I am mighty proud to have my Pardy Man guest blog this week! Josh Pardy is more than just a handsome hubby and devoted daddy...he's also a pretty kick-butt writer. Check out his last guest-blog here, and enjoy this week's latest lesson in his life...
Sometimes a guy just needs a reminder. And though it may sound and look trite, I can’t tell you how many times that simple alert has saved me…and more importantly, my wife and kids. Owning a GPS-ed, WiFi-ed, podcasting, text-receiving smart phone is just the best thing ever. Sure I had to learn to limit myself when I discovered the likes of Angry Birds and Grantland, but the technology that is forevermore in my pocket functions as not just a great time-waster (though it certainly is that), but a powerful tool to help remind me of what’s truly important.
It all started when I upgraded my phone and discovered a little thing called “proximity reminders”. It’s actually pretty simple, you add a reminder to your phone, and rather than have it alert you at a certain time, you set the alert for when you get close to a pre-determined place. As long as you don’t ever check the box next to the reminder, it will alert you (ad infinitum) as you approach your destination, day in, day out. Ok, so maybe not so simple.
In my case, I have the reminder “Be A Good Dad/Husband” set to alert me when I arrive at destination: Home. Unless my phone is dead, it literally never fails. As I come driving up to our apartment, the GPS senses that I am close to “Home,” and sends me a quick little ping: “Be A Good Dad/Husband.”
“Be A Good Dad/Husband.” Gee, certainly easier iReminded than done. As a man, I take the responsibility of providing for my family very seriously. I work hard, I get exhausted and elated, I can feel frustrated and sometimes just straight down-in-the-dumps. And though I would love to say that simply seeing my girls causes all of that tension to just melt away, the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t.
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This Dad/Husband needs himself a reminder because he can carry around all of those raw emotions and totally miss the sweet simple joy that seeing his family can bring him after a long day at the office.
And let me tell you, if I am willing to pay attention to it, this little reminder works! Even after my most intense or draining days, somehow (God’s grace, most likely) seeing that little ping helps me reframe my mind, marshals energy from an unknown source, and readies me for whatever I may find when I open that door to the house.
Probably the best part about it is, I set the reminder because I know it’s important. Therefore, I am communicating my own desires to my own self in a way that won’t drive myself totally crazy. I have only myself and my silly iPhone 4 to blame if I begin to feel nagged.
In the beginning, it was actually sort of embarrassing. What kind of freako needs a proximity-based reminder to alert him of the fact that his kids need a hug, his wife needs a kiss, and everyone will need a healthy amount of attention before the night is over? Well, truly, this freako needs it! So I would make sure to dismiss the alert from my phones notification screen prior to walking in the door. The alert would serve its purpose, and I would walk in ready to be the best Dad/Husband ever and no one would be the wiser to my little iParenting life-hack.
But, one day I forgot to clear the screen. I came in, threw my iPhone on the coffee table, plopped down and began to hear about my girls’ respective days when wouldn’t you know it, Emily went to hand me my phone and discovered the secret of my success. “Be A Good Dad/Husband” right there on the screen. I mean really, how do you explain that?
“What’s this?” She asked. “Oh, uh. It’s just, like… a little something that I do…” I stammered back. Then I copped to it and told the whole story.
Thankfully Emily thought it was sweet and not at all freakish. But, I won’t lie, it was embarrassing! It was then that she affirmed to me that with or without the alert, I was doing a great job as a Dad and Husband. We had a good laugh about it, but even still, most days I still need that reminder.
Now I consider my proximity alert something of a merit badge that I will forevermore be pursuing. It pings, I unashamedly take in its simple, yet profound message, I walk in the door and try to be a good a Dad/Husband. That is one reminder box that I have never checked, and never will, because the work of a good Dad/Husband is never done.