Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World



The Myth of Time as a Currency

Image result for wasting time

Frequently, I think about word choice when it comes to describing certain phenomena and how that word choice reveals how we view or feel about those things. Time is an interesting example. Think about the verbs we use to describe how we interact with time: saving, spending, wasting, etc. If we take a step back, we realize how often we view time as a commodity, like money or material wealth.

But it isn’t. Not even close. Continue reading “The Myth of Time as a Currency”

Father-Son Duo, Team Hoyt, Celebrates 37 Years of Inspiring Teamwork With One Last Boston Marathon

 PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes Rick Hoyt as they compete in the 2008 Boston Marathon on April 21,2008 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt welcomed their son, Rick, into an unsuspecting world; a world that would forever be changed by their presence and sacrifice. Because of complications with his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. According to a CBS interview, Dick remembers the advice of the doctors who suggested that his son would essentially be non-functioning, and that he should place him in an institution.

Dick refused. Continue reading “Father-Son Duo, Team Hoyt, Celebrates 37 Years of Inspiring Teamwork With One Last Boston Marathon”

The Fountain of Youth

Last summer, my kids taught me the value of letting go.  Whenever we went out to do something, whether it was playing in the backyard pool, going on a hike, bouncing on a trampoline, or rafting down the river, each and every moment was the best moment of our lives.

Now, I’m not just talking in superlatives, as many in social media seem to do today.  What I mean when I state that these were all the best moments of our lives is that, when we were together and having fun, nothing else mattered.

The past was behind us.  Thinking about it, dwelling on it, or ruminating over some unfortunate incident – none of it changed anything.

The future had yet to be written.  In front of us lie myriad possibilities, and it was up to us to decide how our stories would end. Continue reading “The Fountain of Youth”

Day 8 – Go outside!

My activity suggestion for Day 8 in The 12 Days of Fatherhood was as follows:

Go outside. Sure, it’s December, and yes, it is cold, but bundle up and do it anyway. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Build a snow fort. Go sledding. Make snow angels. Then, come inside and warm your hands together by the fire or a heating register before you sit together and enjoy some hot chocolate. Don’t forget the marshmallows.

Let me tell you, it was by sheer luck that it snowed last night.  We have two sleds that we purchased from Costco recently that hadn’t been broken in yet, and to say my kids were anxious to use them is an understatement.

After bundling up so we could barely move . . .

. . . we headed for our local sledding hill.

The rest was history.  
See for yourself:


Day 7 Recap – Story Time!

Today, I told my children a story, but not like the one from yesterday.  Instead of reading a book that someone else wrote, I told them a story from the pages of my own childhood.

As we made the video for my Day 6 recap, I started recollecting a fond memory from my younger days.  When I was around 12 or 13, there was a video rental store about a few miles from my house that rented out video cameras in addition to movies.  Yes, the VHS camcorders, with the big fuzzy microphones, looking more like a rocket launcher than an electronic device:

A friend and I, on at least a few occasions, pooled our collective allowance money together and rented one of these beasts so that we could make movies of our own.  We would write scripts, create storyboards, and spend an entire weekend putting together epic tales of haunted houses, ghost puppies, and even the occasional improv newscast, reminiscent of an amateur Ron Burgundy.

Truth was, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but we had the time of our lives pretending we did.  Often, we believed that our skill might land us a spot on America’s Funniest Home Videos, but sadly, that dream fizzled and never quite materialized.

As I recounted these stories to my children, their eyes lit up.  I could see them thinking about how they might do the same thing.  My daughter even asked if I would help her make a movie of her own.  Eventually, we would go on to try our hand at stop-motion animation of a Star Wars based father-child scene, where Vader teaches a young stormtrooper how to ride a bicycle.

The importance of sharing these stories cannot be overstated.  Sharing these stories with our children helps them to see that we were once young ourselves, and that we have not always been parents.  It helps them realize that we understand what childhood is like, but at the same time, it helps us, as parents, remember what our children are going through.  In that sense, this art of storytelling develops a mutual sense of empathy.

One of the lesser side effects is that these stories may eventually find their way to our children’s dinner tables, decades down the road, as they share these tales with their children.  Of course, they may be embellished and exaggerated, but then again…

…that’s how legends are born.

Day 6 – Spending Time Reading

Many years ago, when my children were much younger, I started a tradition of reading with them every night before bed.  I will admit, it started more as a chore to instill a love of reading in my kids, but after a while, it became a performance art.  We would read books like the Dr. Seuss classics, Green Eggs and Ham or Fox in Socks, all while getting into character voices and standing up, acting out various scenes.

I remember one night, one of my children picked up Henny Penny, a classic tale about a frightened hen who believes the sky is falling.  As such, it is her duty to go and tell the king.  Along the way, she meets several other animal characters, picking them up for her journey.  

This particular story provided the opportunity to change up my voice, borrowing from British television, Julia Childs, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, and Jack’s character from the TV show, Will & Grace.  Pretty soon, we were adding more and more to the reading of this simple tale, and ever since, it has become a family tradition.  My kids, even the teenaged ones, know that we are in for a good time when Henny Penny is on the schedule for the night.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Day 6 of The 12 Days of Fatherhood than to record a reading with my two youngest children, so that later on, when I am not around, they will still have this memory to revisit.


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