My father passed away on the 10th of this month. But that isn’t what this post is about. Maybe I will write about his passing, and what it means, when I am capable of properly articulating what I want to say. What I need to say. What I need to have heard.
Instead, I want to talk about my birthday. October 22nd, 2019, I turned 41 years old. Currently, I am 41 years old, plus one week. Over the hill. On the downward slide. An old fucker.
Well, maybe not the last one.
As with any birthday, I am inclined to look back on the last year. The last life. What I did that I wish I wouldn’t have. What I didn’t do, that I wish I had.
After Action Reviews. Introspections. Recollections.
As I sit here and take stock of my life, I realize that I tend to focus too much time and energy on what I should or should not have done in the past. I am definitely my own worst critic (minus my father, perhaps) and fail to give as much credit to myself as I should.
Being a Dad is hard. Being a good Dad is even harder. But, reaching Dad Level Viking status, should be the easiest. Because to be a DLV member, you have to be passionate about improvement. You need to be passionate about the pursuit of being a better father. Not just a father that ticks the boxes for society’s taste, but a father who desires to instill in their children the more noble qualities of what we know about the Vikings (and more specifically, Norse culture) of over a millennium ago. Virtues like loyalty. Bravery. Tenacity.
Aside from what we hope to teach our children, to be a DLV, you need to make sure that every area of your life follows the Viking principles, and more. Not everyone is a Dad. But everyone who is, or wants to be, needs to take care of themselves and their partners, as well as their children. There is more work to being a DLV than just attending baseball practice.
I guess what I am getting at, is that this whole Dad Level Viking ideal is a pursuit of being the best that we can possibly be, in keeping with the ideals and cultural norms of the Norse age. It’s a process. A process I don’t exactly have figured out.
But a process I am willing to work at, and refine.
In the coming days, weeks, months, and years, I will share a more precise vision of what I see that can be helpful to men of this age, and by correlation, the world and all of its people. I invite you to discuss, consider, and live the focusing standards that I will unveil, and debate if necessary (as long as it is done so cordially, and intelligently).
I hope you all come along with me for this journey toward being a better person. A better Dad. A better husband. A better man.
P.S. Even if you are not a Dad yet, I encourage you to participate. Being a good Dad, will never be a final achievement. You will need to work on it, every day of your life. And that work that you put in, will benefit you as a man. As a partner. As a friend. Regardless of current fatherhood status.
So, if you are not yet a Dad, consider this an opportunity to get a head start. Learn from others. Do the work now, so you can reap the rewards later. You won’t be disappointed.