What Is The Best Way To Get Attention

Where dad sometimes hides out.

Something I ate hates me and I have spent the morning battling this bug. It has been a bare knuckles brawl in which I have emerged battered, bloodied and bruised, but I am still standing and the bug is becoming a memory.

This bug has bad timing. I had planned on accomplishing far more than I have and now it is clear that I am going to have to adjust my schedule. But if you believe that life is filled with signs and messages that don’t necessarily originate from people or electronic devices you might say someone or something has been trying to get my attention.

So, consider it gotten, my attention that is and now that you have it what are you going to do with it.

“There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all”
In My Life- The Beatles

It is around noon on Friday afternoon now and I am listening to Johnny Cash perform a cover of In My Life and gathering my thoughts. I feel torn up right now and the last thing I want to do is work but there are moments in time where we suck it up and do what we have to do.

This post is my warm up for the writing that I have to do. This is where I stretch and loosen up so that I can put together the words that pay the bills because these aren’t them. Someone has been reading a post called The Most Valuable Possession and it makes me smile.

It has been a little more than a year since my last living grandparent died. He was my maternal grandfather and I miss him as I miss all of my grandparents.

Silence Isn’t Always Awkward

I was lucky to be very close with both of my grandfathers. They were very different men and yet quite similar in many ways.

Twenty years ago the three of us might have sat outside together and enjoyed the 100 degree weather. They would have told me about how Chicago was never like this in September and debated where the best place to get a hot dog was in the Chicago of their youth.

In between the commentary we would have shared a comfortable silence and one of them would have asked me to tell them about my life and what I wanted to do with it. They would have listened and asked more questions and peppered the conversation with stories and advice.

They may not be here but I feel their presence and I would like nothing more to update them on my life and to tell them about their great grandchildren. I wonder what they would think about these signs but I think I know.

Sometimes what I miss most is watching their faces while they watched my children. There must be something amazing to see your grandchildren grow up to become parents. But I am also sorry they aren’t here to see what is happening in my life because we are standing on the precipice of something big.

Risk Versus Reward

It would be cool to talk to them about how I figured a few things out and how some of the risks I have taken have slapped me silly but that some have paid off. It has been hard to do some of these things and I have paid for it.

I took the beating because I thought it was the right thing to do. I took the beating and kept standing because I had them in my corner and I knew it even when they weren’t around.

So I am sorry they aren’t around to see some of this. They would have taken such pleasure and it would have been so good to not just share these things but to thank them.

I kid around about being crazy and I have my moments, but my head is screwed on tight in large part because of them. My parents deserve much credit too.

The Wrong Question

When I ask what is the best way to get attention it is not really the right question to ask. The right question is once I have gotten it what should I do with it.  That is something I think about frequently but I am not sure how well it translates in these blog posts some of you read.

And now friends, the floor is open. What will you share in the comments?

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  1. Jens P. Berget September 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    It’s great that you’re feeling better. It’s been a while since I’ve been sick, and now with three kids in the house, I better not be sick ever again 🙂

    I’ve been lucky that most of my family have lived fairly long lives, and both my parents are still alive, even though my grand parents are dead.

  2. Mark September 22, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Hi Josh, I’ve been down a week with a horrible flu bug… Just coming out of a five day fever, geesh! I’m happy to hear we are both feeling a bit better.

    In many ways looking back, I wish I was less of a risk taker… But then soon realize I never would have tasted the successes in my life had I not been fearless.

    These two things are a tough balancing act, especially when you’re young, dumb and beleive your invincible.

    I think (hope) I’ve gained some wisdom through it all to balance these a bit more efficiently 😮

    Happy Saturday to you, sir!

    • Jack September 23, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Hi Mark,

      The flu sucks, just nasty. I hate it. Anything that lingers and leaves nasty reminders is on my list.

      Anyhoo, I think life is a combination of attitude, luck and a willingness to work. If we are smart enough to pay attention we figure out how to avoid making the same mistakes again and take that knowledge and apply it to the future.

      In my life I have been my biggest enemy and greatest ally. I expect that’s not all that different from a lot of people.

      I am sure you have gained more than a little wisdom for your experiences. The people that don’t aren’t the ones trying to do what we do.

  3. Joe September 22, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I was lucky also. Had my grandfather for 37 years and my grandmother up until 2 years ago. They inspire my life daily, and hopefully I pass that inspiration to my kids. Life is a sweet thing when you have had people like that in your life.

    Get better Jack. Nothing worse than a stomach issue!

