Father’s Day, Lurkers & 99 Things That Matter

Mystical station

They lost their fathers three years ago, weeks apart but close enough to make me wonder about coincidence, connections and more. They are people who have been a part of my life for so long now I cannot remember a time when they were not.

I think about them around this time of year but I never wonder if they know I love them, each in a different way but love nonetheless.

The day approaches and I haven’t made any plans and I am not really sure if I will. Some of it is because I am not a fan of the day any more than I am one of Mother’s or Valentine’s Day.

Maybe it is because I don’t like being told when I should remember to celebrate those who brought me into the world or those I love.

Is it coincidence that Fire and Rain is playing now or that I am thinking of those who have moved on to wherever or whatever comes next?

Maybe.

I don’t spend too much time thinking about these things but when I do I take the message and do something with it. Might be real or it might just be in my head.

Except the thing is I can’t help but believe there is something more because when I look at this and close my eyes I always know who is looking back at me and I remember that somethings can’t be explained until they have been experienced.

Lurkers And Blog Comments

Ten years of blogging and the more things change the more they stay the same. We have the same conversations about how to build an active comment section and how to gain new subscribers.

When it doesn’t happen the way we hope we find ourselves wrapped up in questions about why one blog is better than another and sometimes it leads to some nasty thoughts in your head or maybe that is just me.

Maybe my ego wreaks havoc when I look at other blogs and wonder how someone who can’t write as well as I can is doing better. Most of the time I am good at maintaining some perspective and reminding myself that most of the time success is subjective.

But I understand the concerns and thoughts about the lack of comments. I am always happy when I get more comments on posts, it always feel good but it is never what drives me.

That is because I love writing and because when I share posts like this it is cathartic and it helps remind me about how far I have come.  Life is about moments and small victories and being able to share those with the people who mean the most to us.

Perspective comes from a variety of places and posts like the one Oren shared about discovering he has stage four lung cancer.

Things That Matter

The Facebook dadblogger community has rallied around Oren as have many of his and his family’s loved ones. We have done our best to provide whatever support we can.

It includes a fundraiser to help Oren and his family. If I can geek it up a bit it reminds me of  a quote from  Return Of The King.

“Come, Mr. Frodo!’ he cried. ‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

I have been lucky  enough not to have had any major health issues but I have faced some other challenges that were significant and life changing.

What I have learned from those is that sometimes you have to ask for help because the burden you are carrying is too damn big to deal with by yourself.

It wasn’t easy for me to do and it was harder for me to admit that I couldn’t carry the load by myself but I learned.

If there is a lesson I want my children to learn it is to appreciate good health and to understand the importance of giving back. I don’t want them to do it because of karma or because it looks good on college applications.

I want them to do it because I want them giving back is a core value of ours and that when we give something without expectation it feels better.

Van Morrison is singing about sailing Into The Mystic now so I think it is time for me to follow.

Be good to each other.

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Comments

  1. I’m going to listen to you and just stop comparing my blog to the more popular ones. You’re absolutely right; we write because we love to, notoriety for it would just be gravy. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I also do not really celebrate the three major cash cow holidays. That makes me sounds so cynical : P. My parents know I love them and that I show it and try to make it known throughout the year by my action .

    The comparison in the blogging community is stressful and doesn’t have any benefit but make us bummed out. Someone will always have more.

    This is random but I saw twitter that it popped up that you were a Game of Thrones follower! This Sunday should be epic!! Happy Father’s Day to that!

    • I tend not to be very big on certain holidays too. My folks know I love them every day, but since my kids like making a big deal out of the days it makes me happy to celebrate with them.

      I love Game of Thrones. I have read all 5 books, can’t wait for the next one and am looking forward to Sunday night.

      • I’m sure it is nice when the kids care a lot about it as a father. It is cool that you celebrate it with them. My siblings and I want to throw a surprise sixtieth for my dad this year, but my mom said, “No, he won’t like that.”

        Yeah the next book should be awesome. Tonight’s episode will be awesome. Perfect timing for Father’s Day. Maybe that is why they didn’t have an episode on Memorial Day, so they could have a special one tonight.

        It took me two days to get the image of one of my favorite character’s head getting smushed out of my head.

  3. Lately, I’ve stopped caring about blog traffic and commenting and all that. I guess I’ve given up on the idea that I will have a monetary or successful blog. It was intellectually freeing. Of course, if I magically become popular overnight and get a book deal or whatever, I might change my mind. I like to think I’m flexible.

    • Hi Natalie,

      I think there is a difference between saying you’ll have a blog that earns “money” and one that is successful. Of course it is all subjective, but I suspect you might be farther along than you think.

  4. What is it with comments and comparisons? I feel a similar sentiment. When I decided to undertake a “Dad Blog” I was pretty surprised at where the most activity and conversations happened. Why not *here* or *there*? Why not me??

    I quit wondering. They all seem to say “write good content and people will read it.” It’s just not true. There are those who win the lottery and get legions of fans through a viral post or whatever. And there are those marketing whiz kids who build up followings and reputations regardless of what good they have to say.

    I gave up the rules and started writing whatever I wanted. I throw a link out here and there and that’s the sum total of my marketing efforts. Is it a surprise that I’m not particularly popular? No. Do I care? No. I lost interest in click contests.

    And I’m commenting here because dammit I respect your voice and your writing. It’s good stuff Jack. I particularly like how direct your style is. No frills. To me, that’s how you respect your readers.

    • Hi Brian,

      It is not Field of Dreams out here no matter what people say. You can write the best, the worst or something in between and there is no guarantee your stuff will be read.

      I would be lying if I said that never bothered me but it is what it is. If I have learned anything it is there is joy in writing whatever you want and I think merit and benefit.

      That is because when you free yourself from those “silly rules” you give yourself a chance to just write and let your true writing voice run free. It might sound goofy but I think it is where we figure out what makes us happy and that moves blogging from work to play.

      Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it. Hope you are enjoying Father’s Day.

  5. When I read your posts, I could easily imagine that we are sitting chatting over a coffee. I like the conversational element of your musings.

    I’m totally with those who get hung up on comments, or lack of. It always seems to be the posts that I think will do great that won’t. It can be especially frustrating if the lurker numbers are down too, meaning I missed my market completely!

    Really enjoyed this post, thank you.

    • I am so glad you enjoy these posts and the conversational tone comes through. My goal is to create a feeling like we are sharing a drink or hanging out at a barbecue.

      I want it to be fun, friendly and inviting.

      Blogging really is a trip, you never know which posts will hit and which will flop.

  6. First, I’d like to share that I am a Van Morrison fan.
    Secondly, as you well know I have had some of those thoughts and doubts about blogging.
    The way our community has responded to Oren is inspiring.

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