The reason you should blog at Midnight is because the lessons you didn’t learn before will become clear.
Posts will make sense a way you never saw and you’ll wonder if it was coincidence or fate that made you stumble upon Lessons Learned Driving Through The Desert and Who Knew That High School Would Be Connected To Retirement?
You’ll smile because you have that Walter Mitty like imagination but realize that you jumped off of a cliff a long time ago and never stopped to see if you had wings on or a parachute.
It didn’t matter because you knew you weren’t being reckless and that you couldn’t do as you had done or be as you had been.
You had to jump.
No watching, no waiting and no thinking.
Instinct said go and you did.
I have been running with the moon for as long as I can remember.
Somewhere in the archives of this blog is a post I wrote about how my then three-year-old son asked why the moon followed us wherever we go.
I remember telling him the moon would connect us to each other and those who are important to us forever.
Almost 13 years later he remembers a fragment of the conversation and senses that running with the moon means something to his old man.
I don’t tell him how some responded to my feelings about the moon with disdain and suggested it was a sign of current or impending madness.
Nor did I tell him about how another said they thought my feelings about that giant orb was romantic.
“Dad, you don’t understand me. I am not who you think I am. Life is different than it was when you were sixteen.”
I nod my head and tell him he is right and a million thoughts flash through my mind. All of the successes and triumphs of parenthood and the failures.
“I have failed over and over. There are times I feel tremendous regret because I have failed you and your sister.”
“Dad, you haven’t failed.”
“Be quiet and listen, I have failed and I am ok with…most of it. Some of it sticks in my craw and I wish I could go back and change things but not much.”
I stop and stare at him, wait to see how he processes and handles my words.
“I know who I am and I know where I am trying to go but I don’t expect you to have an ounce of understanding about that. You might think you do, but not like I do and that is as it should be. I didn’t know a damn thing about it at your age either but I swore grandpa was nuts.
There were times he and I fought for what felt like years about the dumbest thing but I would never give in. I would cut my nose to spite my face. The one thing I have always been good at is taking a beating and never giving in.”
“What are you trying to tell me?”.”
“First, grandpa didn’t beat me up, well I got spanked a few times but that hasn’t happened since I climbed on the stove and tried to turn on the burners. What I want you to learn is to work smarter, not harder. I want you to do better and I want you to know that your dad is just a man.”
He nods his head.
“It took me until I was an adult to realize that about grandpa. There were times it was very hard to look at my life and not compare myself, to feel like I was falling short. It wasn’t because of grandpa. I don’t blame him. He didn’t compare us, but he hid some of the hard times.”
He looks at me and asks why.
“Because your grandfather has always done his best to protect his family and he thought that it was better for us not to know about things we couldn’t help with.”
I am running with the moon, pushing myself to go harder and faster, willing my body to remember what it was we could do when we were just a little bit younger.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember hearing that Navy Seals say when you think you have nothing less you still have 30 percent more and I wonder if I can push it to 50.
Will has to count for something, the moon and I are old friends and it has to respect my effort, has to be able to give something back.
Has to be able to help carry the load for a little bit farther and a little bit longer.
Transformation and transfiguration are the words of the day, er evening.
I can almost see daylight, can almost see me rounding third and heading towards home. In my mind I see myself gathering speed, running smoothly with intention and purpose but that is not how I look.
I am a lumbering freight train of man who is almost moving faster than his body can go, Baryshnikov I am not and I know it.
Put me back in the water and let me swim competitively again and I’ll be smoother and crisper, but that won’t give me more than an extra couple of ounces of grace.
I’ll still be the locomotive, still be the freight train and I’ll get where I am going.
But maybe the moon will lend a hand and reduce earth’s hold upon my body. Maybe it will give me that half inch I need and that will be enough for me.
I’ll feel it and see it and I’ll be gone.
Inch by inch or mile by mile it doesn’t really matter because I’ll get there either way, only a question of when and how much effort is required.
Why You Should Blog At Midnight
Some of us dream by day as well as by night but the darkness provides cover and opportunity that the day doesn’t.
The shadows hide the challenges and make opportunity shine brighter. There is less of the self-censorship that happens during daylight and more of the honesty that only comes under the moonlit night.
And that is worth something.