No One Reads A Dad Blog

There is truth in this.

There is truth in this.

A moody writer is a good writer or so I wrote on my Facebook Fan page.  Apparently people agree with me because I received a comment and a few likes. Don’t believe me? Well go check out the page and if you haven’t liked it than please do so.

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I am grumpy, overtired and frustrated today. It is the culmination of a bunch things and I feel worn out and worn down. Got a bunch of rejections that sucked the wind out of my sails and made me shake my head.

It is not the first time that I have been rejected nor will it be the last. Fact is that my son has heard me review the short list of rejection. It includes jobs I didn’t get, places that fired me, girls that broke up with me and the story of the time my middle sister knocked out one of my teeth.

Those tales that I told were part of my pep talk for him. He was having a hard time with some stuff and needed dad to bring his ‘A’ game and I brought it.

I sang a song for him that pumped him up and made him feel like he could tear down a brick wall barehanded. I used most but not all of my tricks and made a point to bring Master Yoda into it too.

Some of you will see that as a silly pop culture reference but not he and not I.

I have thought about that line a lot lately. It fits with my mood and is tied into my frustration. During the last basketball game I played there was one moment that felt like it summed everything up.

I was under the basket and I grabbed three offensive rebounds. Three boards all on the same play. Put up three shots and I missed three times. I did it with two defenders slapping at the ball and my head.

If my son had told me this story I would have congratulated him for grabbing those boards and persevering. I would have told him to ignore the fact that he didn’t get the ball in the basket. But it wasn’t my son that it happened to. It was me and timing is everything.

Most of the time I do shrug that stuff off. It is a pickup game that I play in for fun. It is a game that I play in because it helps me blow off steam but this time it pissed me off. This time I got angry. The writer in me wants to tell you that I grabbed the ball a fourth time, elevated and slammed it.

But that isn’t what happened. My legs don’t give me that kind of lift anymore and the truth is that I never had serious ‘hops’ but I could get to the rim.

No this time what happened is that I got tired of getting smacked and I called the foul but what I really wanted to do was punch the wall. You see I was and am tired of feeling like I almost got that brass ring. It is irritating to see others get what you want and feel like you are so close you can almost taste it.

I tell my kids that it is important to manage our egos because it gets us into trouble if we don’t. I am no different than the next guy/gal. I have a sense of pride. I make no bones about having a sizable ego but I try to keep it in check and remain humble because I think it is smarter.

“Do or Do not. There is no try.”

I repeat those words to myself because ultimately the best way to prove my worth to myself and others is by what I do. So I try to let go of the things that drag me down. I try to forget about the girl that said get lost and the boss that said get out.

I try to forget about the strikeouts and the missed baskets and focus upon the things that give me strength rather than drain it. When I say that failure doesn’t have to be a negative I mean it. I don’t care if people say that is code for loser because they can go fuck themselves. Don’t care if that last line sets people off because we all have to find ways to push past the muck and mire that slows us down.

There is no single path through life no one right way to do it. The best way I have found to deal and do is to dig beneath surface and see what lies beneath. That is what gets me going over and around. It is what helps me to adapt and overcome.

It is part of why I acknowledge that sometimes I just feel like I haven’t got it. But I have found that when I do admit it I find new stores of energy and new resources. Maybe it is the universe acknowledging that I have asked for help or maybe it is something else.

All I know is that it works for me and that is good enough. I’ll leave you with one more thought to ponder.

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
Thomas A. Edison

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24 Comments

  1. Carolyn March 2, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Hello Jack,

    Do I dare say that I’m glad you were having a rough day and in a grumpy mood? If this hadn’t happened, your readers wouldn’t have been treated to this amazing and inspirational post. Your son wouldn’t have been able to reap the benefits of your wisdom on these issues.

    Thanks for sharing your silver lining with us!

    • Jack March 2, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you, I appreciate it. Been a rough while, but stormy waters aren’t unfamiliar.

      Have to swing by your place and see what cool apps I haven’t learned about yet.

  2. Chopperpapa March 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    “I repeat those words to myself because ultimately the best way to prove my worth to myself and others is by what I do.”

    My friend, therein lies your and for that matter all of our problem.

    At what point did we begin and continue to feel that we must prove ourselves to anyone?

    This conundrum is without question the biggest character flaw in the human male. Our desire to validate ourselves through the approval others by what we do and how well we succeed at doing it.

    This comment in no way signifies that I have slain this dragon. Regrettably I still check my reader and blog stats routinely.

    In the end however it’s those who persevere without dragging their self-worth in tow who will ultimately succeed.

