I never expected I would buy a Justin Timberlake song but here I am listening to Can’t Stop The Feeling and smiling because yesterday I called adventure and said I am ready to go.
If you are lost I strongly urge you to go read 69 Reasons Why You Answer When Adventure Calls.
Go on, I’ll wait a moment or two.
Hell, I really shouldn’t be sitting here because this house won’t pack itself but then again this is the perfect time to take a deep breath.
The roller-coaster is almost at the top of the hill and in a moment it is going to go flying down the next hill at break-neck speed and it will require immense focus to keep the car from flying off of the tracks.
Steiner the minor and I watched Saving Private Ryan tonight.
It was his first time seeing it and in some ways it felt like mine.
The funny thing is I have seen it a handful before tonight but this was the first time I watched them storm the beach and thought about how close in age my kid is to being eligible for the service.
I caught myself staring at him and wondering what the hell I would do if he was drafted or if he decides he wants to enlist.
It was so surreal to me to try and reconcile it all.
If things had taken a small shift I would have moved to Israel and done my time as a soldier there.
It wasn’t just a thought or an idea, I looked into it a number of times and came damn close to making it happen.
I remember being 25 and telling everyone what my plans were. I remember actively working on tying things up so that I could go and well obviously it didn’t happen.
Some of you might wonder why I didn’t serve in the US or if I considered it.
The answer is a blog post or two in itself but I can tell you I thought about joining the Marines more than once.
Anyhoo that didn’t happen here either and if we flash back to the thought/idea of my son it was interesting to me for lots of reasons.
I am hawkish and a supporter of our military.
I respect our troops, am grateful for their service and well aware that someone’s child is risking their life for my family.
So part of me felt a twinge of guilt that I don’t want my son to put himself in harm’s way. Part of me asked myself to take a hard look in the mirror and answer the question of how I can ask others to do what I don’t want to do.
Three Dog Night is singing Mama Told Me (Not To Come) and my focus moves back to my conversation with Adventure.
“Jack, is it fair to say you always intended to come?”
“It is probably best not to ask me questions you don’t want answered because I just might.”
I don’t tell adventure I always knew I was going to do it because a man has to keep a couple of cards for himself but smile because I am so damn excited.
Excited because I worked my ass off to try and make some things happen and this appears to be the fruition of hard work and because sometimes when I am nervous I get a little silly.
It is easier for me to vent by making some off-color remarks than to say “Fuck, if this bomb I am holding explodes it is going to be messy and painful.”
Better to blow off some steam and trust myself to manage things.
Besides if you look back at the conversation with my daughter in The Agony & Ecstasy Of Blogging I told her this was happening and said I think it is for the best.
Nothing has changed, I believe I have done what I need to do to give us all a better life.
I also understand some people think I am taking a risk and I have no problem saying they are right, but life is filled with risk.
The person who tries to avoid making a mistake and who runs from the hard stuff will never get away from their personal bogeyman.
Sooner or later the monster crawls out from under the bed or bursts from the closet doors and forces you to face him.
I prefer to force the monster to meet me on my terms or as close as I can come.
Not long after the movie ended I wandered upstairs, picked up a dumbbell and stared at the mirror while I tried to focus on doing a proper curl.
The idea was to channel some of the nervous energy in a positive way and to try to clear my head.
Usually the combination of exercise and writing does it and I can walk away feeling like clarity has been restored.
I don’t expect the US to bring back the draft any time soon, if at all so I am not going to worry about whether Steiner the minor will be drafted.
Given his current attitude and mindset I don’t expect him to tell me he wants to join any of the various branches of the military either.
So the answer to the question of what would I do remains uncertain and unknown. What I do know is I have taught him to respect those who serve.
That conversation has included police officers and firefighters.
It has also included a discussion about why we respect them and why we hold them to high standards too.
987 More Reasons Why We Answer When Adventure Calls
Friday night marked the 30-day point before I am supposed to meet Adventure on location which means I have an enormous to-do list and limited time to get it all done.
Adventure said it wasn’t enough time and is concerned about whether I can make it happen.
Do me a favor and don’t tell adventure it is almost too much time for me and that I do better when I have shorter timelines to work with.
The reason you want me on board for somethings is because I excel in these moments. I know how to sustain my effort and energy over long periods.
This is what I am built for and what I like to do.
And the reason I think I have become good at it is because I can tell you good people I am scared and I am a little nervous.
But I can use that to keep me sharp and as a reminder that I am alive.
Got to run now and get back to it all.
See you in the comments.