51 Dumb Mothers & The Fathers That Love Them

Not Inspirational
I don’t remember the first time I read that quote but it has kept me company now for almost a full year.

If you are among those who believe things happen for a reason and that there is something more to this world you might appreciate my saying that part of the reason I have held onto it is because it felt appropriate for this time.

Even if it was nothing more than coincidence it was useful and for that I am grateful, especially because it introduced me to other quotes and excerpts from Murakami like the one below this sentence.

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

That line there resonates with me as a father and as a person.

Ask my kids about how many times we have spoken about the value of being your own person and the strength it sometimes takes to move away from the crowd so that you can learn more about yourself as a person and try to focus on what makes you truly happy.

Dad Bloggers and Dads In General

Sometimes the kids ask me for examples of how I do things differently from other people and why.

Can’t tell you how many times I have used blogging as an example and talked about how I don’t play the game the way others do.

But I always tell them there is a contradiction at work in my actions and in life in general.

I tell them they need to figure out when it makes more sense to join the crowd because there are times where it is better to go along to get along.

And then in the next breath I talk about the importance of not doing things just because others are doing it and how sometimes the coolest thing you can be is yourself.

When they ask me if I am going to blog about these conversations I shrug my shoulders and say I don’t really know because I haven’t decided if I should.

“Dad, how do you get more free stuff for us?”

I tell them that it is about connecting with the right people and that because dear old dad doesn’t play the same way many of the others do he doesn’t get invited to join.

“So why not change your style so that you can get more invitations?”

I nod and smile and tell them I prefer to do it on my terms.

“Does that mean that you never try to be a part of the crowd?”

I nod and smile again.

“No, sometimes I fall in line because I hear about a program I want to be a part of and it is easier to get the invite if I adjust how I do things.”

“Daddy, it sounds like you make it up as you go.”

“Bingo! That is exactly how I operate. I make it up as I go and act as I do based upon a gut feeling. It is not logical but it doesn’t need to be for this.

51 Dumb Mothers & The Fathers That Love Them

Add that to the list of ridiculous headlines I have used here.

It is definitely not the craziest but don’t ask me to tell you which one that is because I am too damn tired. If you really need to know you can take a look over here and see what you come up with.

When I first sat down to write this post I played around with writing a more structured piece. I thought about talking about places to get free stock photography, blogging about how to become a better writer or sharing another story about the kids.

I came damn close to integrating all of them.

Would have been easy to share a story about homework hell or what happened when my daughter pierced her ears for the second time.

Could have told you to remember every story has a beginning, a middle and an end but I just didn’t feel like it.

Why?

Because I have this feeling that I am about to finish walking through part of the storm Murakami talks about.

The 10 Year Storm

Truth is I didn’t want to write about how unsettled I feel and the sense that there is not nearly as much support for what I am trying to do as I would like.

Writing won’t change any of those things and I have enough clarity about what my goals and intentions are to not need to write it down.

This new job is fine, but it is not what I want and even though I could be very good at it I need to keep pushing for the next thing.

That is because my gut says I have to go after what I wrote about in How Do You Catch A Dragon? and Life Is About Painting A Picture.

I can’t stay where I am because the ground is crumbling beneath my feet.

What kind of father would I be if I didn’t show my children that you never stop trying to get to where it is you want to go.

Tonight I played two hours of basketball and though I played well I felt empty out there. I felt like a ghost was playing for me and that is not what it is supposed to be about.

There just wasn’t the same amount of joy on the court and that made me feel a bit sad because that place is often where I feel most alive.

I am not the same guy anymore and I don’t feel the need to try and be him. I am too focused on moving into the man I am going to become.

For the moment I am satisfied with trying to enjoy the guy I am but that is only because there is no point in not enjoying the present.

But life is made to be lived and not just passed through and that my friends is precisely why I am going to do what I have to do regardless of how much support I have or not.

P.S. Shamless Shilling

Did you ever read The Fifty Posts You Didn’t Read On New Year’s Eve?

Take a look at it and I promise you’ll find at least two good posts that will hold your attention and entertain you.

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10 Comments

  1. Larry May 8, 2015 at 11:10 am

    You are nothing if not an independent minded person.

  2. cathyjonest May 7, 2015 at 6:57 am

    “But life is made to be lived and not just passed through.” It all boils down to that, doesn’t it? Even if it’s a rough patch.

    This post really resonated with me for personal reasons. By the time I finished reading, I didn’t even realize I hadn’t found out who the dumb mothers were. 🙂

    • Jack May 7, 2015 at 8:17 am

      I hate and despise the idea that life is about suffering and that we are supposed to just suck it up. Rough patches are fine, we all hit those but they don’t last. When things aren’t working you have to figure out a way to adjust and mix it up so they do.

      That’s tied into hope and if you don’t have hope, well life can be very hard indeed.

      • cathyjonest May 7, 2015 at 8:31 am

        Indeed, rough patches are fine because they are transient. And I hate to see others suffer, especially if they are my family. When my dad died with cancer, it took me a long time to get over my anger at the disease. It made no damn sense. But of course there is a lot in life that makes no sense. And I am not a suck it up type person, but one that believes that 99.9% of the time, there is another solution or way to deal with things. That may not be realistic, but it’s the way I am. I refuse to give in easily.

        Good luck (if there is such a thing) on your journey through change, by the way.

  3. Vidya Sury May 6, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Jack, I alternate between being in the storm and the process of getting in and out. And I love that Murakami quote – I have a whole bunch of them – used to try figuring out why some quotes grab my soul with such a vice-like grip, but gave up trying – and decided to just enjoy them. I realized I could do the same with most things in life – in the long run, so many things are just temporary and only some bits stand out. Okay, as parents, many bits. Even the itty bitty ones.

    Every evening, I walk for an hour on my terrace with my son, usually joined by Sury. Most days, my son tries to figure out my relationship with blogging – and all things related. I tremendously enjoy the journey of sometimes discovering myself through our conversations because I am forced to think of answers – that boy is relentless and won’t give up until he gets them.

    Growth is what it is all about – I love that you touched on enjoying the present – but moving towards who you want to be. Enjoy the journey, I’ll be cheering you on!

    (Loving this comment-by-email-ness! Please bear with me as I keep on saying it!)

    • Jack May 7, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Hi Vidya,

      My children do the same thing. They force me to figure out why I think and believe certain things. I appreciate it because I love watching them learn and I like thinking.

      I tend to see myself stepping in and out of the storm too. Kind of nice to have some real calm in between the moments to catch our breath.

      Glad you enjoy the email commenting. It is so easy and fun.

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