BURN OUT

I am burned out. I am burned out from work, from training, from working out, from life’s ever continuous stresses. Combined I am beyond burned out. 

I do not have a vacation scheduled till summer. I do not have enough PTO to “take a day”, because of needing to use my free PTO to attend to my sick child when he was admitted to the hospital.
I do not get enough sleep a lot of nights, because I am attending to work emails or trying, TRYING, to find spiritual answers and Martial Arts instruction or learn from my teachers on my own. I spend hours doing stressful things for my job, growing ever more taxing and demanding.

I try to work out daily, either cardio from walking or kettlebells to help balance and PT injuries from years of lifting heavy weights.
Thanks to inadequate sleep, elevated stress, and recovering injuries, I am not losing weight like I want, leading to more estrogen and cortisol in my system.

This is a negative feedback loop, keeping me tired and fatter then I like and should be. I try to dedicate time to being a good and attentive father and husband, yet work and house needs keep me from being as present as I want to be.

I AM BURNED OUT.

SO – how do we fix this?

I am going about it this way:

Taikokyu – Mind Body Breath – Daily. I am stretching and meditating and breathing. Working my body’s musculoskeletal systems and organs. Focusing and clearing the mind of RELAXING .

Kettlebell workout 3 days a week – Complexes of sets and reps for time. Hitting all the major muscle groups, increasing strength, endurance and hyper trophy 25-30 minutes a day.

Ninpo/Aikido – I will train aikido 1.5 hours once a week, and I learn and read and practice basics of ninpo 10-30 minutes daily. Even if it is just kata for ichimonji no kata. I will also mentally drill Gyokko Ryu and Wing Chun/ JKD. I may consider even returning to Krav Maga once a week to keep my skills sharp against real opponents.

Be Present – I try to spend as much time as I can daily with my son while he is awake. Not always not stressful, but being there and experiencing him makes me happier and my heart fuller then I would have thought. I then spend evenings with my wife, even if its just spending time in the same room together, not doing the same activities, we get to unwind and talk.

Daily I try to be a “good” – fill in the blank for you, whatever that means. I think being rounded and trying to enjoy the here and now and continually try to better oneself is the core essence of growth.


This is how I intend to fix burnout. A few beers with friends and a trip to the shore doesn’t hurt either, but those are not as frequent as I need. I need to refocus on my Budo, my why, and also grow, be confident, and stop this constant struggle. Embrace the stresses, alleviate what you can, and proactively work on you. A stronger you is an anti-fragile you.

How to be a better father in 3 easy steps

Hope cliche is that title? In actuality its many many tiny steps every day, but we can sum them up into 3 broad ranging categories.

1. Be there and be aware –
When you are with your children, be there. Not just physically being there, but mentally engaged as well. Interact with them, ask questions, ask how they are doing, engage with them. Play with them. This will build good memories for the both of you, as well as allow you to have a more personal relationship. Think about what it is they are doing and saying, this will help you feel more connected and not regret later on in life.

2. Put down the phone
This seems pretty straightforward after our last point, but giving a phone or device to your kids to entertain them if not helping them develop. You have regressed socially thanks to your device, it is doing the same to them as well as creating a potential addiction. Studies are showing the degenerative effects these technologies have on our kids development as well as exacerbating things like ADD and ADHD. You have probably noticed it yourself, not being able to stay on track with a thought, or engaged in an activity without mindlessly looking at your phone. Put It Down.

3. Talk to them and think about them
Let you kids know you love them, you are thinking about them and are proud/sad/happy, whatever. This allows your child to know it’s ok to have emotions and that its safe to share them with you. You by communicating are leading by example. Now this isn’t a psychological cure all, but it will help. Plus, who doesn’t like hearing their parents tell them they love them, are proud of them, miss them, and are going through the same emotions we all go through, but don’t always vocalize. — This works great with your partner too, who would have guessed?!

Well gents, that’s all for now. Meditate on this and be proactive in executing the above. It will help make you happier and help your kids develop.

AFD

Live in the NOW – you won’t regret it!

We here all to often to not worry about the future or to wallow in the past. For many of us it seems unlikely we can focus on the “now”, this present time and what we are doing.

We all know that we should live in the now, experience our kids growing, bonding and spending time with our spouses, yet we waste the now thinking about the future and or the past. We don’t enjoy the now as we should, instead attributing excitement and joy to some point in the future, a future that may never come.

I know it is easy to say “live in the now”, but doing it is quite different within our society. I am guilty of it as anyone else. I will be sitting there thinking about my work day ahead or what will need to happen to go to somewhere in the future instead of observing and engaging with my son, watching him as he develops language and eats his breakfast. Making funny faces and learning as he plays with his toys or even when I wish he could just talk instead of use the 30 or so works he has now and how adorable it is

I think back to when he was an infant and how I was impatient for when he was awake more or doing more things. Now I miss the time spent feeding him his bottle or figuring out how to use his hands and how to roll over. I miss those times because I was thinking about the future, and I am missing the now and feeling bad, because I am focusing too much on the past. I remember a line from Kung-Fu panda from the old Turtle master Oogway that sums this up.
“ Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called a present.”

Enjoy the now because it is all you have and will give you memories in the future when you watch your family in different ways.
Be ever present in the present, get off your phone and enjoy your real life, in the now, because this is all you get.

AFD 1*

New Writer Incoming

Hey all

Happy 2022 – or you know 2020 part 3.
We have a new father coming on board to contribute to the site and bring in a fresh set of eyes as BPD and I have been up to ours in diapers!

MG is the new contributor and is also a new father. We share a love off Brewing, Sports and Fishing. We are friends and alumni of the same University ( WE ARE.. PENN STATE) as myself and BPD.

