RELATIONSHIPS

Fly The Jet

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. Every aviator knows that’s the correct order in which you do those three very important tasks. Yet many jets have crashed while the crew was busy looking at the charts or talking on the radio. While the things they were doing were very important they failed to do the one thing that was most important - fly the jet. 

As husbands and fathers we need to make sure we aren’t busy doing a lot of other very important activities while the one thing that is the most important in our life crashes and burns around us.  

We might be doing great things, and doing them very well, but if we put them before family, then we’re failing as men.

It doesn’t matter how great our golf game, trophy deer hunts, or promotions at work are; if we’re not dating our wife and spending quality time with our kids then we’re failing in the most important thing.

Family. Work. Hobbies. Every successful husband and father knows that’s the correct order of those three very important things. Recheck the calibration on your priorities so that the legacy you leave behind isn’t an example of how not to live.

Dads and Daughters

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We men love being fathers to our little girls. We love how they look up to us, and see us as the hero who kills spiders and opens the peanut butter. As long as they are little and cute we’re on top of our dad game. But the idea of that little girl hitting puberty terrifies most men. Will things get weird? Will she even want us around anymore? Will we still hug?

One of the finest books on this subject is Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, by Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician and counselor. This book helped prepare me for my role as my little girl gets older.

The biggest thing I learned was how incredibly significant a dad is in the life of a girl. We’re so essential to her self-esteem, mental health, and well-being that it cannot be overstated. She learns her value from us, and forms her opinion of men and the world in general from how we treat her. 

Don’t believe the sitcoms that portray dads as irrelevant. Lean into your role, and keep hugging her when she’s 16 the same way you did when she was 6!

Fat, Dumb, and Happy

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There’s a saying in the Air Force that someone is “fat, dumb, and happy,” whenever they take a break from actively flying to momentarily look out the window. This often happens while someone is grabbing a bite to eat. 

For that moment they’ve stopped being a crewmember and become a passenger. Their head is not in the game as they take a break to enjoy the beauty of the world outside their window.

It’s ok to take a small break during a long flight, but if you spend too much time day dreaming out the window you’re going to drift off course – or crash.

Too many men are flying through their life fat, dumb, and happy while their relationships drift off course. They’re paying more attention to their football team then who their kids hang out with. They’re gazing at their phone and don’t notice they’re losing altitude at home.

As men, we need to pay attention to what’s truly important: family dinners, bedtime stories, date nights, and making fun family memories together. Don’t go through life fat, dumb, and happy thinking only of yourself. Stop daydreaming, and make a plan to get back on course.