It’s not always about chewing on philosophy, pondering my future, or taking pictures of breaking waves and lipstick sunsets. If I’m on a bicycle for 90-120 minutes per day, theres plenty of time to contemplate my regrets — those regretful actions, regretful moments, and regretful words that I have created and cast upon others. I don’t have many, but those I do have carry a great deal of weight.
I’ll just be pedaling along, in tune with the rhythm of the road, enjoying the freedom of the glide, and taking it all in when they just pop into my head — regrets from days gone down. Most of what I regret has to do with divorce, being a father, and being a son. I’ve made many mistakes beyond those, but when it comes to family, there’s a clear line between mistakes and regrets.
I make mistakes every day of my life, and honestly, I don’t beat myself up too much over them. I simply aim to not repeat them. Most of the mistakes I make daily are forgivable, if not excusable. I try hard though, to keep my regrets to a minimum, because they always seem to involve people I love, and their residue lingers for years.
I heard some advice the other day that I had never heard before and I’ve been chewing on it these last few days while riding. It cane from the philosopher, Jonathan Rowson, in an interview for the radio show, On Being. Rowson was reflecting on advice somebody gave him before the birth of his first child. It went something like this…
“If you want to be a good father, the best thing that you can do is become a better husband…”
Now as simple and straightforward as that sounds, I had never heard it before. I know I hadn’t heard it, because if that advice had been given to me as an expecting father, I’m certain it would have impacted me, whether I headed it or not.
Sadly, it never occurred to me that as a new father the best thing I could do would be to become a better husband. It makes so much sense in hindsight, but nobody told me.
So as I pedaled my way through the hills last night, sped down the descents, and past vineyards attempting to run away from the day, sooth my soul, and to convert a half-dozen Reese’s peanut butter cups into movement, I contemplated a single regret — that I, as an expecting father, didn’t realize the most important thing I could do to be a good father would have been to become a better husband.
So if you’re reading this as an expecting father, as a recent father, or if you know anyone that falls into that category, please share this advice…
The best thing a man can do to become a good father is to become a better husband.
Hearing that in advance might truly shape the life of a child, the life of a father, and extend the life of a family.
Nobody told me.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
15.0 mph avg
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