Must. Stay. Focused.


I smiled defiantly when I read the first tip offered by the National Fatherhood Initiative for the second week of its month-long program, “30 Days to Be a Better Dad.”

“Stay focused,” it read.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I have no problem staying focused, so I figured I’d have not problem fulfilling my goal of writing about my participation in this program with such an easy tip.

When I’m at work, I concentrate on what I’m doing so I can do it well and leave it at the office once I turn off the light. That way when I arrive home, I can be the husband and father my family deserves.

As my 9-year-old daughter Celeste might say, “easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

And since writing about the second week in the program would be so easy, I did what every writer with a self-imposed deadline would do. I didn’t write it.

Oh, I could have, but I’m the King of Staying Focused, so I figured I had plenty of time to write about how well I stay focused on work when I’m at work and on my family when I’m at home, so I went about my daily routine without interruption.

Did I say “king?” Ugh, that’s not the right word. I live in America, and we don’t like kings. We overthrew the last king who reigned over this land, so maybe I should use another word. I don’t want people to Photoshop my face over the body of King George III. I would like silly in a white wig.

Then again, many people call Elvis Presley “The King,” so maybe it’s not such a bad term after all. But it did backfire for Michael Jackson in the ‘80s when he declared himself the “King of Pop.” The problem must be, then, when people try to claim the title of king for themselves instead of merely accepting it when others bestow the throne on them.

Michael Jackson clearly wrote some groundbreaking music in his prime, but people still scoffed at calling him the “King of Pop.” The words “self-declared,” or others to that effect, always seemed to precede that title with a tone of mockery.

And if people would mock Michael Jackson, who was clearly one of the best when he was at his best, they surely would mock me for declaring myself the King of Staying Focused.

OK, so I’m not the King of Staying Focused, maybe I’m just a, um, a Knight of Staying Focused. Yeah, that’s it! Knights are cool, especially Jedi Knights. They can lift objects just by thinking about it, make people do things they want with their mind tricks, and carry around light sabers. And those flips? Enough to make any Olympic gymnast green with jealousy.

Speaking of gymnastics, I took our daughter, Celeste, to her gymnastics class the other day, and …. Wait a second. I’m veering off topic here. I wasn’t supposed to write about gymnastics or Jedi Knights. I was supposed to write about …. About … What was it again? Better scan this again from the top to check.

First tip … “30 Days to Be a Better Dad” … “Stay focused” … Concentrate on what I’m doing … “easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

Wait, go back!

Stay focused! Yeah, that’s it.


I suppose I could use some help staying focused, but it may take longer than 30 days. Do you think those guys who fixed the Hubble telescope are available?

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