From the Desk of Dad: Dadly Pursuits
My total phone screen time for the day is under an hour, even with me drawn to memes about last night's debacle like a dog to its still warm vomit. Part of that time is also just when it sat open playing my audio book. It just has not held any draw for me. Likewise I have spent very little time playing video games in the last while. Not that I could not enjoy it, but it feels less like time I felt I spent well.
Naturally, this is all because I recently turned 30, which has unleashed all manner of new dadly powers.
I look forward to getting up before the sun and running 4 times a week. I polished shoes that needed it, cut out half of my alcohol intake, got rid of all of the old shit that was taking up space in the garage, aside from the pallets, which are about to be converted to support the new hobby I've become inexplicably attracted to...well okay, Emma suggested it, and I get excited about it the more I read.
Folks. I am taking up smithing.
I am not doing this because I want to mAkE aN aWeSoMe WeEb Sw0rD. I want to make my own tools. I want to make dumb little hooks to hang things on in the garage, and my own tongs and hammers, and most especially ugly knick knacks to guilt my relatives into displaying on their lawn.
Let me tell you something about being a twin dad with real live twins, and with the most precocious toddler that ever sailed the seven seas on a raft made of said twins. Time is hard to come by. The work is never done. I look at pictures from Charlie's early life, and I am struck mute by the general orderly quality of everything in the background. Not so much now.
There is a never ending queue of chores to complete (you would never guess it, but we've literally been mopping about every week, and I'm actually worried about my finish), household maintenance projects to undertake, myriads of things that Emma wants me to drive scores of nails into the walls for so she can decide she likes them better elsewhere. I can't spend oodles of time on things that are not productive or that do not "spark joy" when I have responsibilities.
That is why I got to make sure that I have plenty of valid and creative hobbies to procrastinate with.
Workout? Don't mind if I do. D&D with dear friends? How could I say no? Audio books and brisk walks? Yes please. Smithing? Oh. Yah. You betcha! And you know I need to follow Football to be able to keep up with workplace banter. I suddenly understand putzing so well! It is simply a way of finding some time for relaxation and peace while being 'useful.' I love putzing.
So this is how boys become dads--don't get excited, I'm being metaphorical, Bob, not literal--by exchanging all of their dead time for things that are more useful, socially relevant, and creative in order to escape the guilt of not doing all of the more unpleasant and tedious things that need done.
Tonight, I spent time in the garage after doing baby bedtime using a small hammer to straighten a bent bolt, practicing short, precise, hammer strikes. And it felt so good.
Addendum: I forgot to tie back in that the pallets are turning into an anvil stand.