If you’ve seen me on Facebook or on Twitter, you have seen me use the Twitter hashtag #DadsTalking (I prefer to capitalize just so no one suspects me of nefarious activities if it appears as #dadstalking.) #DadsTalking consists of a bunch of Dads (and some Moms) who share a common characteristic (all Dads, and a few Moms) who share a common goal (be a better Dad / Mom).
#DadsTalking is sponsoring the The Dads Talking Blog World Expo Grand Prize Giveaway and giving away a full conference pass to BlogWorld & New Media Expo, and a roundtrip plane ticket to Las Vegas on SouthwestAir (on Twitter, you can find them at @SouthwestAir). I have never been to a social media conference of any kind (I’ve only been blogging since June) but I have learned that Blog World Expo is the World’s Largest Social Media Conference (@BlogWorld on Twitter). You can find this year’s information at #BWE10. There are several requirements that have to be fulfilled to submit a valid entry; this paragraph meets some of them.
Now for my reasons for wanting to go. If you know me or if you’ve read my About page, you already know that I’m a 60 year old single dad. My oldest son is now 22, but I have 12 year old girl / boy twins at home with me full time. I’ve been doing this single dad stuff now for over ten years and recently posted my 10 year retrospective. The world isn’t the same as it was when I was growing up. And, it isn’t even the same as it was when my oldest son was growing up. I got into social media so I could be prepared for the world my twins are facing.
And, I discovered I liked it.
I’m learning. And there is so much that I don’t know, it’s almost embarrassing. But, I’m willing to learn. I’m not afraid to ask questions (there’s a whole boatload of Twitter folks that can attest to that).
These days, I have a full time job that I enjoy. But I’ve only had this job for less than ten years; prior to that, I was a self-employed consultant for 25 years. I made the transition solely to provide more security for my kids. Apart from a 3 year stint working for another consulting company in the early 80s, my only other adult employment was 10 years active duty with the Army.
At age 60, though, I have to wonder how long any employer is going to want to keep me around. I can’t afford to retire. Virtually all of my retirement assets are gone (courtesy of my ex-wife’s medical bills) and there isn’t a lot of time available to build them back up again. I would love to be able to transition to full-time blogging status in the next few years. Heck, depending on how things go, I could end up being responsible for creating a new Twitter hashtag – the #SAHGD (Stay at Home Grand Dad, in case you didn’t guess).
And there’s one more thing. An opportunity to take a brief break from being a Dad every day. I live in the mountains in the (absolutely) beautiful Northern Shenandoah Valley. I also have a 100 mile round trip daily commute. In the mountains here, there are not a lot of ideal opportunities to find a good babysitter. Although my daughter is in Girl Scouts and my son is in Boy Scouts, they never have their scouting weekends fall on the same weekend. In ten years, you do not need all of the fingers on one hand to count the number of days/nights where I have had a 24-hour break from the twins. It’s not so much as getting away from them as it is enjoying some adult conversation. When my oldest son is visiting (he lives in PA now), I get that after the twins go to bed. Otherwise, once they go to bed, I have Twitter.
Who knows, maybe one day CBS will pick up my life and turn it into a television show. And I’ll have DadsTalking and Blog World to thank for it…