Saturday, November 27, 2010
Greetings from New Orleans!
I try to do a post each day, no matter how short or simple it may be. At the same time, I don't believe in writing a post just for the purpose of writing one. The vision for The Upbeat Dad is way too vast for me to make meaningless posts.
Just know that whether I make a one paragraph post or an extended one, I count it a privilege to share thoughts with you that I believe will ultimately make you a more effective father. And if you happen to be a non-father but you share our vision to see kids' lives positively impacted by their dads and father figures, also know that I value you greatly and will always try to share words to uplift and encourage you.
Having said this, let me say that on the way back from Texas, our family and extended family decided to make a brief stop in New Orleans. And that stop has had such a profound effect on me - so profound that I think there needs to be a separate post on it.
So this coming Monday, I will be writing about it. The essence of that post will be that the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and pretty much written off. But today, as we toured the French Quarters and the city, New Orleans is quite alive.
I think some of you are like this great city - written off, left for dead but you refused to sit back and let your obituary be written. Whether you went through a tough divorce or you had a huge financial setback as a provider, you may very well have been written off. But yet you're still standing.
Anyway, I won't give away the entire post here. Look out for it this coming Monday. It's gonna be powerful and I really believe that there will be a life lesson in it for each of us.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Stay upbeat and we'll "speak" soon.
The Upbeat Dad
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Holiday Season is Here!
Some of you may be wondering about today's Upbeat Dad of the Week feature. It's a feature we started 3 weeks ago to highlight our dads who exhibit special qualities that make them exceptional dads. And earlier this week, I promised that for today's feature I would have the readers submit 3 to 5 sentences that I would then share with the larger audience of readers.
I have noted that since the start of this week, because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there's less activity on the blog and Facebook page than usual. This is certainly understandable. As I type this, for instance, people who might normally be at work or otherwise engaged in on-line activity are crowding the malls on this Black Friday - the first official day of the Christmas shopping season. So I thought that, rather than highlighting these great dads to a smaller audience, I'd do that post next week Friday.
So for those who have submitted your wishes for your dad before, don't worry, we'll still highlight them. And if you haven't submitted one for your dad, you can do so up until next Wednesday, December 1. Then on Friday, December 3, we'll publish them.
I hope that thus far, you've experienced the love of family and friends this holiday season. And for the remainder of the season, may peace, love and prosperity be yours.
The Upbeat Dad
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
I trust that your day is off to a wonderful start! And I hope the remainder of the day is special for you and yours. My wife, my children and I are in Houston, Texas with my parents, siblings, their spouses and children, and many more relatives and friends. It's a very special time for us!
Instead of doing an extended post today, I'm going to share with you what has been one of the most read posts since we launched the blog. It's my personal Thanksgiving story about my divorce in 2001 and how things are so different now in 2010. I shared it this past Monday. I repeat it here because it teaches us that in what might seem to be the worst of circumstances, we can still find much to be thankful for. Now, I'm so thankful that I'm having the time of my life with the persons who mean the most to me!
Here's that post -Thanksgiving 2010 vs Thanksgiving 2001: What a Difference!
I recognize that for different reasons, this may not be the happiest Thanksgiving Day for you - particularly if you are like the brother of a colleague of mine who's dealing with the awful reality of divorce during this holiday season. I have arranged to speak with him this afternoon because while many of us celebrate and have a great time, there are others among us who are hurting.
Regardless of anything you may be facing at this point, I trust that this article that you just read will be an encouragement to you and that it renews your hope in the timeless proverb: Love conquers all! May you find find everything to be thankful for on this special day. Because even in the most challenging times, we seem to find some of the biggest blessings.
I wish each of you the very best of what life has to offer. And may this day be filled with wonderful and precious memories that last a lifetime!
The Upbeat Dad
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
And best of all, we're taking a road trip! We live in Miami, Florida and my parents, brothers, their families and other family members live in Houston, Texas. We're driving with several members of our extended family from Florida.
So as I type we're in north Florida. Don't worry - I'm not typing and driving! For now I'm a passenger. But in a short while I'll be driving.
As I mentioned on yesterday's post, this is a week of Thanksgiving for the dads in our lives. One staple in the American family experience is the road trip! There's something about this time on the road that brings a unique level of bonding not known otherwise.
Did you see the early 1980s movie National Lampoon's Vacation with Chevy Chase, Beverly DeAngelo and a young Anthony Michael Hall? That movie ought to be preserved in a museum so that generations of Americans to come can enjoy a classic, memorable family road trip. Things didn't always go quite right with that family. But they got to their destination despite some bumps along the way.
Do you have any special recollection of family road trips? I recall as a child growing up in Jamaica, my dad always took us on road trips - sometimes to the big city, Kingston. Sometimes to the zoo. And of course to the beach.
Then when we came to the United States and lived in Houston, our road trips took us to different destinations but the experience was just the same - we grew closer as a family.
You see, back then, there was no cell phones; no iPods or iPads; just the radio and a captive audience - each other.
As an adult now, some of my best childhood memories were from those road trips. So I'm trying to keep the cycle going for a next generation.
Our son is a few months old now. In a short while, I'm sure we'll begin making a periodic "pilgrimage" from Miami to Orlando to visit Mickey Mouse and his friends at Disney World! I know when my daughter was much younger she enjoyed those experiences.
Do you have memories of family road trips? Some of us are fortunate to have had that experience but I realize that not each of us was so privileged.
If you're a dad, what are you doing to create lasting memories with your children? Road trips are great and you should try them. But on a day to day or week to week basis there are simple things you can do. Go to the park. Or to the zoo. To the community pool. Or fishing.
We're thankful for our dads and our families for helping to create lasting memories. In this season of thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for. And we're thankful for the opportunity that some of us have to create lasting memories with our own families.
Before I close, remember (from yesterday's post) to submit a 3 to 5 sentence greeting or tribute to your dad. And on Friday we'll share it with the world in our "Upbeat Dad of the Week" feature.
We'll be in touch tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day! Have a great one!
The Upbeat Dad
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tell Your Dad Thanks (While the World is Listening!)
- Email: email@example.com
- Post a message on our Facebook page
- Comment on this post here on the blog
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thanksgiving 2010 vs Thanksgiving 2001: What a Difference!
Then my parents, my brothers and their wives were there for me. Other family members, friends and so many individuals shared such encouraging words. And many helped to relieve the huge financial burden that I was dealing with. My sister and her family housed me for 18 months while I tried to get back on my feet.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Facing Hard Times? Don't Worry, It's Just Part of the Plan!
Be sure to read tomorrow’s post. I will share with you my personal story that took me from the crisis of my divorce in 2001 to the happiness of my marriage now in 2010. It’s a story that I feel certain will be an encouragement to you.