Example

Sometimes in life, we are presented with situations that can have a lasting impact on our lives. The only caveat…we don’t know that until they are already over.

Those that know me, know I am obsessed with my car. It is a relationship that borders on being unhealthy, but we all need our guilty pleasures and at least mine goes fast. Luckily, my wife is as in to cars as I am and even though she hates hatchbacks…she loves the way it drives. That gets me out of the doghouse at least for a little while when my mechanical engineer wife sees parts change on the car.

I have been obsessed with cars from the very beginning. If I recall correctly, my first word was even car. This story actually starts back when I had just turned 16 and bought my first car (with help from my parents). It was a 5 speed lifted 91 Jeep Wrangler. I loved it but when I first got it…I didn’t know how to drive a stick.

That same week. I bought a sub/box that was specifically made for the trunk of the Wrangler. The previous owner (who was dating a friend of my parents at the time) showed up to our house with the box and sub in a white convertible 944 Turbo Cabriolet. It was pristine. I swear the owner wiped it with unicorn feathers. To my surprise, he actually asked if I wanted to drive the car. I warned him ahead of time, “I dont’ really know how to drive a stick”. He didn’t care and told me to get in the drivers seat.

The events that proceeded involved a lot of stalling but I eventually got the hang of it and we were off and driving. That experience fed my love of cars even more and obviously I still remember ever second to this day.

Where this story actually makes sense…

Fast forward to present time.

Our neighbors across the street had been hosting their niece and nephew for about a month from up north. Apparently the nephew had been starring at my car for the entire time wanting a ride for weeks before he conned my neighbor into asking. I took him out for a ride and hit full boost a couple of times to get him to feel how the car really drove and he was addicted instantly. I loved every second of it as I remembered being 15 and getting rides in fast cars. It is awesome. I even scared him a little bit with one of my favorite turns.

About a week and a half later, we are at our neighbors house having dinner and drinks because we were moving soon. The nephew is still there and comes in the room. We start talking about the car and I have an instant flashback to my Porsche experience. I knew right then…

I have to let him drive the car.

It was raining outside, dark as hell and he had never even touched a manual before. To make matters worse, my car now has a 6 puck clutch to handle the new found 430 ft. lbs. of torque and that is not the easiest to drive.

Starting off…things were just as rocky as my Porsche experience. Multiple stalls and the car hadn’t even moved 5 feet. I kept my patience (just like the guy did with me) and talked him through the process of clutch release vs. gas pedal engagement. After a couple more tries, he got the car moving. Over the next 15 to 20 minutes, we ended up stopping and starting the car multiple times and he made several laps around the neighborhood. It was an awesome experience and he was getting a hang of the car on the weekend before he was going back up north…until the last second…

As I told him to pull the car to the house on the street (our driveway sucked)…it happened.

“Just pull it up to the curb and we are good”. He pulled it up and then I heard the worst sound you can hear. My wheels were getting trashed on the curb. When I say trashed…I don’t mean just a little bit. When we got out of the car, my matte black wheel’s lip was completely chunked up. I didn’t’ say anything…even though I know he heard it…and we went back into the house. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see my passenger side, front wheel looks like it has a chrome/polished lip. can'tIt is not supposed to be that way. That is all curb rash. $140 dollars later, my wheels were fixed and everything was good again.

When I started telling the story to the car friends of mine…most of them said the same thing. “I can’t believe you let him drive your car to begin with!”

Here is the reality. It is just a car. Even if I am obsessed with every little detail, the experiences I make with the car are more important than the sum of the parts. There was some guy that barely knew me that gave me that same experience and it made a profound impact on my love of the automobile. When I was faced with the same situation on the other side, I was able to give back that same feeling to someone else. That is more important and memorable than any part on my car. Honestly, there are only two things that beat it: When my wife gets funny looks from guys for dropping them and when my son laughs his ass off in the back seat when I hit boost.

After the entire situation happened…I sat back and thought about how cool it was that I was presented with the same situation that I remember so vividly on the other side of the equation. I am glad that I let him drive the car and I hope he is presented with the same scenario some day. Parts can be fixed. It is very rare in life that we are presented with situations like this…and when we are…we should take advantage.

This story isn’t meant to be a “look how awesome I am” self pat on the back. I actually look at it much differently. After it was all complete…I was grateful for the experience I had.

Example

I have been talking with my friends that have been blogging a lot lately and it seems the conversation always comes back to “I should really be writing more”. Not that they are telling me to do that, but that I feel like I should. Writing is great therapy. It allows me to get things off my chest, put ideas down in word and make myself accountable for things in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still writing and publishing on Bike198.com, helping clients with digital marketing platforms and working here and there. It isn’t like I am not doing anything in my digital life. The personal writing is the aspect that has taken a drastic turn down in frequency. Ok…the reality is that it hasn’t existed at all as of recently.

