Tag Archives: family

Can You Sense It?

Typically when I walk into a public restroom, my mind is focused on one thing. TOUCH AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. If you think too hard about all the potential creatures living on the floor of a truck stop bathroom on I-15, you get a little lump in your throat. If you stand and stare at the shiny, silver flush lever on the urinal and everything that it has seen in its lifetime, you might start to get a little dizzy. But when you approach the sink, covered in little pools of water, a small pile of soap under the dispenser and crumpled up paper towels that are overflowing the garbage can, you just get that nice anxious feeling inside. You know,  where you want to just leap out the door and get the hell out of there.

I am not a clean freak by any means. I am not a germaphobe. In fact most people consider me to be quite liberal in my hygienic practices. But I have spent a lot of time on the road this summer which means a lot of time away from the safety of my own private bathroom. I have noticed that there is an  increase of automatic sensors in public restrooms. You know the ones that flush for you, or turn on the water for you. I suspect it is to help remedy the anxiety described above. I can just imagine the sales pitch from the representative of the top bathroom sensor company.

“You see here bud, I can get you set up with the whole package. Urinal, soap, sink , towel and toilet sensors. To keep your bathroom cleaner, healthier and maintenance free.”

In theory, it sounds great, I can go to the bathroom where hundreds of other people go to the bathroom and not touch anything but myself.  But there is just one problem. I like to call it the “senseless sensor shuffle”.  You all know what I am talking about. It is like the sensors get a mind of their own. And they want to ensure you know that they are in charge of the general hygiene of the population.

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Let me walk you through a scenario:

You are at the toilet, no where near being done with your business, the toilet flushes. You are a little scared, but composed. You walk to the sink to wash. Hold your hand under the faucet to get them wet. Water comes out. You slide your hand under the soap. Nothing. You do it again. Nothing. You wait for the person next to you to move so you can have access to their soap. Swipe your hand under the second soap. Success! Lather. Hopefully for 20 seconds or more but you are already getting anxious to get out of the bathroom because this is just taking too long. You put your hands back under the faucet. Nothing. You pull them back and repeat. Nothing. You move them side to side. Nothing. Now you are waiting for the person next to you to finish because you can clearly see that their faucet is working. Standing, staring at yourself in the mirror, with nice soapy hands thinking about how rich you would be if you could invent something that would make you never have to go to the bathroom again and save you the embarrassment these sneaky sensors have caused you. Finally your turn. You place your hands under the sink! Nothing! You pull your hands back, close your eyes and say a little prayer in your mind to the Deity of your choice. Slowly you slide them under the faucet and like a volcano that has been dormant for thousands of years, it erupts! Spraying hands clean of all soap as well as your forearms and the crotch area of your pants. You quickly move toward the paper towel dispenser next to the over flowing garbage can, wave your hand under it aaanndd? Nothing.  Forget it! You give your hands a shake, spreading water on the floor and wall next to the door and bust out into great wide open using your foot to kick open the door like a secret The Rock in any of his fantastic movies.

Of course the anxiety level is compounded when supervising a 2 year old during this entire process. I know people are worried about the future of this country right now. But as long as the people that invented those bathroom sensors don’t get put in charge, we will have hope for a brighter future.

-Pitt

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Weekend Warrior or Adventurer?

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I have an office job. I have a wife with a job that she loves. I have a son about to start kindergarten. I have a daughter that has more control over my heart then Cupid himself. I have an unquenchable desire to explore and be on an adventure. Where do I find a balance to fulfill all my roles and pursue my desires?   Work and my career are necessary to participate in society but it also is the biggest hurdle. Modern society has put many of us in quite the predicament. Most people complain about how out of whack they feel when they get off schedule. Routine is seen as a savior and not a hinderance. At an early age we get the habit of making excuses because we do not have time. Or that we cannot do something because it does not line up with our normal routine.

The past few years there has been a huge increase of people that are quitting their 9-5, selling all their non essential belongings and hitting the road all in the name of adventure. #vanlife. They cannot handle the daily routine anymore. I understand this. I have thoughts of walking out the door of my office job and never looking back. I would love my life to be one big endless adventure. But I also want my wife and kids to be happy, have a social life, school experiences, a chance to have some roots if they want. It is hard to balance the drive for adventure and the desire to be home with my family.

A few years ago a guy named Alastair Humphreys introduced the idea of micro adventures #microadventure. Asking the question “What do you do with your 5-9?” In modern life, we are all sucked into the idea that the most important part of our day happens between 9-5. 40 hours a week we are required to be at work, school, or giving our time to someone else. That leaves 128 hours a week for us to accomplish other things in life. Yes we have to sleep, but most of us are willing to sacrifice some sleep every week to binge on a Netflix series. Yes we have to run errands, grocery shop, attend to responsibilities, But again most of this falls into the hours close to that 9-5 block.  With a little planning and creativity you have a lot of hours each week to accomplish so many things. How do you break out of the mold of being a working stiff and be an adventurer while still being a working stiff?

