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Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Dad's Point of View: A Different Set of New Year’s Resolutions

I hate New Year’s Resolutions. I swore I’d never write one. I misspoke. So, this is going to be a New Year’s Resolutions column, with a twist: it will include both resolutions and wishes. I am going to mix my own personal resolutions and wishes with those I project for others, and the world. In no particular order, herewith my New Year’s Resolutions and wishes:

* I hope for a New Year with true conciliation and dialogue between our political parties and, on a more personal level, between each of us that may differ on a particular political issue. It has gotten way too divisive and angry.

* My boys are not little kids anymore. I need to really listen to them and try and understand their concerns vs. interrupting them and lecturing them. While they’re not adults, they deserve more respect and treatment as their own individuals.

* With the recent happy ending result for David and Sean Goldman (a father an son separated by an abduction to Brazil and re-united on Christmas Eve, after five years), I wish for less acrimony between divorcing spouses and a little more care and concern for the children. All so-called Family Courts and the CPS (Child Protection Services) should actually care about is the children’s welfare. That is why I’ve called these courts, “Anti-Family Courts.” I also want to use my forum, through my columns, Facebook “fan” page (please join it at “A Dad’s Point-of-View” on Facebook), and web-site, to learn more myself and disseminate useful information on these issues.

* Fact and declaration--I love my wife. She’s gone through a heck-of-a-lot of adjustment in the short time we’ve been together--in joining with us three boys and two dogs. I need to be more patient, caring, and open to her needs and feelings. She’s a “keeper” by any definition and I should continue to court and woo her--every day!

* E-mail has become a sort of crutch for me, because it’s so easy. And, it allows me to be lazy when a phone call would be more appropriate. I vow to pick up the phone more often. More specifically, I promise to call my wife more often vs. sending an e-mail. I know she prefers that, so enough of me being a stubborn mule.

* Write and publish my book. I won’t get lazy and I will finish the book proposal and then get it done!

* A “wish” is that the Climategate scandal will begin a renewed and fully disclosed appraisal of the now questionable scientific consensus about global warming and climate change. Hopefully a fully open and honest scientific method, and research, will reveal the truth, whichever way it goes. The truth should prevail, not an agenda. I fear that this has done to scientific research what Watergate did to our trust of politicians.

* I’ve never made or even thought of this resolution, as I’ve never had the need. After a bad ski accident last May, I gained 15 pounds that I have not been able to lose. I can’t exercise any more than I do, as it’s more than enough, so I must adjust my diet. I don’t want to. Waaahhhh. But, I resolve to lose those extra pounds even if I have to give up all that fried food that I love.

* Friends are important and they don’t develop by themselves. I have many “old” friends but making new friends has been harder, especially now that I’m re-married. My wife and I are very outgoing, but neither of us has made that extra effort to develop new couples friends to enhance our social circle. I want to improve on that.

* I wish that my older son, who just turned 16, finds the same motivation and determination concerning his schoolwork as he has towards his music. He knows and accepts that a “B” average is a family requirement to get his driving license. I hope he achieves it, thus easing up on my chauffeur duties.

* My wife is going through a rough career period. I fervently hope that she finds satisfaction, success, and the sense-of-purpose that she deserves as she moves forward in the new direction she’s embarking on.

* During my life I’ve struggled with patience or, more accurately, impatience. My family correctly describes me as always rushing and hyper. Yes, I’m high energy, but it wouldn’t hurt me and those around me if I were to slow down a bit.

* In my men’s work we talk about not allowing the “little boy” in us to control our actions. When our kids act that way, we call it “pouting.” Sometimes, as much as I know better, I pout and let my “little boy” control me. I know better--especially with my wife. When I feel she’s in a poor mood, I need to ask what’s the matter vs. making any assumptions that it was something I might have done.

* I’d like to argue less and make love more (with my wife, needless to say).

Please visit www.brucesallan.com to contact Bruce and to enjoy the various features his new Web site offers, including contact info for advice and coaching, an archive of his columns, general contact info, links to his published work, photo galleries, and reader comments, plus much more. Bruce Sallan was an award-winning television executive and producer for 25 years. Google him if you really want to know more (e.g. his credits). When his boys were quite young, Bruce left show biz to become a full-time Dad. Shortly thereafter his marriage ended and his wife abandoned their children, leaving the State. Bruce found himself a full-time single Dad, in his late forties, as well as a returning single man to the changed world of cyber-dating. It became a classic “sandwich” situation when he also began to care for his ailing parents. He began writing various blogs on the dating sites he used as well as articles for local publications. The goal of his column, A Dad’s Point-of-View, is to primarily focus on parenting and occasionally other issues from the male perspective. Presently, his column is available in over 75 newspapers and Web sites in the U.S. and internationally. Bruce lives in Agoura, California with his second (and last) wife and two boys, who are 16 and 13.

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