I Am A Father & A Writer

Three weeks ago I said that 2011 was a real motherfucker. I meant it then and I mean it now. It is not because I knew that my friend Margie was going to write a post about cussing in the blogosphere.

Earlier this week I started to write a post with a headline that said, “How Three Blow Jobs a Day Made One Man A Better Blogger. My friend Jayme suggested that there are better headlines to use and she was right. It wasn’t appropriate for the post that I was going to write.

I started it because I was irritated. I was cranky. I was frustrated.  I could give you a list of the reasons why but I am not in the mood nor do I need to justify it.

But I am a father and I try to live by the rules/advice I dole out and it made sense to change. Made sense to change because I tell my son not to paint himself into corners. Don’t make ultimatums and force yourself into having to do something that will hurt more than help.

So I changed my direction, my focus and my headline. It made sense.

Three Links

I have three links to share with you now.

25 Things Writers Should Start Doing (ASAFP)– Chock full of wisdom and practical advice. I love this.

Relax With White Noise– This is a site that you can use to help you focus. It is not the only one that I use but the point is that there are tools we can use to help us focus and tune out the crap that distracts us. Right now I am listening to this. It is different than the others but it helps me focus.
101 Simple Truths We Often Forget– Simple things that are worth remembering because the truth that you find eases the burdens we carry.

Stop Trying So Hard

I need to remind myself to stop trying so hard. I need to remember that force of will doesn’t always make the world do what we want it to do.

It is not easy for me, but I often speak with my children about learning how to go along to get along. It is not something that I do very well.

Earlier this week my daughter melted down. She was mentally and physically exhausted. She screamed at me and told me that she hates living in this house.

I understand. She doesn’t really hate this house but she knows that it has always been a temporary stop. Most of our stuff is packed away in storage. We have been here for almost six months now and for the most part it has been great.

But it hasn’t changed the fact that this is temporary and that she knows it.

Part of me feels guilty because she got stuck with a bit of a raw deal. She didn’t get a birthday party with all of her friends. In the grand scheme of things this is a minor thing to be irritated about, but when you are seven it is not so minor.

Open houses and moving arrangements prevented us from holding the party at the old house. Not to mention my sister’s wedding and my grandfather’s death. We almost had it shortly thereafter but most of her friends went on end of summer family vacations.

School came and life happened. My BIL spent three weeks on life support, one of my sisters ended up in the ER and life happened. So her party didn’t.

It doesn’t mean that we didn’t celebrate her birthday because we had a family party and her best friend hung out with her too. But still, I feel badly about this.

She is unsettled and anxious to move somewhere where she feels like she is going to put down roots.

Do The Work

Right now my focus is upon doing the work that I need to do to get to that next place. Transitions are hard. Writing jobs have been a little bit slower lately but I am still running around like crazy. It is ‘busy work’ that is slowing me down. I can be more productive. It is part of why I remind myself not to try so hard.

My best writing has yet to come. I have produced some good material but there are better things coming and part of that happens by doing the work.

It is sort of an ambiguous term, ‘do the work’ that is. I have a very clear understanding of what it means to me. At the moment it means trying to settle on where ‘home’ is going to be. Some of that is out of my control. There is a good chance that ‘work’ means moving out of the city. It is part of why we haven’t finalized living arrangements.

Doing the work also means that I need to continue to build more time in for working out. I play basketball twice a week and walk on the treadmill each day, but I need to find a way to incorporate weights into my routine. I feel better when I lift consistently and that has been inconsistent.

Have Fun

In the midst of all this I offer myself this simple reminder to have fun. If you don’t know me in real life you aren’t aware that I laugh a lot but I want to laugh more. Life is too short and I intend to have more fun than I am having now.

Remember way back in the beginning I said that I was changing my focus, well having fun is part of that change. I am trying hard to get more time in doing fun stuff with the kids. Don’t care if that is chasing them around at the park, playing Nintendo with them at home or just hanging out.

I just need more time with them where I am not shushing them because I have to work. Good things are coming, I can feel it.

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  1. Faryna February 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

    100 thank you’s will seem redundant, but each is nothing less than the most urgent of debts. TY for your friendship @BlancaV

  2. TheJackB January 24, 2012 at 7:35 am

    @BlancaV @Faryna Thank you. Hope you are having a great day.

  3. Bill Dorman January 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I can feel it too, it will be a good year. BTW – I think I’ll use that blog title if you aren’t.

    Sometimes being somewhat unsettled keeps you from getting to complacent, but too much can be a distraction.

    Yes, head down and moving forward; but most of all, have fun with it.

    • Jack January 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm


      Have at it my friend, that headline is all yours.

      Whenever I have worked as a salesman I have always told myself that I haven’t sold enough. That has always proven to be an effective way for me to fight complacency.

      Hope your weekend is great.

