Someone asked me to explain myself and I told them you can say I am just getting started.
“Jack, I wish you’d answer the question I asked.”
“You can accept the one I have given or be disappointed. I have got a head of steam and a fire burning in my belly that I can’t ignore. The time for slumber has passed and we have moved into the age of action.”
It means that after having tripped, stumbled and fallen down and over cliffs I have picked my ass up and scrambled back up again.
Though it may be premature to say I have made it back to the heights I once lived upon it is no longer impossible for me to see myself getting back and going beyond where I once was.
But the difference between then and now is profound and the depth of appreciation I have is light years between what it was then and what it is now.
That’s what happens when you go through a financial catastrophe and come out the other side.
The shame you feel and think you deserve fades and you gain perspective that allows you to decide it wasn’t entirely your fault.
You may not absolve yourself of all responsibility but you no longer need to own all of it, just some of it.
Persistence, determination and an unwillingness to quit are the things that carried you through and maybe some luck.
Yeah, maybe as much good luck came around to equalize and or wipe out all the bad you got but didn’t deserve.
Moonage Daydream- David Bowie
Starman- David Bowie
I Know You’re Out There Somewhere- The Moody Blues
6th Avenue Heartbreak- The Wallflowers
Lola- The Kinks
A Father’s Help
There aren’t enough words to express my thanks and gratitude to my parents, but especially to my own father for his support during the rough times.
I am not ashamed to say that some of it was financial but the most significant and most powerful portion of it had nothing to do with finances.
It was his hand on my shoulder and his saying he was certain and confident of my abilities during moments when I had repeatedly beaten to my knees.
I remember telling him the only thing I was certain of was my ability to take a beating.
“Dad, I am not smart enough to just lie down. I am too freaking stubborn to accept getting kicked in the teeth without trying to bite whomever or whatever is hurting me. But none of that is worth a damn because clearly I am missing something else, something important.”
He shook his head no and said I was wrong.
“You got caught by the worst financial crisis since the depression. You may not realize it, but you are part of it and so are millions of others. It is bad luck.”
I remember telling him I hadn’t been raised to shrug off accountability.
“This isn’t you shrugging anything off. This is reality and you just have to keep pushing.”
I did because it is my nature to slug it out and because dad said to keep going.
But my attitude improved dramatically because of him and that made all the difference.
There is a lot of rage inside me but I can’t tell you if it is the good kind of rage or the bad kind.
I only know it is there and that has always been a part of me.
The more important question isn’t how it came to be but whether I am using it in positive or negative ways.
I like to think it is positive…mostly.
5 More Songs
At The Club – Ray Charles
Closer To The Heart- Rush
I Can’t Stop Loving You- Ray Charles
Everyday People- Sly & The Family Stone
I Started A Joke- The Bee Gees
The Story of 69 Murderous Mimes & 57 Catatonic Clowns
I still enjoy coming up with ridiculous headlines not because of the linkbait aspect of them but because it is fun to be silly.
Sometimes I wonder how many people know just how silly I can be because there is a whole slew who probably see me as being one of the most serious and intense people they know.
Or so they have said.
It is kind of funny to me to admit that I am ever bothered by that because most days I don’t care what people think.
Aside from a very small list it is immaterial to me, but every now and then what is immaterial becomes…material.
That is part of what makes me human and why when my kids tell me I can’t understand their lives I laugh.
Not to demean or diminish their experiences but because they don’t always recognize their old man has the same feelings as everyone else.
One day they’ll know for certain that I hold no secret powers and that the source of my strength is experience but we haven’t reached that milestone yet.
Anyhoo there is time for that day to come, for now I am focused on the coming days and making the dream I have inside my head into the life I am living.
I am just getting started.