Archives for posts with tag: Parenting

Almost a year ago, in the teeth of lockdown angst, I published a book on what to do if you’re a Jackie or Jack of All Trades and master of none. This page from the book is about seizing the day, seizing the moment, and it seems a valid now as it did when I wrote it. It’s a heavily pictorial, heavily putdownable coffee table book, as you can see. You can buy the book here, and, if you like it, perhaps leave a review of a 5-star-based nature?

“Seize the taco by the lake” by Ioppear is licensed under CC by 2.0

Here’s what the page says:

“We are JOATS. We have a lot of things going on, competing for our attention. Every day that we breathe a myriad of thoughts flash through our heads. Some of them stay a while, some of them we banish. Some of them are pure gold and we want to hold onto them, kick them around and develop them, but then the next thought or an interruption comes along and they’re gone, sometimes forever.

You must seize the moment. You have these great thoughts milling around and you need to harness them so that you can filter them later and act on the good ones. That germ of a great one-liner. That question you must ask someone. That errand you must get done by Friday. That idea for a great new band, book, business…

“Don’t let these thoughts disappear into the ether!

“If you’re at your computer, keep a window open that you can toggle to, punch in a bullet point, and go back to what you were doing. As I write this book, every single page fires a few synapses that lead to thoughts that don’t belong on there. They do belong somewhere else, maybe in the book, maybe in another area of my life, but they’re important, so I stop momentarily, add them to a list and come back to where I was.

“If you’re out and about, or relaxing in front of something, or going from a to b, you don’t need to worry about a notebook or pen to capture that gem for posterity. Learn how to use the audio memo facility on your phone, or leave yourself a voicemail.”

Thanks for reading!

I can’t remember if you’ve seen what an actual double page looks like in my coffee table-suited book, published back in April, called You Don’t Know Jack! Why the Jack of All Trades Triumphs in the Modern World. You can buy the book here, and, if you buy it for your coffee table and like it, you could leave a lovely review too, please.

“pregnant woman” by Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Some of the pages are true double pages like this one, devoted to one topic. Some of the pages have an idea on each page, either a version of the Jack of All Trades phrase from another culture, or an autobiographical example of JOATness, or simply an idea. This page is called The JOAT Parent and it goes like this.

“There isn’t much of a job description for being a parent, and there’s not much training either. We pretty much get dropped into one of the most demanding and diverse jobs you can imagine. It’s a full-time job being a dresser, washer, teacher, funder, protector, feeder, carer, advisor.

“Yet, when you think about it, JOATs make great parents. Think of all the different skills we need to acquire. Think of all the different phases a child goes through in its upbringing, the steep learning curves and the hurtling emotions of the rollercoaster. Each phase presents a different set of challenges for them and us and each requires a different mix of those parenting skills than before.

“If you’re a parent and a JOAT, you’re bringing into the world a child that may not end up in the 1%. It may not end up being a specialist. In that case the chances are the child doesn’t know what it wants to do in life, nor may it ever find out during its whole life. Our vital role as a parent is to expose our children to as many different experiences as we possibly can, to see which ones stick. It sounds pretty daunting, but then again, there’s no better role model than us for the multi-faceted life well lived, is there?

Specialists are so caught up in and committed to being the best that they tend to get other people to bring up their kids for them. They don’t have the time, or they don’t make the time, or they’re not around. Which sounds best for the child to you?”

Thanks for reading!

Is there anything more rewarding than making your kids laugh?

It’s easy to make your kids laugh when they’re babies, toddlers or small. You are the centre of their universe, they think you’re the greatest, that you can do anything.

As they get older, into their teenage years, it’s harder to make them laugh. Where once was unbridled hilarity is now a rapidly developing mind and far too much other stuff going on. They used to think you were superhuman, now you’re just human, pretty clueless actually.

That’s why it’s so rewarding to see them break out in full, no holds barred laughing at something you said, humour you alone created. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, and I need to improve my skills, but when it does there’s no better feeling.