Tag Archives: story telling

Stinkin Thinkin

 

My idol Davis has been giving me some tips and i'm even starting to look like him. Thanks dude.
My idol Davis has been giving me some tips and I’m even starting to look like him. Thanks dude.

 

  Good morning. Gosh damn it’s early. I have come to enjoy shaking out the morning cobwebs via daily blog post that I set my alarm for 2am. Hopefully I can get one finished before I start getting ready for 5am CrossFit. We had the kids this past week so I have been unable to play with my morning friends at the gym. I’m excited to see them. There are generally varying levels of excitement, as you can imagine at any early morning gym session, but the people at the gym are so playful and fun. We all give each other a hard time, but everyone is thoughtful of each others’ feelings. Except for Mark Fortune, we don’t give a sh*t about his feelings. The way we see it, if a 50something year old man can color coordinate his workout clothes from head to toe and wear a SpongeBob Squarepants shirt, he is generally pretty comfortable with himself. The last time I left him, he was instructing a fellow member by pointing at his shirt, with the most serious of faces, and exclaiming, “SpongeBob says squat deeper….SpongeBob says deeper.” (For the record, I love Mark and the place would not be the same without him.)

  Last night Amanda and I attended the second class of our 12 week American Sign Language Course. It was fun, interesting, and scary. I would like to tell you that I am excited to learn sign language, but that would indicate that I am enjoying the process, and I am doing a terrible job at this. What I really want is to KNOW sign language, and I want to know it NOW. I sit in this class and I wait for the two hours to pass, not because I don’t enjoy sitting there, but because I am constantly afraid that my brain is going to reach maximum capacity. I fear that I am going to lock up and go into a Silas Marner trance, then have to be deprogrammed at some sort of mental hospital. There is only so much room in the ole noodle, and I’m afraid of filling it up with too much memory that I run out of RAM. I spend a great deal of time in my own head, and the conversations that go on up there are almost audible. The people who attend the meetings in my head can be from all different stages of my life and they can be brutal, impatient, and allow zero grace. The voices I am referring to are my conscience, and I have heard them accurately described as the “shi*ty committee”. It is a virtual boardroom of a*sholes tell me all of the reasons that I am not capable of performing most tasks. The president, CEO, and majority of the shareholders of Beefcake Inc. were all present at the committee during the duration of my class yesterday evening.  Being tired probably had a lot to do with my negative thinking. When I get fatigued, I start focusing on all of the things that I am doing poorly. I don’t cut myself any slack, and I start looking for the area where I am inadequate and start believing myself to be inferior. I forget that I am taking this class “for fun”, and it is supposed to be a “pleasure”. There is no career advancement or human life at stake. There is not a deaf person in my life at the moment who is in urgent need of my mastering the skill of American Sign Language, but you would think that I am needed to be the chief sign language negotiator for a hostage crisis in the Middle East somewhere.

Throughout the ALS class, we are asked to go in front of the classroom and act out various phrases. They have been very general terms, like “what is your name?”, “nice to meet you”, and “are you deaf”, but when I am placed in front of a group of my peers, the wheels can really lock up. I performed a sequence last night, and when I sat down I thought that I was going to cry. I was so frustrated that I gripped the table in front of me (while maintaining a cheesy smile, a red face, and my teeth clinched hard enough to split a penny) and thought about flipping it over. I actually played the tape through, and reviewed the pros and the cons of whether or not it would be a good idea to flip over a fu*king table. I’m almost 40 years old and for a brief moment, the biggest decision I had to work through is whether or not to flip over a classroom table because I did not perfectly execute a serious of hand gestures in a language for which I have exactly 2 hours of formal training! Where do I come up with these ridiculous expectations of myself? Why do I allow my classmates so much grace, but I just butcher myself? I could see myself on the pitcher’s mound when I was about 12 years old, and playing rec league ball. I experienced the feeling of getting pulled from the mound and being moved to first base. I would pull my hat down over my brow, and kick the dirt with frustration. I could see my dad at the chain link fence yelling words of encouragement, all while my attitude worsens. Eventually, fed up with my childish attitude, dad yells those words that are the fail proof litmus test for any pre-teen/teenaged boy….”Stop pouting.” These words open the floodgates, and I respond the same way 100% of the time. A kick of the dirt (cue the tears), and a high pitched retort, “I’M NOT POUTING”. An all out come-apart goes down in front of my peers and their moms, dads, and siblings alike.

