Four Years Later

The sun will shine again.

Candidates for president like to ask voters to answer a simple question, are you better off now than you were four years ago.

My gut reaction is to say no. It is to say things are much, much worse for me and that I have taken a severe beating that will have lasting consequences and I can’t predict exactly what they will be.

I have a pretty good idea, but life has taught me to not be surprised when things don’t work out like I thought they might.

The Past Is Over

Some people say G-d never gives you more than you can handle and that adversity builds character. Those things may be true but I don’t find them to be helpful.

It will sound arrogant, but I can handle much more than I have been through and I have been through a lot. That is not me asking for more nor issuing a challenge. It is a statement of fact and confidence in my own abilities.

The reality is that the past is done. It is over. What happened has happened and all I have to focus upon now is the present and the future I want to create.

I mention this because this is not a bitter post. There may be hints of anger and frustration but it is not bitter nor is it a “woe is me” post.

One of the points and purposes of this blog is to help me sort through my thoughts.


Four years later things are worse in many areas but better in others. I have answered some questions about what I want that I couldn’t have otherwise answered.

The challenges and adversity have helped my writing. There is a depth that didn’t exist before and there are layers were not there. Now I see texture that I couldn’t identify before. Now I appreciate so much more than I did.

Boil it down and the net result is opportunity to go for things I need and want but was unable or unwilling to recognize prior to having been through all of this.

Change is Hard

Change is hard and I am going through many. The hardest part for me is trying to help my children navigate waters that are sometimes rough and filled with hidden reefs and rocks.

My guy says they will be ok and that they may weather these storms with greater ease than I do. But parents worry about our children. It doesn’t matter how old or capable they are, we worry about them.

I truly believe these changes will be good for all of us and that these experiences will prove to help them but there is a piece of me that asks what if I am wrong.

There is a piece of me that wonders what happens if I have misjudged things and fears they will pay a price.

My Own Worst Enemy

Not unlike many people I am my own worst enemy. I am my biggest critic and have been known to sometimes trip over my own two feet.

A while back I decided it was critical to figure out what happened and why. It was important to me to determine what mistakes I had made so that I could avoid making them again in the future.

Thatreviewis the source of some of my frustration because it is where I figured out how much of what happened was outside of my control. Some of the poor choices that heavily influenced how these past four years have gone were not my own. I could not have predicted them and without clairvoyance it would have been impossible to avoid them.

Why Does It Matter?

It matters because I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes over and over. It matters because nothing happens in a vacuum so even though I can’t hold myself completely accountable I can’t ignore my involvement.

But I also can hold my head high and know I did my best and feel confident that if I keep moving forward things will continue to improve.

They are getting better, things that is.

If you wake up with health, a roof, food and clothing your life isn’t bad.

— TheJackB (@TheJackB) November 7, 2012

Tomorrow I’ll talk with my kids about the next four years. Our situation has been challenging, but we have all of the things listed above and more.

I keep telling them they are the captains of their destiny and they will determine how far they go in life. I believe all of these things and the goal is to show them.

We have been there before, but they don’t remember the high times the way I do. During the next four years I will get us back there so they can see it for themselves.

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  1. Hajra November 11, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I have been through a few elections in my life and there is one thing I have learnt – great politicians, good politicians, bad politicians or crappy politicians – one can live through them all. And the strength really is within you. My mom always told me to try to be the change I want to see. And hope that there is sanity triumphs.

    Love your quote.

    • Jack November 12, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Hi Hajra,

      I don’t rely upon politicians to get me through the day, month, year or life in general. You are right, we survive them all but I sure wish we have more of the great ones.

  2. Joe November 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I’ll be very interested to see how both parties interpret the outcome of the election.

  3. Kristen November 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

    There’s a lot of learning here and a lot of wisdom. I think we writing types are lucky to have our craft to help us understand what we think.

    Here’s hoping the next four years proceed with more ease than the last four.

    • Jack November 8, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Hi Kristen,

      Writing isn’t just cathartic for me nor is it just a way to make money. It is something far greater, it is sanity.

      I love being able to use it to sort and suss out life. It is a real gift.

  4. Christie tate November 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Love this post. I love how you are hanging in there and making art out of your adversity.

  5. Betsy Cross November 7, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I’ve been up since 4. It’s almost 7:30 and I’ve had time to process my thoughts about the election, leadership, blessings, and the future.
    I’m actually content with the outcome now because I’m better able to see where I stand and to acknowledge that I was really depending on a man of strong faith to lead the country forward. But what do you do if you feel like that rug has been pulled out from under you?
    I can only answer for myself.
    I will not look to the elected leaders for direction or inspiration. I actually never have except for a few who I felt were very grounded and humble-Reagan and both Bush’s.
    There. I said it.
    I will be more aware of what’s going on now more than ever so that I can figure out how to succeed in business and life as I dodge the inevitable bullets.
    I’m actually a bit energized. LOL!

    • Jack November 8, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Hi Betsy,

      I hope you continue to stay energized. That is awesome. All of the branches of government have some influnence on our lives, but ultimately it is up to us to figure out what we want to do and how to do it.

  6. Stan Faryna November 7, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Small is beautiful. And some things can never be taken from us.

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