A Father's First Day

June 17, 2014

A Father's First Day


Last Sunday was my first Father's Day, and it wasn't what I expected....
Father's Day is when Dad gets special treatment, right? You go out to eat where he wants, buy him something cool and mow the lawn so he doesn't have to. And so I went into Father's Day with that mindset -- my day. And sure enough, when my day came I heard over and over, "It's your day! Do what you want!"
What did I want? If I really had what I wanted, I would have gone on a surf adventure that lasted all day, to a break my family probably would not have enjoyed, and eaten tacos afterwards at T2 Tacos. And that's not because I didn't want to hang out with my family -- I love my family -- but if you give me a day and call it mine, I'm going to do something I love doing, but probably don't get to do that often; which in this case was go on a surf adventure to a gnarly spot.
My friend Russell at the gnarly spot (photo by @jinheejoung).

But what kind of a Father's Day is that? Dad out in the ocean with some friends while the family hangs back home -- it might as well be called Act-like-a-Bachelor Day. A father isn't a father, after all, without his family.
So maybe Father's Day is less about doing what I want to do, and more about being a good father? There was just one problem -- I still kept hearing "it's your day" and I really wanted to go surfing. Therein lies my issue, but also my point: life is about balance.
When I graduated high school I asked my dad to give me one piece of advice. He said to keep my life in balance the best I could -- work, school, family, God, hobbies...all in balance. It's been many years since I received that advice, and I still haven't figured out how to do it. However, it has been a recurring theme in my life lately, and will be for some time I suspect, so I might as well keep trying.
Unbalanced = bad ride

I ended up spending my Father's Day at church, and then going to lunch somewhere I enjoyed, but wouldn't have been my first choice (I didn't want to subject my family to cheap tacos). After that, I spent a good bit of time with my family and then went for a quick surf at a nearby break I've been meaning to try, followed by a movie at a friend's house. It felt like a pretty balanced day -- and that was good.
So my Father's Day was a mix of selfishness and sacrifice. I'm not sure if I did it right, but it at least felt like one more step towards a life of balance, and that's okay with me.

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