  4. Harleena Singh January 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Loved the post Jack!

    All I can really say is that just as you are a father and a writer, I am a full time mother of two, and a writer- and it sure isn’t easy 🙂

    I guess we all have our share of ups and downs. You mentioned you are still not fully set up and or in a transition phase, and this is something kids just don’t like. It happened with us also when we shifted to our present residence. But am sure once you are a little more settled, things will fall in place.

    I am glad that you are slowly changing your focus and having fun with all the work alongside is so important. This is surely one aspect we tend to forget, which makes like pretty monotonous and boring.

    Wishing you the best in this new year- I am sure when you make a sincere and deliberate effort to make a change- things do happen 🙂

    Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Jack January 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Harleena,

      When you are a child it is sometimes much harder to roll with some of the bigger changes that come along.

      I think that is because the lack of life experience makes it harder to see that six months or a year really isn’t such a long period of time.

      But we are all working together here to make the changes that we want to see. I expect good things to come of it.

      Thank you for coming by to visit, I appreciate it.

  5. Hajra January 21, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I love the optimism in your posts. 2012 will be much more beautiful that you can ever imagine 🙂

    Good thoughts! 🙂

    • Jack January 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Hajra,

      It might not always come through but I tend to be very optimistic. That is because I believe that we have tremendous influence on our lives.

      So even though some periods of time are rough I figure that they will get better because I work to make it happen.

  6. Elena Patrice January 21, 2012 at 7:26 am


    It’s official … we were separated at birth! 😉 I should have been born a man. I like being a girl though, but carrying the load like I do makes me think and feel and think more like a man that I want or should. You make me feel like I’m not alone on this wacky journey … thank you!



    • Jack January 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Elena,

      I kid around about being a lesbian trapped in a man’s body but really I have no interest in being a woman. Being a man is far too much fun.

      You are definitely not alone but I understand what you mean. There are those days where it feels like the path is filled with prickly things and there isn’t anyone around to help you if you fall.

      That is part of the fun of the blogosphere, always someone around.

  7. margie clayman ( January 21, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Hiya Jack,

    Well, I’m glad you wouldn’t write a title *just* to spite me. That would make me feel all too important 🙂

    Isn’t it funny how we put these arbitrary timelines on life? You perpetually feel like there’s a clock ticking somewhere for some reason, whether it’s getting your life to where you want it to be or accomplishing some other goal. I remember turning 25 and thinking, “Oh crap! I’m grown up. What have I done with my life? Wait, I’m still taking quizzes as a grad student. Is that good?”

    Ultimately, time is much more fluid than we allow it to be. Your daughter will reach a point where she will understand the value of the party she *did* have. It might take time. But it’ll happen.

    I hope your 2012 goes better. It seems like you’re on a good path for making it so.

    • Jack January 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Hello Margie,

      Your post provides good food for thought which is why I linked to it. Besides, one of the things that I like about blogging is providing background to what might have influenced thoughts/ideas/posts etc.

      When I was younger I didn’t feel/hear the clock ticking the way that I do now.

      I am not kidding when I say that I expect to live past 100. Genetics say that I have a great shot at it.

      But, I think that once you have gained some life experience you start to bear down on what makes your heart dance and your soul sing.

      When you know what those things are it is hard not to try to run them down.

      I think that you are right about my daughter, but I have to acknowledge the guilt I feel about that or I wouldn’t be me.

      Hope you are having a great weekend.

  8. Jay Adams January 21, 2012 at 4:52 am

    2012 is going to be a better year for you Jack. keep up the good work (at home and work!)

  9. Sean S January 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    you can do it, put your back into it……no really keep on keeping on…..and every other one line I can think of.

  10. Jens P. Berget January 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Hi Jack,

    You’re a true inspiration Jack. I am also a father and a writer (I’m not a published author yet). I understand that life gets in the way sometimes, but do you still write every single day? And, do you have specific times where you write, no matter what happens?

    Thanks a lot for sharing the links.

    • Jack January 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Jens,

      Thank you, I appreciate your visits.
      The answer is that I write every day but I don’t publish all that I write.

      Some of it is just stuff that I throw down on paper for the sole purpose of exercising my writing chops.

      Writing isn’t my sole source of income but I have been doing it professionally for quite some time now.

      Deadlines and life often conflict so I have trained myself to be able to write under virtually any condition.

      It is not always ideal, but sometimes you don’t have a choice…

      • Jens P. Berget January 21, 2012 at 4:53 am

        That’s exactly what I want to be doing. Now, I only write when I have 30 minutes or more. I want to be able to just sit down and start writing whenever I have a few minutes… it’s not that I can’t, but it’s the mindset. I don’t think about writing unless I have “enough” time.

  11. Dina January 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I really hope you find your balance Jack, and I think you are on the right track with planning more fun time with the kids. It can only do you and them a lot of good.

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