It has been a busy past few days here in Averagejake land. Final preparations for FDIC, studying for an impending promotional exam, running a ton of calls at work, working out, getting the kids to their various activities, dealing with seasonal allergies, etc.
Well if that was not enough I just got the word yesterday that I have been selected to teach at the 2012 Firehouse EXPO in Baltimore Maryland! While excited I thought I was going to be unable to do it. You see I promised the wife and kids I would take them to Myrtle Beach starting that Wednesday during my 5 day break. Well originally Firehouse had me teaching on Friday, so I thought I was going to have to turn them down, because bottom line my family deserves the break. I am constantly doing fire service stuff. Last year I saw 4 out of about 12 baseball games my oldest son played in, this year because of FDIC I am missing his first game, and have only gotten to 2 practices just because of my regular work schedule. It is only going to get worse as my oldest son is going to play football in the fall, and wrestle in the winter, while my youngest is going to play soccer in the fall as well. I miss a lot and I was not going to take their vacation with Dad away from them.
So a quick email to the conference coordinator and boom I am going to teach on Thursday morning instead, so we will be having a 2 city vacation. Head to Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, teach Thursday morning then we all head to Myrtle Beach from Baltimore as soon as I am done teaching! See even my vacation is busy!
I am glad I am able to do both, as I know my time doing these things are probably coming to an end. Next year I am skipping FDIC and Firehouse EXPO in order to take a more active role in the sports lives of my kids, and to take them to Disney World in the summer. I played a ton of sports as a kid and my Dad always coached me. This is something that I have always wanted to do but with our schedule it is difficult, and add in all the extra that I do makes it almost impossible so I am going to take a break from the “traveling circuit” in order to be more active in there lives. I am still going to the local training stuff that is offered around here, FDIC, Firehouse EXPO, and NFA are gonna have to take a bit of a back seat for a bit. I know this will not be my last FDIC, or Firehouse EXPO I love it too much to never go back but next year is already a no go for me, and the following year is already up for grabs.
The good thing is that my wife and kids are flexible. My wife has been involved in EMS her entire life. Her Father not only is a life member of 2 Volunteer Rescue Squads, he also was heavily involved in the State Of Virginia Vehicle Extrication Program, EMS Services for Richmond International Raceway, and a Supervisor for Dominion Virginia Power. So in short she is used to a busy life style and being busy (she herself is no slouch in that department). My kids even at age 6 and 3 understand that being a firefighter is important they know and are proud of what I do, and understand that sometimes I am going to miss things, or get hurt. They may not like it sometimes but they never hesitate to tell people that there Daddy is a fireman, and he helps people.
So as much as I preach and other fire service sites preach about being dedicated to the job, you must have balance as well. Part of the reason you have to be dedicated to the job, train, work out and eat better is so when you get the chance to have that family time you are around for it. You will get ZERO or shortened time with your family if you die, or have a catastrophic injury on the job. Your actions impact your family, this job is dangerous and if you’re not trained, or in shape the family time will suffer even more. One of the reasons my wife is so understanding with the “extras” I do is because she knows those “extras” are so that I can be better at my job and come home at 0700 the day after a shift.
Only 9 days left until FDIC if you havent registered yet do it now! Do not miss the greatest training on the planet! Also go ahead and register for Firehouse EXPO in Baltimore, another great conference.
Do not forget to keep following along on twitter @averagejakeff
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!