Work, Fatherhood, and Liberation
How would you describe this week? Before standing at my writing desk to type these words, I thought about that question. Over the last seven days, my work, family responsibilities, exercise routines, and the implications of a Juneteenth federal holiday crossed my mind and body.
The campus is quiet. We have one more high-stakes exam scheduled for today, but otherwise, many of the university’s corridors are empty. I have had several meetings with other faculty members, but my student advising appointments dwindled to one in this final week of the term.
In addition to the money, how do you feel about your job?
I enjoy the writing, teaching, and researching aspects of university work. Mentoring and advising responsibilities also enrich the value of serving students as a college professor. However, the multiple committees, task forces, and other administrative roles are the least favorite components of my workload.
As this term comes to an end and service-related tasks increase, my productivity demands a push on most days. I have to remind myself to simplify complex tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. Listening to motivational speeches, meditation, exercise, and finding new ways to reward progress helped me do the things I didn’t want to do this week.
Think about what works for you. Clarity of the resources necessary to support your success is critical. I am finding that self-care is essential to managing stress.
This week, my wife injured her right eye, preventing her from doing many things that keep our household working. While attempting to tend to her needs, I also drove the kids to various places, took the dog to the beach, and postponed completing a report to cook and clean every night. It's been tough, but I gained another level of respect for my wife’s valuable contributions to the house.
I'm not looking for a pat on the back. My efforts this week are only a fraction of what fathers do daily to support their families.
As you celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, reflect on how you can do more in serving your family’s emotional and financial needs. Let’s not settle for putting food in the fridge and keeping the lights on.
Paying the bills rests on the tail side; your time, love, and affection occupy the head's side of the fatherhood coin.
Father’s Day is Sunday and Juneteenth is tomorrow. Will you celebrate both?
In the US, communities will recognize the day enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom. Backyard barbeques, street parades, and corporate companies will send out memos to commemorate June 19th, 1865. As Biden’s administration pushes legislators to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday and sensitivity to racially charged violence increases, the celebrations may hit an all-time high tomorrow.
Here in Antigua, June 19th is Saturday. It's not a holiday. Instead, locals celebrate their liberation from British slavery in August.
Tonight, my wife and I will talk about Juneteenth with our children over dinner. Our family meal and conversation will serve as a much-needed break to a full week of activities.
Share this post with one father and add a couple of words in the comments that best illustrate your week. For more reflections on fatherhood that will resonate with you, buy my book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity.