The Advice Lead Dads Need

Build This Weekend’s Relaxation Into Your Routine

Eric Sherline, a pharmacist turned golf cart entrepreneur, has a motto he lives by, even when his wife and kids make fun of him for it: “You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you can help others.”

For him, that means building a bike ride or run into his day. It’s a good physical release. But it’s also a necessary way to recharge mentally. “Go and do it and get it out of the way, or you’re not going to make anyone else happy.”

There have been extremes – like the time he was so hangry that he fed himself before everyone else. But his premise – that self care is essential – rings true.

Over the 4th of July weekend, most dads and moms are going to relax. We’ll take a break from work and from the schedules that run our lives. Maybe we’ll go to the beach or a lake or to someone’s pool. We’ll grill and chat; we’ll drink and talk; we’ll sleep in if we’re off from work.

But will we be able to build this relaxation into our routines? Lounging by the pool on Tuesday isn’t going to advance anyone’s case for more work-from-home freedom and that’s not what I’m advocating. It’s finding that time as a Lead Dad to do what you need to do for yourself, even if it’s only for a half an hour a few times a week.

On this week’s podcast, Chris Bell talks about how he found fulfillment when being a Lead Dad meant there were certain things he couldn’t do any longer – or at least not as regularly as he’d have liked. A trained musician who has played widely, he now jokingly refers to himself as a ‘stunt guitarist’ – the guy who gets brought in to play the bring-down-the-house riff.

But gigging and dadding aren’t always compatible. They’re both evening activities, after all. So he began making instruments, starting with an apprenticeship to a luthier in Austin, Texas. After a few years, he set out on his own with Bell Tower Guitars. (The name comes from his childhood nickname – Chris Bell is not short.)

He’s making a few guitars a year, he said, but it’s become a passion – easier to fulfill than going on the road for a month. (He still plays gigs, though he’s selective.)

You can hear more about this guitarman’s Lead Dad journey by clicking Listen To The Latest Podcast Now!