It’s the 12th of January 2016. Four years to the day since I sold my first home fitness product. And one month to the day since the business I ran selling those products ceased trading. The last four years have been a hell of a roller coaster ride, and to draw out the metaphor, the last few weeks have reminded me a bit of Oblivion at Alton Towers, the sole purpose of which is to plunge you vertically downwards as fast possible, not just to ground level, but below it. But shortly thereafter, you resurface above ground and are delivered back to the station, where you can get off and go and do something entirely different.
So here I am, seven years after originally starting this blog, resurrecting it with a whole new purpose. My first post in August 2008 was about the almost unimaginable fear running through my entire body at the prospect of becoming a father to two additional boys, and how my wife and I would cope with four children. As we approach the twins’ 7th birthday, I think I’ve just about managed get my head round the whole father of four thing, but now I’m struck with a whole new catalogue of fears, primarily the fear of how I’m going to earn a living now that I don’t have a business any more. So while the “four” part of the name of this blog is perhaps less central than it once was, the “foreboding” part most definitely still holds true.
It’s amusing (to me at least) that all this should be happening in the months immediately following my fortieth birthday. (Sadly “Fortyboding” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). It’s as if there was a midlife crisis switch just waiting to be thrown, as if all it took to activate it was the heady cocktail of champagne and karaoke. Sadly the midlife crisis of a man with a failing business isn’t as exciting as those you read about in the Sunday newspapers. Not for me the fast cars, the extreme sports, the piercings and tattoos. No, in my case it’s the traditional soul-searching, introspection, self-flagellation. What have I achieved in my no-longer short life? What do I actually do? What can I do? How have I got through 40% of a century without knowing the answers to these questions?
I’ll keep the really miserable stuff for my therapist. Instead, my intention is to use the blog to document the journey I’m about to embark upon, which I keep telling myself is going to be an exciting and invigorating one. It’s about new beginnings, and the search for happiness and fulfilment in a new way of life. I’m sure it’s going to be tough at times, but I know that nobody wants to read a blog about how awful life is. Instead I plan to write about the challenges, the opportunities, the frustrations and hopefully the funny side of a man in his 40s who has suddenly been plunged into a whole new world. A world combining the sometimes rewarding, sometimes infuriating life of a stay-at-home dad with the hunt for a new stream of income and a new purpose in life.
I am PowerDad. A man who will be spending the coming weeks and months figuring out how to earn a living between 9:15 and 3pm. Who knows how to prioritise my son’s violin practice over setting up my eBay store. Who can balance keeping on top of the laundry with writing a marketing proposal. Who can make a meal that can be served at multiple times in the evening depending on when everyone gets home while also keeping on top of the book-keeping. Well OK, I’m not actually any of those things just yet, but if I keep telling myself they’re true then maybe one day they will be.