Posted by: Dad...Guess What?! | June 1, 2013

Where do I begin?

IMG_2711There has been so much on my mind these past few months that I don’t even know where one thought starts and another ends.  One place to start was Memorial Day and it definitely helped put matters into perspective.  My oldest son took part in a Memorial Day tradition where Boy and Cub Scouts paid their respects by placing American Flags and leis on each tomb stone.  It was a wonderful experience.  My son was fascinated with the dates, the wars in which they served, and the branch they served in.  After soaking in the sacrifices these soldiers made for our country, it got me thinking about my challenges.

Right now, I think I can arrow it down to three things – family, work, and music, although they are all tied together.  Let’s start with work.  I’m realizing that it is possible to mature professionally.  Not that I was conducting myself in an unprofessional manner in any way, but I am now building up the courage to rise above the bureaucracy and focus on what I was hired to do.  This all started when I noticed some of my colleagues where doing things that were more self serving versus serving the people we were hired to help.  There were discussions around how to refer people versus how to help them; and there were purchases where the monies could have gone to the people we were hired to help versus themselves.  I was getting so wound up in the drama that came along with this degree of bureaucracy that I started to become extremely judgmental and participate in this superficial dialogue.  In the process, I’ve isolated myself professionally where my wife provided her insights and said it was “unhealthy.” I get the occasional office grumbling at the water cooler but on a daily basis throughout the day is not good.  In any case, as I reflected on my situation I am realizing that I am playing the victim.  I’m in full control of how I view and handle things – it is tough no doubt – but I have full control.  What do I do now?  I suppose I need to center myself and reconnect to why I chose this profession.  And once that is established, I need try my hardest to preserve integrity.  Rather than ignore the noise, embrace the noise and turn it into music that I can understand then redirect in a positive way.

Which brings me to my music.  I am fortunate to have been a part of very talented and patient set of musicians…and friends.  One my band mates, who is probably one of the strongest persons I know, has been (and is still going through) one of the toughest challenges in his life.  Even though the challenges he was going through could bring down any strong-willed individual – he managed to perform at our show last month.  In fact, I would say most of my band mates have their life’s challenges but have the strengths to pull through and just turn it around – not ignore it but redirect in a positive way.  And that is something I need to do.  Since our show last month, I have not touched my drums and my inspiration is fairly low.  Much like work, I have the power to change my attitude.  I just have to do it.  Anyway, I have so much to learn from my band mates.

In all my challenges, my foundation has always been my family.  It seems no matter what I go through, my family places everything into perspective.  From my sons’ wanting me to pick out the best drawing they did in school to acknowledging my wife with, well, everything.  Kind of like my work, I need to refocus on what really matters.  My colleague asked if I was going for another promotion.  My response – “my family is my promotion.”  I’m not exactly sure how that was received but I really don’t care.  I think my response symbolizes how life should work.  Place priority on things that matter and making sure I take care of those that truly matter.  I suppose it is similar to the soldiers my son visited the other weekend.  They had a strong understanding of priority and delivered it to the best of their ability.  In return, their actions helped and impacted thousands of people.  For me, I need to be the soldier of my family, which I hope will impact what I do at work and how I perform with my band.  We’ll see where this goes.



  1. That photo brings an instant ‘tear-up’ moment. Your son and his friends should be very proud of themselves.

    • Mahalo for the comment! Yes, they felt very honored to have participated in the event.

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