November 23, 2008

Life: Every Time I think I Have Figured It Out I Haven't

An attorney friend of mine once told me that he thought that blogging about personal affairs could be a dangerous exercise. When I asked him to explain he said that if for some reason you were involved in a lawsuit your blog could potentially be used against you. I thanked him for his advice and told him that Shakespeare was right about lawyers. I blog for many reasons, one of which is the chance to use this place as my personal laughing place.

It is one of the ways in which I blow off steam. A harmless exercise that doesn't involve consuming any carcinogenic, hallucinogenic or otherwise harmful substances. It is where I explore my thoughts and try to establish a framework for how to handle more challenging situations. And believe me, life is full of challenges.

It is a funny thing, life that is. Funny in a hah, hah sort of way and a damn this sucks so badly if I didn't laugh I'd cry kind of way. It is the sort of rollercoaster that simultaneously thrills and scares you so badly you don't always know what you feel.

Every so often I find myself in a place where I feel like I have it all figured out. Every now and then I feel like I have a handle on life. I know exactly who I am, what I want, where I am going and how to get there. And then life kicks me in the balls and while I bend over to catch my breath life grabs ahold of my underwear and yanks it up towards my shoulders.

The beauty of pushing 40 is that I have learned how to roll with these punches. Or maybe I have been kicked so many times that my boys just don't register pain very well anymore. I prefer to believe that age has bestowed some wisdom upon me so that is how I am going to proceed.

In the summer of 2007 I encountered a situation that I found exceptionally troubling. In theory it was relatively simple, but I was so close to the subject I thought that it merited a second opinion. So I called my father and said that I was in need of fatherly advice. I explained the situation and he offered me a suggestion.

Upon hearing his suggestion I said "Dad, I need your help now. I need your 'A' game. Is that the best you have got." He laughed and said yes. I paused and told him that I was afraid that he was going to say that. But I am nothing if not tenacious so I asked him what he would tell a friend to do in a similar situation.

He laughed again and told me that I was in a place in which only I could figure out what to do. I grumbled and hung up the telephone. I agreed with him, but I was still frustrated. That is the thing about life, there often are no right answers. There are a lot of wrong answers, but the right answer is harder to come by.

So I find myself doing the best that I can. I look at each situation and try to determine what makes sense. What is best for everyone involved. It is often not an easy answer. As a single person you can do whatever the hell you want, but when you have a family you have so many other responsibilities. It is like dropping a stone into a pond, there are ripples. Whatever you do is going to impact others. The hard part sometime is trying to figure out how and where to draw those lines.

Perhaps at a later date I'll share some more thoughts about that.

Crossposted here.

No comments: