Father, Fighter, Best Friend, TIRED

By Contributor Thomas Hand

 Being a Father First, a Best Friend to my Love, and an active Fighter, it all becomes hectic. Then you mix in that I work a full-time job for the Federal Government and I just graduated from a Dual-Bachelors program (with Honors), it all now just becomes the most crazy, exciting, and loving environment available! Our lifestyle can only be accomplished through patience, understanding, and Love! Love of each other, our children, and our second lives!

 It’s a pretty common thing for people to know me to make the comment of “I wish I had your energy!” or “It’s crazy, I don’t know how you do it!”. The Answer to the question… I don’t know either. It’s all done in the process of bettering OUR life, how our children see us, and how we view ourselves. The last one may seem inconsequential, but you always have to remember “In case of emergency, First put on your Mask!” A simple warning that doesn’t always make sense when you hear it. Too many times we’re busy trying to help others and while doing such we let ourselves fall apart, both physically and mentally!

 YOU cannot always be the focus, it’s just not feasible with all these kids and activities. The thing is that you have to make the time though! Tired is a process of life though, the thing is what do you do with your exhaustion? You have options, let the tired take hold or drive on and push through it. The thing about it is that with doing that you can burn out too, and they can be rough! Mentally, Physically, and especially emotionally.

 It doesn’t matter the Man, there is always a breaking point. You can put every tic mark in the tough guy checklist, Vietnam Father… check, 1 of 5 kids… check, Boy Scout… check, U.S. Marine… check, Hunter… check, Mechanic… check, Jiu Jitsu… check, Striking… check, and finally emotional! You can be all the MANS Man that you want, but you’re going to eventually have to crack the emotional wall down.  I have myself a best friend who is here to listen though, Katherine has become my emotional piggy bank.

(As I write this Callen, our 5th is sick and passed out. I skipped Gi class to come home and take care of house stuff and kid things because; Katie isn’t feeling so well either.)

It’s important to have someone to be able to share information with, someone who can help you break things down and make sense of it all, before it breaks you down. The challenge is balancing when to hold on to everything and when to let it out. It’s different for everyone, no single stream easy answer.  It all comes down to you, your grasp on things, and those people who are available to you in your life.

 After everything being said, the key take-away is that it is okay to have emotions. It’s acceptable to not always be ok. What’s not acceptable is to have people who depend on you and for you to allow controllable stress to destroy you and affect them. Be strong and let it out. If your tired, rest. You’re no good to the ones you love if you’re a physical and emotional mess.

I asked Thomas to write a blog from his point of view on how he does everything day to day with our busy lives. Truth be told he has way more energy than me and it comes in handy! I appreciate him sharing his perspective and I look forward to hearing more!

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