It is a few minutes after midnight and I am ensconced at the dining room table of the house that won’t be mine much longer. Â There is an unopened envelope lying to the right of my laptop. It is a bill from my life insurance company. Time for me to send them some more “just in case shekels” so that my family is “protected.” It is a decent policy that I purchased around ten years ago. They can’t retire but it is enough to do more than keep the wolves at bay. Of course it doesn’t provide for the lack of a father so it is better for all parties for me to stick around.
I am staring at the headline for this post and shaking my head. I am tired of seeing 1,987 posts about how to improve SEO, stickiness, generate traffic and or followers. I am tired of reading about how bad headlines can kill the chances of your blog being read. I know all of these things and chances are that I have written about them, but I am still tired of it.
My son doesn’t like writing. He is almost 10.5 and he doesn’t like it because it is hard for him. I intentionally haven’t said much about any of this. He doesn’t know how much I love it or how easy it is for me to make words dance on a page. He doesn’t know that I can pump out more content in less time than five people collectively. He doesn’t know because I don’t want him to feel pressure to be like me. I don’t want him to worry about disappointing me because that is what children do. We try to please our parents. I can say that because as a son I have had my moments of trying to please my parents.
But I am 42. I don’t need their validation to feel good about myself. Over the years the folks and I have gone to war on more than one occasion. Sometimes they were right and sometimes they weren’t. The thing about being a parent is that sometimes when we try to protect our children what we are doing is protecting them from our own issues and not theirs.
I have tried to take a very simple approach with my son. I told him to remember that the easiest way to write a story is to break it up into three pieces, beginning, middle and end. Â It seems to have helped him a little bit. Now I just need to give him some time to practice and see what happens. My mother tells me that my preschool teachers used to tell her that I had a very active imagination but no one said anything about writing until junior high. I don’t think that I realized that I enjoyed it until I was around 16 or 17. So I don’t see a need to freak out about his progress now.
Part of the joy of life is derived from the journey and the things that we learn along the way. Sometimes we lose sight of the lessons we learn and get lost. I think that happened to me. The plans I had were swept away in a tsunami of surprises and unforeseeable events. I spent a lot of that time trying to swim upstream. I fought the current and wasted enormous amounts of energy doing so. I have a thick head and a stubborn nature.
Eventually I realized that if I made a few adjustments I could harness the energy of the current and use it to help me. Unfortunately I am not like the professor and I can’t create everything I need fromÂ coconutsÂ and other items found on the island. Nor could I make like Mr. Howell and just pay for it to be done. So I made the best of it and in a cross between Gilligan and Macgyver came up with a plan and tools to execute said plan. It is a bit frustrating doing it all this way. I feel like I got washed out to sea and the process of swimming back to shore is taking far too long.
No matter, I will get back there sooner or later.