New stuff coming down the pike at you fast and hard for 2022.

Till then Keep Frosty

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AFD

Changes are a-coming

Change. It is inevitable. The better we can accommodate and change to it, the better off and happier we will be. Or so that’s what the research says.

I have lived through much change. From the simple times of childhood in the 80s and 90s through my teens and 20s in the early 00s and 10s. I have lived abroad and traveled a lot. In that time life changes as I grew and matured were awkward but expected.

What changed and wasn’t expected was going to high school and watching the Twin Towers come down in NYC due to a terrorist attack.
What wasn’t expected was a second armed conflict in Iraq, or worst, the continued GWOT (Global War on Terror) in Afghanistan. Now, 20 years on from that September morning in 2001, The world, our adversaries and their capabilities are a lot different from the 80s and 90s.
Back then there was no “extreme” left or right wingers. If there was, most people identified them as almost radical. Today, trying to find a moderate if like trying to find a ride out of Kabul Airport.
Our enemies were known – Communism, Fascism, Genocide, the destruction of American morals and normalcy.

The world has made great strides and progress – American too – for LBGTQ and equal marriage as well as coming together to fight a pandemic – be it from a virus, or the corrupt tyrants who shut down states, economies, and ruined small business peoples lives.

Now we face another change – The world after Afghanistan falls. Will it be like when Taliban took over in ‘96? Now better equipped with US hardware and weapon systems – will it be even worse for that population and expanded global terror is Asia, Africa, and then advance to the EU and US?

I don’t know.

What I do know – I will do what I can to make this the best world possible for my child(ren?). My co-author on this site is expecting his 4th in a few days and I can not wait to meet them. That said , we must accept these changes and be the agents of change we wish to see in this world. It’s what drove my into Law Enforcement and now into medicine and working as a volunteer with the local fire company and my Masonic Lodge.

Thoughts to ponder and a final quote:

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace” – Thomas Paine.

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Minimalism in all things for a Happy Life

When you read that title, I am sure its a natural response to think “ yea, ok, you have no idea how complex X is”…
And you are probably 100% correct. What I am suggesting though is taking all aspects of your life, and see what you can do to the most minimum aspect to remove the added stress and /or work.

For example – work – you have to do your job and only you know what you have to do, but are their areas where to optimize your day you remove tasks that aren’t needed? A meeting that’s very general with no agenda? Ask for an agenda otherwise put yourself as optional for the meeting – if someone can’t express why they need a meeting then it doesn’t need your time. It should probably be an email and not a time suck meeting.
Let’s use a home life example: working out to stay fit and strong. You know I have told before about Minimum Effective Dose to stimulate outcomes such as strength, size and fat loss. You could use a whole commercial gym OR you could use a simple barbell OR even more efficient? Kettlebells/ T-bars. For most men a 50 lb kettlebell or sandbag with a hand that you can do swings with, will make you strong, lean and throw size on you. You can work full body, cardio, and strength all at once in a tool that occupies very little space.

As you can see its just about reduction of the complex. If you can find these areas of opportunity in y our life – work, personal, and family, you will have extra time, less stress and be able to appreciate how much LIFE/TIME you wasted on non-necessary things.

I have been applying this and find I am less stressed, which means more pleasant to my wife and son, which means better relationships and fulfillment as a husband and father. When you are happier it is contagious to others.

We want to be healthy, manly, and intelligent fathers and husbands. Toxic masculinity is not a thing, a lack of masculinity is leading to weaker men, a polluted society, and children without good role models.
This is what the greatest generation had and we need to reclaim that.
This will practice will help. It’s why your grandparents and great grandparents don’t see the need for our many new inventions/toys/etc.

Stay Frosty and kill it.

AFD 1*

How to deal with Sadness as a man.

Sadness, and emotions in general and not something we discuss very often as men outside of tragic events. When someone passes or other tragedy strikes, we give a small window where it is acceptable to feel sad before you are expected to then go back to normal.

But sometimes things in your life, including that loss, compound time over and you find yourself sad. What’s worse is sometimes we don’t know what is causing our sadness and we instead act angry or stressed out, because we are, but also because are sad and don’t know how to deal with it.

Firstly, we as men and fathers, need to identify if we are aggravated or angry because of a trigger or stimulus, or is it that we are saddened about other things that we are just not able to express? We hold in all these emotions all the time to be the strong rock of our families. Sometimes shit just piles up and then you lash out, or snap at those around you and that you love. This is not what a Versatile Dad strives to be.

Once you can identify what’s wrong, you can then attack it head on. Talk to someone, your spouse, your buddies, even to a long dead pet or relative, just to get it out and off your chest and mind. If you need to have a quick cry, do so, but out of sight of your children, because masculinity still needs to be preserved and crying about an issue won’t fix it, but it can help offload that tension from suppressing it.

Then do active steps to make things better. Clear your mind by meditating and working out. Go outside and get sun and fresh air and doing a walking meditation or simply blank out your mind and live in the moment as you walk or watch nature. Readjust you’re focus into what will help and benefit you and yours, instead of living in the past. Never forget it, but don’t ponder on it as it’s over and all you have is the now. Look for happiness in knowing you can affect change and course of your life and by being strong, mentally calm, violent if need be, but also compassionate and caring as the world and day dictates. Well rounded is not just in your education and training but also in introspection and mental health.

Take care of yourself brothers, look for the good amongst even the darkest of darkness and you will find it. Reach out if you need help or just someone to talk to. Healthy activities and goals will help. Professional help can also not be understated, but it also starts with your own iron will.

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AFD

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