So why the change?

The reality is that I am really enjoying being a dad. I usually used the time early in the morning to get my thoughts out of my head and on the screen. That was the time my head was the clearest and I was most efficient at getting it all out in digital format.

Everyone has their moment during the day where they can get the most accomplished personally. For many it is during the night time hours when the family is asleep, for others like me it is the morning with a cup of coffee. Like it or not…it is just the way I am wired I guess.

What am I doing now in the morning?

Diapers. Literally. I have been lucky enough in my professional life to have the ability to wake my son up in the morning and take him to daycare. Out of everything I do during the day…that has to be one of the best highlights on a consistent basis and I am trying to enjoy it as much as possible. There are a lot of dads and moms out there that do not have the luxury of just hanging out with their little one for an hour in the morning so I am trying to enjoy and not waste a good thing.

When I get back from daycare, the messages have already lined up and the work day is in full force. My personal time for writing and getting more personal aspects completed takes a back seat to the actions that pay the bills.

Even the time I do find to do something for myself tends to lend itself to something mechanical in nature as a stress release as the day moves forward. Getting out for a run, working on the car, riding my bike…all things that become the desired go-to action as the day progresses outside of introspective thought and release.

On a more serious note

One of the main reasons outside of time I haven’t been writing as much is that I have been going through a lot of “life balance” and organizational thinking. There have been times recently that I have either noticed or it has been pointed out to me that I have been spending too much time online.

Over the past couple of months, I have been doing a lot to figure out who I am and why I do the things I do. There are a lot of positives but there are also a lot of negatives that need working on. In life, I have been taking feelings and reactions that I have considered as normal just to find out they are not. In many ways, I was using my time online to seek the approval of others in an attempt to measure my personal self worth. There are also other aspects to this (that I don’t feel like going into detail about now) that is fed by the need to have the best or show others what I think I know.

For that reason, I really took a break from the digital world in many ways in my life to reevaluate what is truly important and making sure that those people know how important they really are. It is very easy for someone like me to get caught up in the digital world and make that a primary focus instead of a secondary addition to real life. My work is intrenched in it. My hobbies rely on it as a form of sharing and communication. It has become a part of nearly every aspect of modern culture. As I look into my own head more, I see certain aspects that lead me to behave in certain ways and I am finding that…in many ways…the ease of digital life feeds certain needs that aren’t healthy.

Does that mean I need to stop all together???

No. Not at all. I means that I need to personally find the balance in my life that works for me. I do find writing and sharing in the digital realm healthy…but as I move forward I am more careful about the motives for the sharing than the reactions I seek. I also need to make sure the absolute priority in my life is my interactions with my family and the love I show them. It has always been the #1 priority in my life but I need to make sure that the digital part of my life doesn’t interfere with that as well.

So a long story short…I am going to make an effort to get more of my thoughts out. But there is a difference this time around at least on this site. The primary force is not going to be centered around making money or carving a spot out in the blogging world like I have in the past. It is going to be more about me and less about advice. Will I share things that have worked for me from time to time? Yeah. When I feel like it fits. Otherwise…I am going to keep this site about exactly what it is named. Robb Sutton.

 

Example

Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I were walking through Target when we came across something really cool…a Dodge Viper electric car. We are both car people, so we were completely floored. Right away we starting thinking about how cool it would be for D to have one while secretly thinking that we both really just wanted it ourselves. This was one of those moments that I believe we all go through as parents…an irrational buy just because we think it is cool. Continue reading Tearing Up The House – Finding Unique Ways To Capture My Son

Example

There have been several things that have been on my mind a lot lately. The main theme seems to resonate over and over again.

What can I be doing better?

Mind my has been trying to analyze where I am, where I have been and where do I want to be. Am I taking the steps to get there or am I just spinning my wheels? What will it take to get there and what do I have to change in my thinking to accomplish my goals?

All typical life thought questions I am sure…but it has lead me to a conclusion that I feel is relevant in my own life when dealing with hobbies, professional life, friends and lifelong goals.

In order for me to succeed in personal and professional endeavors, I need appreciate where I have been by helping and talking with those that are where I was while listening and getting inspired by those who are where I want to be. Whether this be through my hobbies with biking, driving or photography…professionally with my company, my job and my goals…or through life with being a husband, a father and a member of a family…the same theory seems to ring true in all.

But why is this so hard?

Continue reading Helping Others While Being Inspired By Those That Are Where I Want To Be