I suppose it is about time that I actually explain what the title of this blog refers to. I did have a bit of a struggle to figure out what the overall message, tone, and feeling I want to project. But, if this is supposed to be a place where I can post things about every day life for the long term, I needed a term that would stick.
At this stage in life, it is hard to predict what roles I might take on in the future. I know already that some of the most important roles I’ve held or currently hold include the following:
But, there are so many other roles that I either hope to fulfill or that I really need to fulfill during my stint on this planet. A Renaissance Man (or polymath), during The Renaissance was a person who was an expert at a number of different things. Notable people like Leonardo Da Vinci for example, were sculptors, painters, mathematicians, inventors, engineers, etc. Now, I see a true family man as someone who needs to be multi-talented at so many things. I see myself as having to be or become an expert at all sorts of endless things so that I can really call myself a family man… A Renaissance Family Man.
So rather than learn to sculpt colossal statues, paint frescoes, or find ways to calculate the acceleration of the earth’s gravity, as a Renaissance Family Man, I vow to become an expert at other things.
Here are some examples:
Chef - OK, so everyone’s skills in this area are different, but everyone who finds themselves preparing food for other people, notably their family, needs to have some knowledge of how to go beyond the fridge, and learn how to use the other matching stainless steel appliances such as the stove/oven. After eating food that has either been flown in from Uzbekistan, or vaccum sealed in a plastic pouch for the past three months, I can’t wait to get into my own kitchen again and make some real food.
Furnace Repair Man - Instead of calling another guy to come do this, see if you can do it yourself first. After researching for less than an hour on Google and YouTube about furnaces that constantly go on and off, I went out and bought a $30 flame sensor, pulled out the old one, put in the new one, and finished what could have been a $300 job. What’s more awesome about this is that I can still brag about it two years later!
Landscaper - I don’t know too many people who enjoy this, but it’s still important and a Renaissance Family Man must be good at it. The lawn needs cutting, the bushes need trimming, and the rest of the yard needs to look like a pro did it, without hiring someone. I have to admit I haven’t moved much past using a lawnmower, weed wacker, and those little scisor things that could easily cut your finger.
Roofer - Actually, forget that! I’ll hire a roofer…
IT Guy - Everyone has had to rescue their mom when she didn’t realize that the TV didn’t turn on at the same time as the cable box, or the cable box came on and the TV didn’t get the signal, and now they’re all out of sync and the whole things is screwed up and all she knows is “the damn TV doesn’t work.” And, everyone’s had to fix this situation on a daily basis, right? Or is that just me? C’mon mom, I had to go there. Now we have Wi-Fi everything, online banking, cell phones, email, and everything else that can easily create mass confusion at home. A Renaissance Family Man needs to step in when someone has messed up the router, or if they can’t figure out how to get something from their cell phone to their laptop. Applying for a mortgage using only a cell phone? Yeah, that was me.
Vehicle Mechanic - OK, so I am NOT one to talk here because my knowledge of car repairs goes as far as parking my car at Canadian Tire, filling out the little piece of paper explaining what the problem is including descriptive noises (“the belt just keeps going EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!”), and dropping the keys in the little slot. But, as time goes on I think these are things I can figure out.
Tutor - Now, by the time our kid or kids are in school, I don’t know what they might be teaching at that point. Math class might be as simple as learning how to ask Siri a math problem. And, if during that period when we were learning typing, they’ve replaced it with web development or something I’m not as familiar with… well then maybe I will just Google that as well and do my best to help out.
Plumber - Because paying someone to fish Hot Wheels out of your toilet just seems wrong. When that time comes, I’ll be buying myself a drain snake, getting my hands dirty, and then rubbing my whole body with hand sanitizer.
Electrician - I really like my fingers, but not enough to pay someone else to do the electrical work at home. My entire childhood consisted of finding old VCRs, TVs, toys, and other electronics, re-wiring them and hooking them up all together, and then plugging them in to see what happens. I’m really happy that I lived to tell about it. But, I learned at a very early age how to re-set the electrical breaker.
As you can see, I’m having a lot of fun with this. There are still so many other things that I want to talk about. With a baby on the way I’m sure I will learn a lot of new skills like how to calm a screaming baby in the middle of the night, or how to change a diaper with my eyes closed while holding my breath (if anybody has figured this out yet let me know). There are so many skills that a Renaissance Family Man needs to learn. I think I could go on for another ten pages.
You tell me! What are other skills that every family man needs in order to become a Renaissance Family Man? How does a guy make himself as useful as possible to his family? I would love to hear your comments.
Bye for now.