DiscoverParking ThoughtAnd Your Dogfood Years | 96
And Your Dogfood Years | 96

And Your Dogfood Years | 96

Update: 2020-03-30


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What do you call the years where you do hard things? In our house we call them your dogfood years.


music by Dyalla Swain

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hello and welcome to parking fat I’m
Jacob and I’m glad you’re here today in
this edition we’re going to be talking
about a phrase I use at home it’s a
little bit of an uncommon phrase but I
think every family has those things that
they say that are kind of particular and
part of their own family language so
this is a part of mine and it came about
in a few interesting ways it kind of
evolved one of the ways that you know
this refers to one of the things that
this refers to are you know that that
time in your life when you’re out of the
house and you’re off on your own and
you’ve got to figure out who you are and
how you plan on living your life right
and those key and crucial decisions that
you make in that phase of life are you
becoming an adult and you owning them
and those decisions in those years or
you’re having to cultivate the habits
that you will carry on for the rest of
your life are crucial and important and
I’ve seen through different family
members and through different you know
friends and other families I’ve seen
different families respond to that in
different ways there are some situations
where you know the son or daughter
leaves home and they’re off on their own
and they figure it out and they go and
they grab life by their own you know
grab it by the bull on the horns and
they move forward and I’ve seen other
scenarios where mom and dad will help
out you know financially or otherwise
you know and that be that can become a
routine or a habit and I’ve seen
otherwise where it becomes an enabling
opportunity and that enabling continues
on all the way through adulthood and so
you know it’s it’s a bit interesting to
see what that’s like and that’s one of
the examples of this phrase being used
that I have but the phrase is called the
dog food years right in our house my
kids know that we are preparing them in
our home to go out and embrace their dog
food years and these are the years that
are going to be hard for them these are
the years where they are going to have
to make choices on their own and you can
have dog food years not just when you
first leave home but also later on in
life I ran into this twice I ran into my
dog food years when I first left home
isn’t really so much tightening my belt
but I joined the army I had to do
full weeks of basic training and then
another round of training after that and
then a whole different environment and a
whole different culture and becoming a
part of the culture that would allow me
to be successful you know in that
environment and that was difficult to do
and then having to do it again
on my first deployment to Iraq and then
my second deployment to Iraq and then
once again much later in life you know
with my third deployment to Afghanistan
each one of those times were me
volunteering and walking into what are
essentially your dog food years those
times where the environment has changed
the surroundings have changed and you’ve
got to embrace them now when we use the
growing up and leaving home analogy it’s
a fairly common narrative we can see
what’s going to happen in that narrative
we can see that we’re gonna formulate
patterns and habits that will allow us
to grow and develop and succeed in life
we know that one’s coming now it’s
pretty common and easy to see when we
deal with things like a military
deployment there’s a formula with it
right and so you you hope that the
lessons will be drawn out of that time
period that can be applied later on to
life and some of the lessons are drawn
from that and some of the situation is
just dealing with PTSD right so so
there’s good and Bad’s in these types of
environments you know the one that we
all face right now with the recent
announcement from the president and and
saying things that the you know advice
will be to stay home and stay put and
the quarantine and self quarantine all
the way through the end of April I mean
I was kind of we knew that was going to
be coming you know and we just you got
to be voice for it today as I’m
recording this but this puts us in
another situation where we’re having to
live in our dog for years we’re having
to reassess the patterns we base our
life off of and I think we need to look
at this in the same way we do when we
leave home and recognize that we’re
going to develop patterns and habits
that’ll stay with us for probably the
rest of this generation and maybe even
beyond and some of those things may be
really healthy and good some of them may
not be you know there’s the old story of
the the daughter who goes to cook their
first turkey dinner right and cuts off
the drumsticks on either side and
Cook’s those just on the side you know
with the bird right so in the same pan
and and you know she just grew up seeing
her mom do it and then somebody asked
her well why’d you cut off the sides you
know why did you cut off the drumsticks
she didn’t know so she calls mom she
says mom you know why did we cut off the
drumsticks off the side of the the
turkey and she says I don’t know I’ve
just always seen my mom do it that’s
that’s the way I was taught right and so
she calls up grandma right and she says
or her mom rather she calls up her mom
and she says hey why do we cut off the
drumsticks off the turkey we would cook
it for Thanksgiving and grandma politely
says well that’s because when you know
you’re you know when I was newly married
and we were young and we had the small
apartment the the oven was so small we
had to cut the legs off in order to get
the turkey in right and and so it’s a
it’s it’s probably a true story for some
family out there but it’s most likely
not a true story right it’s an anecdote
that we share but it articulates how
some of the things that we learn and
develop during a time when we’re when we
are in our dog food years become
patterns for the rest of our lives you
know my family and I are taking walks I
mean that’s a pattern I hope we’ll
continue it probably won’t once this is
done but I hope it will continue because
what a neat thing to spend minutes
a day walking hour two and a half miles
or whatever it is that we walk you know
in the neighborhood seeing other
families and being able to wave to them
and seeing how they’re doing and
stopping to talk the neighbors but
keeping our distance so we have that you
know social distancing thing going on
you know we’re in another round of dog
food years and unlike the time when I
left home and I was only doing it with
people I graduated with now I’m doing it
with a lot of other people what are we
learning what are we noticing what are
we found I noticed my daughter really
likes to bake it’s part of her outlet to
relieve stress we’ve had cookies and I
made bread this morning I mean I made
bread for the sacrament that we use or
the bread and water we use for the you
know sacrament and in our church that’s
that’s very similar what you would have
in communion in the Catholic Church
right and so I like to make that bread
homemade we’re in our dog food years
what are you noticing and are these dog
food years that we’re going through all
the same as your dog food yours when you
leave home I mean that would be pretty
neat to see we shouldn’t expect that
just because we went through our dog for
years once in life that they’re done I
remember coming back from our second
deployment and finishing graduating
college and I was new army officer right
I was an officer in the army now I’d
been a sergeant and we moved into this
house in Oklahoma and the housing market
is housing market was just through
the roof at the time and it didn’t make
sense to rent and so we ended up buying
a house but we were underwater or not
underwater I don’t think that’s the
right term but the budget didn’t match
and so we had to tighten our belt on a
lot of things and so my wife ended up
going back to work and so she drove our
little red Ford Focus and delivered
pizzas and was able to make a living
there and make ends meet for that time
until I could get promoted but that was
a really hard time in our family where
you wanted to invest money on making the
house more livable and functional for
the family but there just wasn’t the
money and now instead of it just being
her and I figuring out our lives
together or me figuring out my life it
was her and I and three kids trying to
figure out our lives your dog food years
come and go and when they come you can
approach them with an attitude that will
allow you to embrace the lessons that
you’re going to gain from it and so I
hope in your family and in your circle
you can talk about this as being your
dog food years historically it was the
time when people were so poor they’d eat
dog food it was before they mention a
ramen we’re not eating ramen now we’re
eating really good because my daughter’s
outlet is baking and I don’t have to
worry about my income so much anymore
but I do have to worry about our mental
health and our physical health as a
family and this is another era of dog
food years and depending on how the
economy shakes out it may be another era
of dog food years for a lot of people
and the lessons we learned from this
will allow us to grow and become better
as a society and so I hope that we can
see those lessons early learn them fast
and share often well that’s it for this
episode if you want to if you liked it
share it with somebody else that you
know and
subscribe links are over at parking calm
and at the end remember in a world where
you can literally choose to be anything
why not choose to be grateful









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And Your Dogfood Years | 96

And Your Dogfood Years | 96