    • Jack September 23, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Hi Joe,

      Took some time, but I am feeling human again.

      Life is a sweet thing when you have people like our grandparents in our lives. We have a lot to be thankful for and that is a damn good thing.

  4. Harleena Singh September 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Hope you are feeling better Jack!

    Sometimes we just don’t get to know what causes us the unrest when what we might have eaten seems alright to us.

    I miss my grandparents too – a great deal. I guess that’s the reason I write about them so often and try to share my experiences with them in some of my posts. I think they had their own way of sharing things with us and teaching us alongside. And yes, just like you, I also wonder what they would have felt had they seen their grandkids grow up in-front of them. I also wonder if they would have changed along with changing times, or preferred to remain their own-selves…thoughts…so many thoughts at times cross my mind.

    Thanks for sharing and taking us down memory lane. 🙂

    • Jack September 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Harleena,

      I couldn’t begin to tell you what I ate that didn’t like me, but whatever it was was particularly angry with me.

      It is wonderful to read about grandparents and I think that your stories are a great tribute to them. There is something special in these stories and I think it is beneficial, useful and a great way to honor their memory.

      Sometimes I wonder what we will be like if we are fortunate enough to become grandparents. Hopefully our grandchildren will feel that we have made a positive impression on their lives.

  5. Julie September 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    You’re the second blogger today to have food poisoning etc. – hope you feel better. Weird energy today.

    OK you know what I am going to say, I think. The signs were always there but now you are noticing them. When the signs start to fly around left and right you KNOW you are on the right track. You are actually late in the fame dept…but it’s a particular kind of fame and I’m not sure it’s the one you’re talking about. Book deal fame or something equivalent like a syndicated column, is what comes to mind.

    Must be this time of the year but I feel much the way you do re: grandparents except it sounds like your grandparents were similar to the way my Dad treats my kids. He’s 77 and my kids are young so I have been wondering who will explain the way things are/were when he isn’t here. Oddly my husband comes from near me but his parents just don’t have “that way” about them. They are the “rah rah everything is perfect because you are wonderful no matter what” type whereas my Dad is more apt to throw a hat at them when they misbehave. You know.

    • Jack September 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Took a chunk of the day, but I am close to normal again. Good times, good times, I tell you.

      The signs may very well have been there but damn, they didn’t jump out at me like they do now. I almost feel like the whole food poisoning thing was to make me pay more attention. Kind of an extreme way to do it, but…

      I have a pretty clear picture in my head about much of this but I am not writing it down here until more happens. Call it superstition, call it skepticism or whatever, just not ready for that.

      Very intriguing.

      It sounds like your boys have a nice blend of grandparents. I like that combination, I think it is good. But I like having grandparents around period, so…

  6. Bill Dorman September 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Anybody who has the entrepreneurial attitude and willingness to let it all hang out will get beat up a time or two; but at least you are taking the chance to make it happen.

    How you handle the attention is important to; I’m of the mind don’t let it change you or get you off track of your mission. It’s very easy to get puffed up in here and it don’t mean a thang………..

    Get well sir.

    • Jack September 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Bill,

      Your second paragraph is a hot button with me. I have seen some bloggers taste “success” and seen them change. Some of them have become insufferable and their egos have ballooned up in ways that simply aren’t flattering.

      They seem to forget that there is limited value in being able to say 100 people know who you are online. It just irks me, especially when they preach humility, but that is as much as I’ll say for now.

      Appreciate the well wishes. Hope you have a good weekend and get out on the links.

  7. Alma September 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I was not that lucky to have grandparents around when I was young. I really wish I had. My husband did. His life was richer because of it. I love listening to his stories of their stories… but I wish I had my own. I want so badly for my kids to have that connection. So I work hard at that. Even with in our neighborhood I want them to have that connection to an older generation. My husband’s grandpa was active and went back to college at 90. How wished to have known him.
    Regardless if they are not here, your life is richer and the fact that you have a full life is because you had them in it.
    I am graying very fast and my daughter said “momma dont get old”…broke my heart. I wanted to say “never fear getting old.” Im not going anywhere.” … but she is four.
    Well she got my attention and just kissed her forehead.
    Hope you feel better!

    • Jack September 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      That is a great story about your husband’s grandfather. I love that.

      I was very lucky to not only have great grandparents but I had one or more for 42 years, so I knew them as a child and an adult.

      It is great you are helping your children stay connected to the older generation. There are good things that come out of that relationship for both sides.

      Four is a great age. I loved it when my kids were four, but I tend to love whatever age they are.

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