Friday, August 22, 2014

Cats in the Cradle

I awake with a jolt.

For a moment I can't move , I'm strapped in.

I'm fine - I'm sitting in a plane, now wide awake with 5 hours flying time to go. Sleeping on planes isn't too hard as long as you follow the routine - Eat the mediocre - high calorie food, watch some mediocre in flight shows ( heavily edited and redacted ) and once they turn down all the cabin lights you should nod off.

And yet here I am.

As noted in the last post - the new job - whilst progressing very well and being immensely interesting, has thrown up some challenges not previously experienced. Which therefore has not allowed me to dip into the bag of Dad knowledge and produce easy to implement solutions, which can be re-created here for your digestion.

This is disconcerting.

I was at the kids Saturday sport once and a parent said - "Love the blog but make sure you keep giving us advice " or something to that effect. (Which proves someone reads this)

So I know that the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing quite what to do will hopefully produce something we can all use....

The most noticeable challenge currently is that the amount of travel that I thought was mentioned in the interview seems to have exponentially grown.

After each trip away - I have found that inserting my self back in to the family rhythm after anywhere between 7 to 14 days away is proving slightly more difficult that I thought. It's not just the fact that you essentially travel alone and apart from meetings and conference calls,  the level of inane chit chat that a family does is greatly reduced.

And compounding this is because you have no one to bounce idea's off you  have these internal conversations that are completely validated by your own perceptions with no external input ( very dangerous)

In the mean time the family have of course continued on doing what they do , minus me. So when I return I'm like an outsider for the first few days fumbling around in my own home trying to adjust to any changes that happened sans me.

And the assumption is now , that I could have to travel again,  everyone thinks in much shorter periods of time , when I am actually around so we tend to try to accelerate the solution / outcome. This seems to be due to a now recognition that the periods of time together to resolve life's challenges are going to shorter than previous and that travel could occur again at any time putting on hold all sorts of things.

So how do I adjust for that ? We have a number of communication points in place that the boys can use to reach out to me and of course with today's technology it seems to be getting simpler.

But here's a learning point - Timing.

I've always tried to convince people that in order for clear  communication to take place you are going to have to communicate in way that they feel comfortable in. I now want to add to this - the timing. So for example if you try to communicate with your family at a time of high stress such as getting ready for school - you re going to have a bad time.

This of course doesn't help you if you need a chat because you've had a good/bad/frustrating day and want to talk to the people who understand you the best. So a little understanding will have to come in to play.

In the mean time I'll try to get back in the swing of things with the family and rest safe in the knowledge that we all know deep in our hearts that our families are the one place we are loved unconditionally. We just have to ask politely.....

Hopefully now I can stop waking up with "Cats in the Cradle" in my head......

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't guarantee that families actually do love their own unconditionally.
    Frequently people find that they love you unconditionally as long as you're being the person they expect and designate you to be.

    A conundrum if you actually grow and change as a result of new experiences and become different to the expectations they have!

    The same can be said about family who may grow and change in your absence ( as you report to be travelling a lot) without you realising and children who change as they grow but find it hard to be the person their family loves based on expectations and assumptions made before they became adults.