Reno Dad Josh Shinn asked a great question to our group about how we were managing a year into the pandemic. What have we learned? What are we looking forward to when we return to “normal?” What should “normal” be, anyway? Jake, David, and Jonathan all hopped on Zoom (naturally) to chat about how things are going a year into the Covid-19 global pandemic.
LEGOs and Conversations
To kick things off, Josh told us about the way he’s been able to see this time as having given him the opportunity to spend more time with his young family, and how that has led him to reassess what he used to consider as being his primary focus in terms of being recognized at work. Now, he says, he’s more aware of his connections at home, and that he’s trying to focus more on being “recognized” at home — being present, being an engaged dad — all of those things that don’t necessarily lead to higher pay or promotions, but certainly have provided Josh with greater happiness. How playing with his son and LEGOs has allowed him to have some pretty meaningful conversations with his son and that has led to his feeling that much more connected to him, as well. And he reminded us that the Dodgers won some big game or something…
Reframing the Question
Jake chimed in with some wisdom (as usual) about reframing the whole idea of what we “have” to do vs. what we “get” to do as a result of this time at home (for those of us who are able to work that way). We all spent some time reflecting on just how fortunate our group has been in this respect. We all know people who have been deeply affected by this virus and the economic disruption, and we know that not everyone will see a silver lining. Josh had a great comment that there is always an abundance of something when there’s a deficit in some area or another. If you have a deficit of time, you might have more money, or if you lose your job, there’s an abundance of time that you can use to learn or devote to a project. We know that this past year hasn’t been easy for everyone, but trying to reframe the situation with this mindset is one way for us to look for positive outcomes in what has been a year full of negative ones.
Baseball Soothes the Soul
David described how he’s been able to give his kids the ongoing opportunity to play baseball on a number of different teams, including with their travel team, and how that he understands that opportunity isn’t available for a lot of people. So he’s been really focused on making sure that whatever baseball can be made available here locally is available — putting his time and attention towards little league here in Reno has been an important part of his life before COVID-19, but has been even more important because he knows just how important having some sports available for kids can be. And while baseball can’t solve the problem for everyone, it does brighten those kids’ lives and gets them feeling a bit more “normal.”
Where We’re At
While the pandemic is far from over, we can start to see some light at the end of the tunnel and we thought we would take stock in how we’ve managed and what we’ve learned in the past 13 months. For this group of Reno Dads, we learned that one of our most important roles as fathers is to lead with love and compassion, as much as possible, since it’s that example that we set for our kids that will provide a foundation for how they respond to adversity and how they learn to persevere through challenges throughout their lives. As dads, we have to try to be the light in whatever part of the world we inhabit, for ourselves, our families, and our communities, especially when there has been so much darkness. That isn’t to say we can’t recognize the reality of situations, but to the extent that we can, to do our best to provide that compassion and steady love for our families is something we can all strive for. Jake also reminded us about the difference between the “sphere of influence” and “sphere of concern” — learning how to recognize the things that you have the ability to influence is an important skill to have when there are so many things we. might be concerned about but have little control over.
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