As I put my middle son Hamish to bed last night, he rolled away from me.
“What’s going on buddy?” I said.
“I didn’t get to spend any time with you today”.
He was not a happy camper.
He didn’t want to talk.
I said to him, “Ok, buddy, look… when I get home tomorrow after work, let’s hang out.”
I arrived home and literally had the appointment in my calendar flash up…
“Hangout with Hamish 6–8 pm.”
I come home.
I go down on my knees to give him a hug…
And he says…
Can I have your phone?”
I lost this round.
Phone 1. Dad 0.
And this is not an unusual battle for my house and I keep losing.
The weird thing is that Hamish will most likely still feel like he didn’t have enough time with me…
Even though he was the one who chose the phone over hanging out…
What’s worse for me, is that both my boys love playing...
It has now been raining for many weeks in the Byron Shire.
As in, it seems like it has been raining FOREVER…
It’s a funny thing to live here…
It takes 3 or 4 months for people to start complaining about too much sun…
Yet after even 3 or 4 DAYS, it is enough for people to start complaining about the rain.
“When is it going to stop raining?”
“No wonder it is called the Northern Rivers, it never stops raining…”
The amount of rain does make distinct problems around my house.
The grass is sodden.
I can’t mow because the mower will tear the grass to shreds with its wheels…
And the whole thing gets covered in mud.
This leads to longer grass and it takes even longer for the ground to dry out.
Water is pooling in lots of places.
What is most interesting is that after all of this rain… it is very clear where my property can and cannot handle the amount of water we are experiencing.
We did not consider drainage very...
Yesterday Emma had to help out covering another family whose turn it was to drive to Lismore.
Em wanted them to drive the 10 minutes between our house and theirs and come and pick their child up.
The other family said, “it’s just another 10 minutes, can’t you do it?”
Except for it is a round trip 90 minutes to Lismore already, and while it might be 10 minutes to them but it's another 10 back to a total driving time of 110 minutes for her.
The family wrote back that they would have to interrupt their dinner to come and pick up their child.
At this point, Em lost it and said we are out of the carpool.
Not only did they fail to take their Friday to drive to Lismore, but then complaining that their dinner was being interrupted to come and pick up their own child was too much.
I agreed 100%.
We decided it was critical to cut ties and run.
It might mean we are now driving 3 times a week to Lismore, but that is little cost compared to being around such toxic values....
I am very fortunate to have a pretty darn epic drive home.
Often I will take the back roads from Mullum, through the rolling, green farmlands of Myocum, popping out at the new highway interchange and heading back onto the now nearly deserted old highway—the Hinterland Way.
It’s a very fun drive.
Curves, dips, hills.
Sure there are a bunch of potholes but, hey, if its one thing Byron Bay is known for outside of its beaches, its the Shire’s potholes.
It takes me about 25 minutes from leaving work to pull into the street I live in, drive down my driveway and come home.
Now, while this time is a fun drive; an opportunity to listen to a podcast or two or just chill, there is one important task to do.
And that is to ask myself the question—Are there any patients I am still thinking about?
Is there something tugging at my awareness that today, in some shape or form, something unusual happened in a consult.
Did I promise something I didn’t do?
Did I give in to...
So today I finally got to record some videos I have been trying to make for about 2 weeks…
Slides were done.
Computers set up.
Screenflow software ready.
Zoom software ready.
Haircut yesterday, looking sharp.
The first recording… No worries at all.
Second recording… all good.
Third recording—halfway through and I get a warning on one of the computers… “Your internet connection is unstable”
Perhaps Telstra was doing some upgrade work.
Perhaps the internet fairies were on strike.
Either way, the outcome for me was that one of the video feeds dropped out completely.
I try again.
The same thing happens.
I try a third time.
The fourth time, I get it to work, but I have no idea whether the gaps can be fixed in editing or it’s just going to look very average.
I was on fire when presenting too, and so to have this happen really, really annoyed me.
So much so that I was actually considering getting another office...
I just completed the second quarter of my year.
And in doing so I am reviewing how did I go?
I had a three-month plan and overall I did ok.
From 1 April, my target was to do 3 unassisted chin ups… DONE.
My target was to have my daughter sleep in her bed… DONE.
My target was to be performing a regular kirtan… NOT DONE.
My target was to have a weekend away with my wife… NOT DONE.
As you can see… some got done. Some did not.
So I am creating my next 3 month targets.
And a critical step is to actually look not at what got done and what did not…
But: Where am I now?
This is the first critical step.
If I skip this and just go ahead and create my next targets, then it becomes far more difficult because the journey from where I think I am and where I actually am, are two very different experiences.
And if I run with where I think I am, suddenly my chances of actually completing my targets decreases substantially because I am living in a fantasy,...
Today I had a medical student for both sessions of GP.
She’s ultra keen and it is fun to have her enthusiasm in the room.
Everything is new to her.
Everything interesting and fascinating.
It is the benefit of the beginner’s mind…
And I recognized myself as her back in 2000.
Except I wasn’t anywhere near as enthusiastic.
Some of the time I was barely keeping my eyes open.
This may have been through decreased sleep or through a particular sensitivity, I have to carbohydrates inducing sleep in me, especially if I was just passively watching.
One of the outcomes of these experiences has been to greatly value giving my medical students the opportunity at the earliest to start consulting.
As they quickly find out, there is a world of difference between watching a consult and doing a consult.
Suddenly, what was easy to watch become difficult to do.
One case today we examined the ear tympanic membranes.
The patient had a popping and crackling sensation in the left...
I finished up with Hamish at soccer this morning and had a phone call with Emma…
Could I pick up strawberries, passionfruit, and cream for the pavlova?
“Sure!” I said.
I went and got them, headed back home.
I walked into the kitchen and gave her the ingredients.
Oh… The dishwasher needs loading.
Can you do that too?
I jump in with Hamish and we load the dishwasher.
“Oh, actually, the pavlova isn’t enough” she said.
Can you cook a Tarte Tartin?
And you need to change your shorts, they are dirty.
And, the cream needs whipping… can you do that?
And, oh, one more thing… “I bought a new hammock kit for the cottage, can you put that up too?”
I said… “I’ll do the Tarte Tartin, cream and change my shorts…
But the hammock is going to have to wait. I won’t get that done in time”.
So I had another option.
Just say no to all of these requests.
Have a massive fight with Em.
And then deal...
Last night it ticked over to 9 PM.
Both boys were on Fortnite.
They had been playing from about 7, so a good 2 hours.
I went into FamilyZone and moved both devices onto “Sleep” mode…
Sam did ok with it…
Hamish, however, did not cope so well…
He had been sick for the previous 3 days and I did not give them any warning that Fortnite was about to stop.
I basically induced a rapid exit out of the game world, back into this reality.
He was not a happy camper.
Suddenly he was angry and distressed.
He was not happy about brushing his teeth.
He was not happy about going to bed.
Even once I got him into bed, he could not sleep.
He had his “angry breathing” going on.
I gave him a back rub.
Got him a glass of water.
I ended up jumping into bed to comfort him and at least 30 minutes of moderately challenging parenting later, he fell asleep…
I took from this that this could have been handled better.
I should have set the expectations at the...