You’re Standing In Your Own Sunshine

Several months back my son was having a difficult time in school and I sat him down and told him we were going to have a hard conversation about some things.

“I understand your situation and why you are upset but I need you to recognize that your biggest challenge here is that you are standing in your own sunshine. You need to recognize how your attitude is affecting things and how you can make your life easier if you change it.”

He nodded his head and we spent some more time talking about the ins and outs, hows and whys and all the other crap that comes with these things.

Today he is a different boy than he was then. Today I have a teenage son that smiles more than he frowns and there is a lightness to his being I hadn’t seen for a while.

And now someone needs to sit me down and slap some sense into me too, because sometimes being a grownup sucks.

Who We Are

A friend described me as being one of the most intense people he has ever met.

I laughed and said people used to complain that I wasn’t ever serious.

He told me he could see pieces of that and I said that we all carry the recent past into our present and that mine has left me feeling frustrated.

When he asked me why I said it was because I thought I had made it beyond some very significant life challenges and that I was irritated to face some of them again.

We spent a few minutes talking about it and I told him I didn’t think my life was any different from anyone else. It is a long and winding road filled with the same highs and lows everyone faces and a mix of stuff in the middle.

I said it is fair to say I am intense and talked about the fire in my belly. I told him when I set my mind to doing something I can come on like a freight train.

He asked me if that sort of intensity ever exhausted me and I sort of shrugged my shoulders. I am sure others might be exhausted by it but this is who I am and who I have been for a long time.’

People love me for who I am or they don’t. That is just how life is.

Doesn’t mean there aren’t things about me that I want to change or rough edges that I might want to polish but those changes are for me to make because I want to make them not to make people like me.

Ask my kids and they’ll tell you they have heard me talk about the importance of being who we are and not who people want us to be.

Smiles & Intuition

I didn’t want to leave Texas and move back to LA.

LA will always be home but it hasn’t been good to me for a long while and I have known in my heart I needed to be elsewhere.

I came back because I felt like I had to. I came back because I felt like I had an obligation and that coming here would let me tie up some loose ends that couldn’t be handled elsewhere.

Maybe that has influenced my attitude about being here. Maybe that is part of why there have been fewer smiles on my face.

It is certainly part of why I have never let myself settle into the place I am living in now. This has always been a temporary stop in my mind and I have always looked towards a future that wasn’t here.

The initial plan I had come up with was supposed to make that temporary stop truly temporary. It was supposed to be between 12 and 18 months or so.

Life laughed at some of that and punched me in the mouth..several times.

No one takes kindly to being hit, especially me.

Punch me in the mouth and I’ll tie your butt up and lay you across the tracks so the freight train can run over you…twice.

For a while I didn’t get too stressed out about the change in my plans because I always figure out a way to make things work.

My gut told me that if I just kept doing what I was doing I would get to where I was going and that it would just be a different path than I had anticipated.

“Just smile Jack and trust your intuition.”

That is what I told myself and what I did.

Well time passed and things didn’t happen as I expected and my stress level quadrupled because the short little break I expected was far longer than I ever imagined it would be.

And then I finally caught a break.

I caught the wave that I thought I would be able to ride to shore, the one that would get me back on track.

You’re Standing In Your Own Sunshine

I am starting a new job on Monday.

It is not what I want to do but it is something I should be good at that will serve as a good stop gap.

Something that should ensure I can stop worrying about how to pay my bills and help me get by for a bit while I look for the position I really want.

But I am having a significant issue in my head about this position

I haven’t been able to figure out why it is making me so crazy because it really shouldn’t.

There are more than a few irons in the fire and one or more of them could come through in a hurry.

But the sense of relief I felt and the smile on my face have faded and I am not really sure why.

Instead of smiling I am looking at Monday as something I just have to get through.

If my son came to me with this I would tell him to shake it off and tell him to relax just as I did before.

I think I am standing in my own sunshine.

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  1. Tim Bonner April 27, 2015 at 7:48 am

    I hope the new job is going okay. There’s nothing worse than a Monday morning feeling in a job you’re not sure about.

  2. Barbara April 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Happy to see that your relationship with Emerson has brought this great quote “standing in your own sunshine” and I think we both had our share of it in the last years.

    Good luck with the job you are starting today, at least it will take some of material worries off your shoulder, is that not a reason to smile and relax?

  3. Jason April 26, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Hey Jack,

    As a father of two that is about 10 years behind you I’m really glad I’ve found your site. It’s spectacular that you share your experiences with such honesty and raw openness. A gem. Thanks!


    • Jack April 26, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      Hi Jason,

      Well this joint here is what I call free therapy. It is where I empty the closet and clean out the cobwebs of my mind. It has been a pretty effective tool for figuring out what I really think, want and feel.

      And it is a great resource for chronicling the lives of my kids.

      [image: –]

      Jack B.
      [image: http://]

      “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” —

  4. Nicole Jankowski April 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Honestly, the phrase “standing in my own sunshine” is the coolest one I’ve heard in a long time. Love it (and going to use it).

    • Jack April 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks. I wish I could take credit for coming up with it, but I can’t.
      Ralph Waldo Emerson coined it and it just works.

      [image: –]

      Jack B.
      [image: http://]

      “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” —

  5. Larry April 25, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Really glad to hear something has worked out. I hope it’s better than you expect it to be.

  6. Birdman April 25, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I’ve been there, and all too often. I think that if you keep the dreams of your future in sight, it will keep at least half a smile there while you work towards what you want. Cheers, Jack.

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