Good Enough, But Not Great

I consider myself to have been very lucky as I have had a life in which I have enjoyed many different experiences, been to different places and lived well. I am not from a wealthy family, nor am I rich, although some people might consider me to be.

But I am smart enough to recognize that I have been given certain advantages that others have not been granted and I am appreciative of them.

However I would be lying if I suggested that I am always satisfied with life or that there haven’t been times when I have been less than content with myself and what I have. It is something that most of us have experienced more than once, a place in which you try to be happy, but it is hard not to look at someone else and think “why can’t I have that.”

In my case the center of my frustration and desire has long surrounded my own dysfunctional digestive system. It would be nice to experience life as I once did, able to eat without concern about the outcome. A place where I didn’t spend time considering what a certain food might do to me and whether it could prevent my enjoying the day. A time in which I felt like a normal person. But that is not how life works and though I have tried many different products none have yet produced the results that I seek and that troubles me.

And as long as I am kvetching I’d like to add something else to the list. I am good at most things I try. I am a solid athlete, good at my job, not bad at this and that and generally smart enough to figure things out. But sometimes it is just not enough for me, it is just frustrating that I cannot hit that higher level.

It is like looking at various areas of mathematics. I get to a place in which I just cannot follow along any more. For that matter it is like that in a lot of things for me. What comes to mind is the scene in Field of Dreams in which Terence Mann(James Earl Jones heads into the cornfield with Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other ballplayers. When Ray Kinsell (Kevin Costner) tries to follow he is told he is not invited, too bad.

From a religious standpoint you could say that it is like Moshe Rabeinu looking out over the promised land. “Hey Mo, take a look at what you are missing out on. Sorry you can’t join us, but it is just not for you.”

Since I am a crusty old guy I have to apply the same standards to myself as I do to everyone else and say, “what are you going to do about it?”

The answer is that I am going to do the same thing that I always do. I am going to keep on plugging away and live. What else can you do. I am not going to lie down and die, but I am not going to not complain about this from time to time.

I know that I sound like a bit of a whiner, but I think that the thing that really gets me is those areas in which I can feel myself on the edge, the place where it moves from good to great. From an intellectual standpoint it sometimes drives me crazy to be a part of a conversation where I realize that I am just not smart enough to keep up, the place where I can understand bits and pieces but not the whole concept.

That just makes me nuts, it is almost better not to understand anything. Oh well, it could always be worse.

One more comment before my children drag me away for more Father’s Day activities. I am still a firm believer in hard work as being a solution for overcoming some of these challenges. It is possible to get to that upper level I seek, the question is how hard are you willing to work at it.

Happy Father’s Day. See you later.

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  1. Jack's Shack June 21, 2005 at 2:19 pm


    I love hearing about people who love their jobs. I find it to be exceptionally refreshing.

  2. Workman Chronicles June 21, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    I’m not much of a Donald Trump fan, but I caught him sharing the secret of his success on the Donnie Deutsch show.

    Here it is:

    Never, EVER, give up.

    I buy it. I believe it. I’m continuing to live it, caught in a comparatively low-paying job (I haven’t had a salary this low since 1992) as a professional writer for a small twice-a-week newspaper. It’s a job that I absolutely love, although I’m sometimes frustrated to be stuck at such a low rung. (I’ve only been at it for a year. Patience has never been one of my virtues.)
    I’m constantly broke, but attend nearly all of the most high-society functions because of my position.
    I’m surrounded by people of affluence and influence, but usually have more influence than the whole lot.
    It is sometimes an emotional torture to be around people of wealth, wishing I could have that kind of financial success, but knowing that it would require me to give up this job I love so much.
    (I used to be the vice-president of a small insurance company, so I know what it is to have money…not rich, but comfortable).
    I live Trump’s mantra, to never ever give up, because I truly believe that one day I will move up the ladder to my dream job, which is to be a syndicated columnist, and that eventually, one of my novels will be published.
    I’m just so damn impatient.

    So I’m feeling you, Jack. As I once heard a brilliant man say, “there are no unreasonable goals, only unreasonable time frames.” Keep hanging in there.

    *Morris Workman

  3. Jack's Shack June 20, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Karen and Stacey,

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Karen June 20, 2005 at 2:06 pm

    Hard work and never giving up are key to getting over most of those things.

    You can do it!


  5. Stacey June 20, 2005 at 4:59 am

    Ahhh yes, frustration. I understand that oh so well.

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