Hey men, let’s be the men we want to be

First a reminder: My 10-weeks-men’s counseling group is starting soon. Due to schedule shifts for participants, the new start date will be January 25th, from 715-830 p.m. It will take place at my office in Midtown Sacramento.  If you’d like to learn more, please contact me at 916-919-0218.

I think this is a perfect time men to meet as a group. The world has been turned upside down, and men are being called to treat women in ways we never have. And we men are left at a loss for how we need to change. And it’s overwhelmingly difficult.

In previous groups, common themes have been relationships with their significant others, relationships with their kids, relationships at work, and how to blend it all together. We’ve also always focused on self-care. I’m beyond excited to get this going. Men, try it out. I also know we aren’t supposed to tell people what to do. But for those of you in relationships with men, maybe you can put this on his seat at the kitchen table.

Now I want to share a piece from the archives. It’s one from the summer, but it reminds me of how I want to be as a father and man.

NO REGRETS!!!

Open your mind’s eye for a second and flash to a bunch of dudes. Voices rising, they pound their chests and yell, “No Regrets!!!”  You try to ignore them, but secretly you roll your eyes, wonder what they don’t want to regret, and scoff at them.

And yet today, I’m feeling them. KD starts school tomorrow, and he has been acting out like crazy.  Defiant and difficult.  He’s getting under my skin big time. And I don’t even see him that much during the heat of the day. I don’t want to speak for my wife, but she’s with him full time. Enough said…

As a therapist who tends to be rough on myself and reflective, I’ve wondered if his acting out has anything to do with what I have done or not done.  Maybe if I spent more time with him.  Maybe if we’d played more sports together.  Maybe… I don’t know.

 

Yet, I’ve stopped myself: KD has had a dream summer.  We moved into a fabulous house. We vacationed in Los Angeles, where he got spoiled to high heaven at grandma and grandpa’s house. We took several trips to San Francisco and had great seats for a Giant’s game.  Etc…

Admittedly, that’s just stuff. And it isn’t stuff that makes for close relationships. It’s time, and could I have spent more of it with him?  Sure. But when a dad knows all the costs of the properties and rents for houses and hotels, you know he has played a ton of Monopoly. We don’t have all the chess pieces, and those we have are cracked. And we’re using checkers for the rest. I think we’ve played a ton of chess. As I write, there are half-played games of each in the living room. He and I have bbq’d numerous times, many of which have included friends over. I could go on and on and on…  I think he has had a pretty good summer. And I think he got a ton of quality time with his pops.

I know I’m being a little bit defensive.  Without a doubt, I could have been a better dad.  Around more.  Less crabby when I have.  Still, I’m with him 7 days a week in the am, and a good amount of time in the evenings and all day on weekends.  I’m a pretty good dad.  I’m the man I want to be!

Who the hell knows why KD is being so incredibly difficult.  I’m sure my imperfections are affecting him, but there’s tons more to it.  Maybe he’s just bummed out to be going back to school. I don’t know. And I’m done trying to figure it out.  So, as I sit in my office, I close my door, pound my chest, and quietly scream, “NO REGRETS!!!”

As usual, this therapist, parent, man and spouse muddles through life, doing the best I can.

Until next time…

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