Here is part two of my reflections of an eventful 2012. If you missed part one, you can click here.
4.Fried from too much activity.
No doubt that 2012 was a productive year. The problem was, I got really, really fried. I was wearing plenty of hats, and there were lots of expectations in each of them. I’m not a very good multi-tasker, but I don’t think even the best jugglers would’ve be able to take on the schedule that I had without being a little burnt. Dad, husband, blogger, asst. head teacher, GM of a few projects, Lifeshaper, young couples discipleship group leader….oh dear.
My eldest daughter, Lynn, also felt the burn of overtaxing herself. After topping the high school entrance exam (one of the very few indicators of performance and ability, since there are no grades nor rankings in a Montessori Elementary program) expectations were sky high, both from us and what she placed on herself. She’s also one of the key players of the varsity soccer team, a team noted for winning championships. She also has been asked to be part of the worship team during youth ministry on Saturdays, and then later on she was noticed by the main music team and was sometimes asked to be among the main group as well, and they practice Saturday nights. Combine that with her teen girls discipleship group that meets every Saturday mornings, her Saturday schedule would mean that she leaves the house at 10am and would come back home at around 9pm, and then on Sunday she has to be at church by 7am and leave by 2pm. She’s also a member of my Lifeshapers team, and so every 1st Sunday of the month we lead the Kids’ Church, which is quite grueling (but very fulfilling), also requiring us to do the 7am to 2pm Sunday schedule.
She was a whirlwind of activity, but by the time December and her school’s 2nd trimester final exams came along, she was burnt to a crisp…and it showed in her grades. They weren’t tear-inducing terrible, but they were way, way lower that what she can do. As disappointed as we were on the results, nobody was more angry at Lynn than Lynn herself. It also made me reflect on my own burnt-to-a-crispness and here’s what I thought:
•No doubt we both have to unload in 2013; to declutter the excess weight. The key idea is to let go of activities where another person can take over and it would still move on without much change. We keep the activities that really require our specific gifts or else things will go south, pronto. We let go of the good, so that we can focus more on the great.
•We should also learn to Fill Our Tanks more, as a principle. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here…it would revolutionize your fight against burnout.
•Sleep. I now realize more than ever how critical sleep is to success. Activity is always birthed out of rest. A well-rested person would be a productive person. If I compromise sleep, my productivity and concentration are zombie-like.
A good friend of mine, a guy I’ve known for more than a decade, died this year. He lost his year-long battle with cancer. What got me thinking was that he was only 2 months my junior, at the prime of life. So, so young. We also had many of the same passions and advocate many similar things. He was also a great guy, to the point that at least one person had to ask, “Why did such a good guy have to go so early when there are so many cancers in society stick around?”
•Shameless plug alert: the next time you are thinking of buying a phone, please make it Cherry Mobile. Not only is it a proud Cagayan de Oro product, my late friend made the default ringtone..
•My friend's death is again another reminder to prioritize relationships. We just don’t know how much time we have we have with our loved ones, or how much time our loved ones have with us. I have seen nobody, my friend included, ask to hold his stock portfolio during the last moments of life. I’ve never seen anybody ask to see their trophies or accolades one last time. At their last moments, people realize what’s truly important: relationships. Don’t wait till death is imminent to realize this.
•These events force us to think of our own mortality. The guy was just two months my junior, so this hits especially home. Therefore, speaking of relationships, the most important relationship we can ever have is our relationship with God. As the often quoted verse goes, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36) I’m glad my friend spent the last years of his life doing only two things: 1) knowing God, 2) making Him known.
•Here’s a good video by one of my favorite speakers, Francis Chan, on what I just talked about:
6.Lessons Of A Dad’s 2012: A success, but do I need to add more teeth?
I’m gonna go straight to reflections, and so here I go:
•I was very pleasantly surprised that I was able to win the Goodblog Best Text Blog Entry. Even cooler is that I got some pretty nifty prizes because of it, such as a new watch (which my wife always uses), huge computer speakers, and (my favorite) a new backpack. Awesome, right? The article that I fielded to win that award was An Interesting BUY PINOY Experiment. If you haven’t seen it, check it out!
•A bigger blessing is hearing how some of my articles have gotten some people through pretty tough times. I love the comments, telling me that the articles gave them goosebumps, or have made them realize things (such as the one I made after the Colorado shooting tragedy).
•I’m thinking of starting another blog, this time on Real Estate (since I live in one of the better subdivisions in CDO, plus I sorta have my ear to the ground in the industry). As much as I love this blog, it’s not earning. I need to learn how to earn online.
•Honestly, I don’t know what’s in store for Lessons Of A Dad in 2013. While I love writing here, there’s a lot on my plate in other areas, such as work, my new blog project, ministry, and a re-dedication to being the best parent for my children. I make no bones that this is last on my list of priorities. However, I know I shouldn’t stop. The inspiration this site has given others is a wonderful testimony; and my boss himself said I have a gift. So…there’s more where that came from.
•2012, which was a very politically charged year, also make me think about putting some teeth into my posts. It was easier to write strongly about touchy issues when there were so few people visiting. But now with hundreds from all over the world visiting every day, I opted not to touch on them for fear of offending some readers. I didn’t want to get messy. However, I felt a bit guilty about playing it so safe and sanitary when a very controversial bill here in the Philippines passed recently and I did not give my voice on the subject (I was against it). I’m now thinking that this blog needs little messy now and then.
Well, I hope you enjoyed part two of my reflections for 2012 (click here for part 1). I hope your 2012 has been fruitful, and I pray that 2013 would be even better. God bless you all.
(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parenting, marriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul. I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site. You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)
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