It is 2:30 in the morning and I am at the computer…again. Headphones on my ears I am listening to a mix of music and am lost in time.
That is me in the picture. Sure, my face is covered but it is really me. It is one of the pictures I used for Movember and it looks nothing like the mental image I have of myself.
You see the guy with the beard is some forty something year-old man who should be asleep now because nothing good comes from being out on the town after midnight or so they tell me. That guy in the photo doesn’t look like me because I see the 20 something who spent hours in the gym and was cut. I wasn’t this big block of blob that I see now.
There is no excuse to be made and no one to blame other than me.
Accountability- The Buck Stops Here
My children don’t know the guy I used to be. They see this old man that runs with the younger guys on the court. The same younger guys who sometimes taunt me not knowing that some of those things get through. Some of those comments sting.
I won’t ever admit it in person because that is not what men do. There are many places in which I am my own guy but socialization has impacted and imprinted me. I won’t tell them if it hurts because that is a sign of weakness and we don’t do that.
One of the reasons that I don’t cry is because I learned a long time ago that men don’t do it. I know, some of you will say that it is stupid, foolish, immature and ridiculous. You are probably right, but when you are a 14 year-old boy you sometimes do what you think you need to do to be one of the boys.
And the reason it stings, these words is because I am letting myself down. It stings because my ego is involved and when ego gets involved things happen. Sometimes good and sometimes bad.
The trick is to figure out how to channel that energy in a positive way.
I Am My Own Worst Enemy & Biggest Critic
It is not the first time that I have written those words nor the first time I have thought about it. When I look at the last chunk of time I see lots of places in which I can take refuge. I don’t have to stand out in the field and let the hail rain down upon me because it is not all my fault. Much of what has happened has occurred for reasons that were outside my control.
But that ego I mentioned won’t accept that because I feel like I should have figured something out. I am not a stupid man. I have ability and I have proven many times that I can use it but sometimes it doesn’t matter because we fall short. We trip ourselves up. We do things that sabotage our success.
And sometimes the crap you encounter is flung by someone at higher pay grade. It is not a level playing field and when the shit flies sometimes you get smacked in the face with it.
But that doesn’t change my responsibility to deal with it. It doesn’t negate my role or my need to find a way to adapt, overcome and move on.
The thing that may not come across is that I am not as upset or despondent as these words might make me seem. I am frustrated and angry because I feel like I have been dumped in the mud and asked to drag two tons of useless crap through the swamp, up a hill and then back again. It is two steps forwards and one step backwards.
I am doing my best to figure out what happened and what I can do differently. Some of it is hard. I am so intense I wear people out. I wear myself out. I think that my biggest challenge now lies in having too many things going on at once. I am over extended and haven’t been able to figure out how to to rid myself of some of this stuff.
So I shrug my shoulders and figure that if I keep placing one foot in front of the other I will see daylight again and I will find myself dragging a lighter load. But in the interim I am stuck doing it the hard way.
The naked truth is that I am not that guy any more and I have to decide to be ok with that or make some changes. The good news for me is that all this crap is good for writing. Life experience that is. Life experience provides insight, opportunity and more.
3 AM- time for me to catch a couple hours of shut eye. But before I go I want to leave you with some links:
- The Universe Taps You On The Shoulderâ€¦Again
- A Post I Hope Youâ€™ll Read Version 765
- Dancing In The Fire
Post Script: I don’t know why, but when I changed themes it affected some of my posts and now some sentences have strike-throughs in them even though that was not my intention.
Jane April 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Men don’t cry ??? It’s such a cliche. I’ve seen my dad crying and my husband crying. Not coz of me of course. Sometimes doing what you wanna do will be a reliever. You can try it once.
keya April 2, 2012 at 9:37 am
All you can do is go one step at a time to be the “guy” you want to be. But who said you had to be and look like the same person you were when you were 20 anyway? Being young and (dumb) is over rated. What about older wiser and dare I say with a little “softer” body.
Jack April 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Older, wiser and softer- I like it.
Bill Dorman April 2, 2012 at 7:27 am
Get a razor, will ya………..holy mackerel…………it’s a good thing you are working from home.
I certainly know I am not going to be ‘that guy’ anymore. What I do know is, I’m ok with that, what you see is what you get. It’s not perfect, but it could be a hell of a lot worse.
I can imagine having a sense of restlessness, especially if the buck stops with you and there are parts of your game you feel you should have already gained a little more traction than you have. As we all know, hard work doesn’t necessarily equate to dollars and I think we are all willing to work hard enough to do what is necessary.
I feel that big tumbler is still spinning for you and whereas you have had a couple of the numbers click into place, you are waiting for the last two to fall and you will be cooking with gas. Just keep moving forward sir…….
Jack April 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm
Yep, it gets pretty thick, the beard that is. 😉 Must be Middle Eastern blood or maybe relatives from Chicago.
Got to tell you I have been thinking about your comment all day long- the big tumbler resonates with me. I am two numbers away and ready for them to fall into place. Just pushing to make it happen.
One of these days this restless soul will become less so.
Betsy Cross ( April 2, 2012 at 4:47 am
I long for the day when I can pull a Forest Gump or swallow a little purple pill that would help me ignore that nagging voice in my head that tells me to dobetter, more, now.
That day is not today.
Thank goodness the sun is coming out.
There was a day when I had the courage to say what was on my mind in my blog posts. That day is quickly waning!
Jack April 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm
I understand what you are saying because it has become harder to just write the way I want to here. It irks me to say but then again I try to push back against it a little bit harder. Maybe effort and will can make the difference for us.
Vanita April 2, 2012 at 2:50 am
Jack, i hear you on having way too many things going at once. and i can definitely relate to what i see in the mirror not matching what i have in my head. i can honestly say i still feel 25. question is, what are you going to do about it? i took the leap and even started another darn blog for it. lol. it’s been 8 weeks, i’m down 12 lbs. clothes i haven’t work in 6 years fit again. you’re much more active than me. a hell of a lot more active than me, so i’m thinking you’d have an easier time. you just have to decide. that IS the hardest step.
Jack April 2, 2012 at 11:05 am
12 pounds is awesome. I am working on it. I haven’t stepped on the scale but I know that some clothes are fitting better than they used to. My biggest issue is my diet- it sucks.
I hear you about feeling 25 because that is something that I can relate to.
Julie April 2, 2012 at 2:45 am
I can’t take a pic like that because I am a girl, and I am 45, and if nothing showed up that was obscene then I don’t want to know about it.
Try thinking of it like you co-created every single thing in your life. Then think about why that might be. That is initially extremely annoying and frustrating. Eventually it becomes liberating and sets you on the right track.
Jack April 2, 2012 at 10:53 am
Hadn’t thought about trying it that way- should be interesting.