It Rattled My Cage

There is a vague memory of a time somewhere between 15 and 17 in which a frustrated teenage boy couldn’t wait to be an old man of 45 or something like that.

He didn’t like the idea of being old but figured the peace of mind he would have would be worth something because the crazy moments of being a teen were sometimes hard.

I had forgotten about that moment until an echo from the past surfaced and I realized the frustration I have been feeling today was no different from then.

Except this time I recognize that sometimes we can’t always identify what rattled our cage, just that something did.

Useful pain

What Rattled My Cage?

I am not certain what created the chaos and uncertainty I am feeling right now.

Might be the combination of having moved multiple times, surgery and teenage issues that is doing it.

Could be tied into how hard I am on myself too.

Kind of funny because I won’t let anyone talk to myself the way I do, but sometimes I do.

I pay attention to this sort of stuff not just because it is impossible not to notice that I feel off balance but because I want to be able to help my kids manage this stuff.

It is my job to help them navigate and negotiate life. Since I can’t say they haven’t been gifted with some of my traits I figure I ought to be able to show them how I handle some of the hiccups.

And I am certain there has to be a benefit to having survived some of the crap that we all go through in life.

So I am telling the part of me that demands answers to stow it and to embrace the discomfort because in some ways it doesn’t matter what caused it.

Emotions don’t always follow rules, reason or logic and they show up even when they shouldn’t.

All I need is one small victory, one moment in time to kickstart things and we’ll be back on track.

Small Victories Lead To Big Ones

I talk to the kids about the benefit of small victories on a regular basis because if all they are fed is shoot for the stars they might forget how meaningful the small victories can be too.

My childhood wasn’t packed with information overload the way theirs is. I didn’t have to worry about social media, Internet, cell phones, computers and all fo the tech noise in general.

Doesn’t mean we didn’t have pressure, but it was different and I see theirs as being a little harder because you can’t just escape.

It takes effort so I want to do what I can to help them build a solid foundation and shore it up.

And I want them to remember that we didn’t become who we are today overnight and we won’t become who we will be in a day either.

Time can be a friend or an enemy, it just depends on our perspective and that is all I have to say for now.

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  1. Larry November 6, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I think time is always your friend – depends if you use it or let it use you.
    I’m with you on the small victories. If we are always waiting for the big moment, we miss the smaller ones which are also valuable.

  2. Jamie November 6, 2016 at 9:23 am

    My 23 yo made a decision recently that I couldn’t believe but i kept my mouth shut. It wasn’t a bad decision, didn’t hurt anyone but it was the safe decision. With it he closed the door to what could have been a great thing before waiting through a little discomfort. I realize that I have 30 years on him and after passing up things and playing it safe for too long, I immediately saw what he was doing. I took a deep breath knowing we have to learn by doing. Even if it’s taking risks for a good thing — or playing it safe.

    • Jack Steiner November 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      One of my big goals as a father is to know when to speak and when not to.
      It is such a hard line to walk because I want my kids to learn how to be independent and fly without me but I don’t want them crippling their future.

      It doesn’t have to be either/or, but some days…

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