It has been a very surprising and humbling few days. After my announcement earlier this week of my “retirement” from the sports writing world, I was bombarded with words of surprise, sadness and well-wishes for my future from friends and fans on both Facebook and Twitter. Each and every one of the messages I received were very special to me and I plan on responding to each of you who took the time to send those words when things calm down a little.
Thank you to all of you for that. It meant the world to me.
After the news was out there, I tried to get off the computer and stay away as much as possible for a while. I felt I needed to do so in an effort to make a decision, stick with it and begin the new journey as soon as possible. Rather than looking back and feeling some level of sadness towards the era of my life that was ending, I preferred to look forward with excitement towards what lies ahead. This was the right decision to make for me and I had a great week.
Although I made my decision and was confident I made the right call, I received all the verification I needed this week. When I informed my kids of my life change—and it just happened to be at different times, rather than together—each of their immediate reactions was to say, “Yay!” My daughter even did a little dance, celebrating the news. To be honest, I was rather surprised of these reactions and asked each of them to explain their thoughts and feelings to me.
My son expressed his pleasure over now having more opportunities for “boy time” with Daddy, as this is incredibly important to him. For those who don’t know already, my son’s name is Ethan and he is 8-years old. It’s an incredible time with him because he is in that phase of wanting to impress his Dad all the time with his feats of strength and overall manliness. He even has said he plans to live with me forever because his I am his best friend. While I know this phase will end someday and soon enough he won’t want me around, I know I must use this time wisely to teach him some of life’s most important lessons for a future man.
Alex, my 7-year old daughter, missed me so much that she asked her Mom for an extra evening where it was just the two of us. She is a Daddy’s girl and when I asked her for some ideas of what we should do with all the time we will now have together due to my decision, her ideas were simplistic, easy to do and exactly the types of things I longed to do more of now. She came up with two and they were, “Go on more walks together” and “Read more stories at bedtime.” Done and done, little girl.
As I mentioned, I was slightly surprised by their initial reactions because I always felt I did a solid job in balancing my incredibly important duties as Dad with my writing. While I may have balanced the two well, apparently it wasn’t as perfect in my kid’s minds. We’re now in the process of creating a list of things we want to do together before the summer ends…and all three of us will enjoy each and every second. I know I have to embrace this special time with them before they don’t want their Dad around as much.
One of the questions asked most to me in the past few days has been some form of, “What does the future hold?” Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. The job search continues and I spend as much quality time with my children as possible. That’s it and I am completely committed to doing just that.
I was able to sit down last night, kick back and watch the replay of the Minnesota Lynx/Tulsa Shock game, followed by the USA men’s basketball exhibition since the kids were with their Mom. It was an odd experience for me to watch the games since I was able to do so with a fan’s eyes, not thinking ahead to the story I would have to write or thinking up some interview questions for post-game. It’s is definitely going to be an adjustment because I was fighting with myself, just trying to relax. What a tough situation I find myself in, trying to learn how to relax? It seems silly, but it’s true.
This blog is not going to turn into a “my kids and I did this today” blog, but that will be the topic sometimes. I plan to discuss music, movies, television, literature or whatever else comes to mind on a day I feel the need to write. I’m looking to you as well, dear readers, as to topics to discuss here. If there is any sort of news story you think I may find interesting, between Facebook, Twitter and in the comments here, you can get it to me. I may not always respond as quickly as I did before since part of the journey involves learning how to “unplug” and relax more, I will eventually see it. You all are incredibly creative and I know you will find awesome stuff to discuss.
Thanks again for all the kind words the past few days. As I set off on this journey, it is amazing to know the amount of support I have. I will never be able to repay that feeling of confidence you have instilled in me.