? When was the last time you just took at a look at the clouds instead of taking a picture of them and uploading on Instagram?

4. It helps you connect with friends and family.

Bring your kid along. Bring a friend along. Minus the distractions of technology, you can have an easy quiet conversation.

5. It reminds you of the value of life.

That hamburger you eat didn’t come from the grocery from some synthetic factory (I sincerely hope it didn’t!) No, it came from a farm… from a living, breathing cow. Make sure you don’t waste his existence!

 

So who’s up for a fishing trip?

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While we’re at it, here’s a great fishing story

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Let’s Up the Ante on Earth Hour!

The worldwide Earth Hour movement officially started last 2008. Since then, many of us have marked our calendars for the yearly event on March to switch off the lights for an hour, as a way to combat the serious environmental issues our world faces. Even big companies and restaurants rallied behind this cause. If there is any good that this devastating environmental issue has brought us it is the chance to unite a planet divided by race, religion, political beliefs, etc. towards one goal – to save our home.

It’s been 6 years of shutting off our lights – how about we up the ante a bit? How about instead of turning off the lights for an hour, we turn off our smartphones, laptops, TVs, tablets and all other sources of technological distractions? How about we remove ourselves from the allure of fast-paced Facebook updates and tweets that come and go quicker than you can take a deep breath?

How about we turn Earth hour into a family hour as well? When was the last time we sat down with our family and just had a meal filled only by the clattering of plates and lively conversation? No beeps, no alarms, no game tunes… just old school talk. The destruction of our family bonds is almost as devastating as the destruction of our planet so how about we tackle both problems in that one hour?

Would you join me in this rally for the next level of Earth Hour?

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