  3. Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson February 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Jack: I’m all about Yoda. And Kristen Lamb is my Jedi Queen.

    And tracey, I think you are just having a semantic disagreement.

    I don’t believe in “try” either. So many people say they WANT to write a book. Really? Write the damn book. Do it. Don’t just say it. If the book sucks, at least you can say you completed it. So Yoda is about getting things done. It doesn’t mean we won’t fail. But people either do or don’t do. We may fail when we do, but we can learn a lot of lessons by doing.

    It’s all this talk about “trying” that screws people up. I’m “trying” to get to the gym. Whaaat? Just DO it. Stop talking about it and DO it. Start eating more healthily. We might screw up (as you said), but we have to keep doing. A lot of people treat failure like it is an F word. But there are many lessons to learn from failure. But we have to shake it off and keep doing.

    • Jack February 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Renee,

      When people talk to me about diets I am very honest about mine- it sucks. It is the one thing that holds me back from being in the kind of shape I want to be in.

      But that is because I like to pretend that I am still 20.

      Failure isn’t fun but like you said there is a lot to be learned from it.

      I would much rather fail at a task than not make any effort to do it.

  4. tracey February 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Oh, there most certainly IS a “try”. If trying alone were not enough reason to attempt something, then nothing would ever get done in this world. We fail way more often than we succeed.

    • Jack February 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      I think it is a question of intent and attitude, at least for me it is.

      I have “tried” to make an attempt to not “try” certain things that are important to me.

      If it is something I want I reorient my focus to “do” because it makes it easier for me to follow through.

  5. Bruce Sallan February 28, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Yipes, why didn’t you elbow those guys and go for it a fourth time! Lol…I don’t play contact sports for exactly THAT reason. I prefer to suffer my own falls/bruises so I do something safe – skiing!

    • Jack February 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Hi Bruce,

      I generally don’t need to throw elbows, dip the shoulder and push up and I usually create enough space not to have an issue.

      I love the contact, always have. However I have begun to notice that recovery is taking far longer than I want so I am changing my game.

      The joy of aging is upon us all, but always better to be smart about it.

  6. Ralph February 28, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Yoda was a dude. A little gnarly looking dude of very few words. Didn’t look like much but we ALL listen to his stuff. And it’s GOOD!

    After 17,155 days I still don’t take rejection well. It’s a BIG part of the design industry. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told my ideas suck (maybe I am a slow learner).
    Hard work pays off and who cares if you get rejected anyway. Keep trying and learn from your mistakes my mentor always says. Never give up, she tells me. Good thing I married her. That way she’ll stick around even when I feel like I have to beat myself up.
    Thanks for sharing this. I KNEW you had a sensitive side (first time on yer blog, sir). Ego can lead to funny business, you are so right about that. ;-]

    • Jack February 28, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Hi Ralph,

      Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate the visit.

      Your mentor is right if we gave up every time someone said no we would never get anything done.

      To me Ego is a double edged sword. It can push us to do better and keep us from accomplishing it all at the same time.

  7. Jens P. Berget February 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I can relate to the rebounds. I have done this a lot. And I remember how it was like to grab the rebound again and again and not make the basket. And I also remembered what it was like when I grabbed it three times in a row, missed the basket every time, and finally, grabbing it a fourth time and passing it to a guy on my team who scores a three pointer. It made me feel even worse, even though I should have been happy 🙂

    Like you said, we need to think ahead and don’t dwell on stuff that just makes us feel pissed.

    • Jack February 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      Oh Jens, I had to laugh. I know the pain of rebounding repeatedly only to have that other guy hit the shot.

      It is good when you win but sometimes it is still frustrating.

  8. Hajra February 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    What can I say but just offer hope that yes, it will get better. And yes, it will.

    Rejections hurt but my mom always kept telling me, maybe this wasn’t good enough for you. I know it is the mom in her speaking but yes, it did help and when I face rejections, I reassure myself the same way. Not practical always, but how much can we see ourselves hurt…right? 🙂

    We all need to be the reassuring moms (or dads!) to make life a little easier when things go tough.

  9. Stan Faryna February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Jack, I hit Facebook just for you, buddy. You’ll find 12 likes and comments. But I find that if you can get 5 comments, there’s a good chance you’ll get more. But, yeah, it’s also about timing your wall post for your friends to see it.

    My best recommendation for a manly man to build FB interaction is the Facebook game called, Cartown. Or something similar.

  10. Jessica Gottlieb February 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I could have written this post today too.

    Sorry Jack, not every day feels like this.

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