How To Find Time To Have Fun

And Still be a Good Lead Dad

Several months ago my friend VJ invited me to the three-day member guest tournament at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Golf is my sole hobby and Philly Cricket is one of my favorite clubs.

It was guaranteed to be fun.

The issue? It was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A pretty long time to be away for something that couldn’t be justified on purely work grounds. Plus, I’d be having fun and my wife would be juggling a lot.

I agreed to and canceled trips like this in the past. Last summer I scheduled a golf trip to Cabot Links with three friends. But it turned out that was the weekend we’re set to pick up our oldest daughter at sleepaway camp. I canceled that – with much ribbing from my non-Lead Dad pals – but it was easy to do: I wanted to be there to pick up my daughter.

This time there was nothing standing in my way so I decided to go. I justified it in several ways. I’d meet interesting people who might want to know more about The Company of Dads. I’d have fun with a friend and surely make more friends. And maybe we’d win something. So I talked to my wife, put it in the family calendar and began planning.

In the process I thought of how JR Havlan, who was in EP19 of our podcast, got ready for a round of golf he and I played. It was an organizational feat. He made lunches the night before, he organized the breakfasts, he made sure his children would be off to school so it wouldn’t impact his wife’s day. But really, he thought through as many of the logistics of the day as he could. (This is serious stuff for a guy I consider the funniest Lead Dad in America.)

And it worked. We had fun. His kids got off to school. His wife’s day went fine.

To go away for three days involved more from me and it didn’t come off without a hitch. All the predictable stuff was handled – from appointments, to money left out for an afternoon babybsitter to camp lunch bags laid out. But then my youngest came down with a cold. The young dog tore her stitches. Something about the best laid plans….

We didn’t win our flight in the tournament either, but that had little bearing on my fun. I met interesting guys and we talked about all kinds of things – some of it pure nonsense. It was a bit of self care. It’s easy to put that off. And that’s not good for anyone.