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I remember many years ago. I thought the title of “weekend warrior” was a derogatory term. I thought  adventures were not meant to be confined to just weekends. I always wanted to maintain the ability to drop everything mid week and chase a dream. Limited vacation days were something so corporate! My view changed once I landed my first 9-5 job. I came to realize the value of those 2 precious days at the end of the work week and the few weeks each year. They are greater then any paycheck, bonus, stock option or 401k. They are a saving grace, a therapist, a recovery sponsor.  I could not do it without them. Like a kid that has just stepped out of the candy shop with a bag full of loot, there is strategy and planning that goes into ensuring not one drop of sugar is wasted or left unappreciated. I have learned to plan and cherish every moment with my sweet time away from work. Whether that is with the family, or in the woods, or dreaming and creating schemes that I know no one will see the vision of except me. Luckily we all have the ability to find our own way to create adventure. It is quite easy for me. I live in a place where adventure is closer then my office. I do not need to load a van and drive across 6 states to get to where I want to be. I can find six lifetimes of adventures within a half days drive.

So here is my challenge to myself and anyone else that wants to join. I am going to accomplish 12 adventures before Halloween. Most will be micro. Some may be solo. A few may be total failures. Some may be with kids on my back. One will include roller blades.  And all of them hopefully will be unique and inspire you to think up an adventure for yourself. I will describe the pros and cons, the cost, my expectations and my lessons learned from each one.  Documenting the process on this blog each week I will prove to myself, a dad, 9-5er, weekend warrior, partial slave to the corporate world, that my adventurous spirit is alive and well and can be satisfied in-between my daily responsibilities.  Join me as I help to change your definition of adventure and help to recognize the many adventures waiting right outside your door.

-Pitt

@pittoman

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation”  – Yann Martel

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Love Language – Part Dad

It is funny that in the world love is portrayed by little red hearts, flowers, and romantic images. Love is nothing like that for me. I try to express love on a daily basis. But to each person it is expressed differently and really hearts and roses are rarely involved in most expressions of love. That is probably because most of the love in our life is not the romantic type. Most of the love that I have to give is sucked up by family and friends. And though that is expressed differently with each person, it all comes down to one simple principle of why we love. It would take to many pages to give examples of all the different relationships in our lives, so today I am focusing on dads.

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Earlier this week was an example of how my dad and I have interacted for the past 30 years. Becky, Emmett and I were driving home from a weekend in California. A little beach time to start the summer off right. About 2 hours from home our car decided it had enough and we found ourselves stranded on I-15 in central Utah.  Almost out of habit, the first person I called was my dad. Knowing that he was in Idaho and would not be able to do much from there, I knew that he would give me direction and let me  carry out what needs to be done. After listening to me babble about what happened for a few minutes he calmly gave me some suggestions and said good luck. That was all I needed and after a few more calls and some time hanging out it Fillmore Utah, we were on our way home. The next day he made his way to central Utah with me to retrieve the car. never once acting put off or unwilling to do anything to help.

My dad has always given me opportunities to grow and learn for myself, but he has always pointed me in the right direction to make sure my chances for success increased dramatically. Whether it was car problems, house projects, or career advice, he always strikes that perfect balance between telling me what to do and letting me figure it out on my own. This has led to amazing conversations that can last a long time as well as long periods of silence while sitting next to each other. There are not a lot of hugs exchanged or flowery messages or gifts. But laughter, insight and basic knowledge about life is always abundant.  Our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do.

I hope to be as good of a father to my son as my dad is for me. But right now our language of love is so much different.  If I want Emmett to know how much I love him I do it through grilled cheese, water guns and rescue stuff. Also by sharing my passions with him and teaching him the importance of adventure. Oh yeah there is also rough housing. Nothing says I love you like a body slam to the bed and getting beat with a pillow. Every night when Emmett goes to bed I say ” I love you buddy. You’re my best friend.”  He always repeats it right back to me. I don’t think he knows what it means. He just knows it as part of the bedtime routine.  He knows I love him because we have deep discussions about fire trucks and potato bugs. We have our secrets from mom and sneak each other candy from grandmas candy stash. But most important,  as with my father, our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do. At least the play part.

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If you were to illustrate expressions of dad love in my life there would probably be a picture of an extra gooey grilled cheese sandwich, late nights driving someplace, early mornings in the mountains and home improvement projects. Try to paint that picture and pass it off as a classic love scene. Most people would think it was complete randomness. But if I saw something like that, it would bring a tear to my eye. It would be speaking my language.

Next week, Love Language Part Dudes.


Bunch Ball

These pics are a couple weeks old, but I had to share Emmett’s first soccer experience with you. Emmett and I ventured to American Fork one Saturday morning during soccer season planning to cheer on Carter and Bailee in their soccer games. Once we got there, Emmett was invited to join his cousin’s team for the day because they were short a couple people. Truthfully, this was Emmett’s first exposure to the sport being played on his level. He jumped right in and loved it! SAMSUNG

Emmett and Carter are 18 months apart. They are best friends!
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Bunch Ball! This team is 3-5 year olds.SAMSUNG

Here’s Coach Pat showing them exactly what to do. He did a great job helping Emmett understand.

I think he got more exercise than the kids!SAMSUNG

Look at Carter go!  He scored a bunch of goals. His dad even put him back as goalie so the other team got a chance to be on offense.SAMSUNGThe soccer crew. Bailee, Addy, Carter, Emmett and Staten. Great job team!

Pitt and I both played and love soccer. Emmett can play locally in the fall. We are very excited about that!


Fall Family Fotos