I had to take a deep breath and regroup. Perspective is what I needed to breath in, and frustration needed to breath out. I have a real knack for trying new things for the sake of learning, and when I find out that I was not born mastering them, then I throw a f*cking fit. A couple of months ago I was having trouble with the timing of my “double-unders” while jump roping at the gym. I got so mad and bent outta shape that I grabbed a PVC pipe and smashed it on the floor. The pipe exploded like a fluorescent tube light and sh*t went everywhere. The effects were actually pretty cool, and looked like a stunt from Wrestlemania, but the whole childlike display was actually quite embarrassing. Just last week, while doing the same movement, I wadded up my rope and I threw it across the gym towards the TV monitor and computer laptop. Pretty ridiculous, huh? While sitting here in my comfortable chair after a good nights rest that sounds ridiculous, but at the time, while I was 100% engaged, it was very real. Disengaging from things is a practice that I must practice everyday. When I am disengaged I get a much clearer picture of the reality of things. Only then can I understand that no one is born knowing sign language, and that is why there are classes for it. Only then can I see that double-unders is a skill that takes time and practice to master, and will not be perfected over night. Only then can I see that no one really gives a sh*t if I can jump rope or not. I enjoy reflecting on my feelings and actions at the end of the day and early morning hours. I enjoying getting to see my ridiculousness for what it is. I would venture to say that 99% of the things that I get bent out of shape about could be avoided with a deep breath and another man’s viewpoint. Nothing is ever as serious of a problem through another man’s microscope. When a married father of two children, whose occupation is weed control, fertilization, and parking lot sweeping is getting bent outta shape over sign language, and a jump rope….there probably needs to be a period of reflection and a change in perception. Hang in there today, and better yet, have some fun. Don’t take it all too seriously.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Beefcake

God, Help My Kids Fail

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January 27, 2016

4 days in a row! 4 days of using this blog as a virtual puke bucket for my thoughts. It feels as if I am traveling throughout each day on a luxury cruise with some pretty rough seas. I enjoy the cruise, but its stressful being in unfamiliar territory, and I get motion sick easily. When I get off the boat, I barf off of the side of the pier and then I can regroup and have some stillness. That is what my writing has given me.  Huh? (I realize it doesn’t make much sense, but I hate to delete all that typing).

Ok. It’s 4am and I am bright eyed and bushy tailed from a good night’s rest. I am watching my 6 year old daughter sleep, and there just ain’t much else that I’d rather be doing. I have been blessed with two really good kids. I realize that most parents believe their kids to be good, but these two are especially good natured . In the stillness of the morning hours, I ponder exactly what it is that I want my children to experience in their lives, and the answer is simple. I want my kids to be safe, happy, and successful in every area of their lives. I want them to have all the good, and none of the bad. I want them to win every game and ace every test. I do not want for an ounce of pain to ever be experienced, and be a total stranger to suffering. Every relationship shall flourish, and they would be liked by all who come into their lives. They will go to college, have stable jobs with 401k’s and bonuses, enjoy faithful spouses who adore them, and they shall have healthy children who give them the same peace and happiness that my kids will have given to me.  Does that sound about right? Wrong. Bullsh*t.

That is not at all what I want for them. It doesn’t work that way. At least it hasn’t for me. All that stuff I was talking about before would not have provided me with an ounce of satisfaction. Growing up as a white kid in Germantown, with two parents and an entire family that loved and cared for me, it would be tough to sell you on the idea that my life was overly challenging. My parents loved me very much and wanted good things for me, but they didn’t hover over me with a blanket over my shoulders to shield me from danger, and earmuffs so as to not hear the harshness of the world. If they would have, I would probably hate them for it. I am a control freak of sorts, and I am doing my best to enjoy watching the world work, instead of trying to work the world. It is so arrogant to believe that I can make my children be this way, or that way. I can demonstrate these things, but I cannot “make” them “be” anything, any more than an apple can make an orange be an apple. I simply cannot change another one’s nature.

So, if I had my five minutes with Da Big Man in the golden recliner, I would ask for these things for my children. Make them good hearted and caring, but provide that fire when they have been pushed too hard. Give them safety, but not too much. Allow them a broken bone, so they  can get their cast signed. Have them picked last, so they can strive to be first. Have them work their ass off for something, and fall short of their goal. Teach them that life isn’t fair, but it’s life…which is more than fair. Have them love till it hurts, and still not be noticed. Give them a season of losses, so to enjoy the big win.  Give them the acne, so they will know insecurity. Bend the fender, it happens, move on. Fail that big test that they studied so hard for, take it again, and strive to do better. Have their best friend betray them, so they can better know a friend, and have an enemy befriend them, so they learn to forgive. Allow them some mischief and  laughs through misconduct, but teach them the difference between horseplay and harm. Open their eyes to the ways of their family, but let them decide what they will leave and will take. Let them choose what to do with their future, and have them take my two cents worth, but value it as such. Give them the fortune they desire with no work on their part, then take it away so they can see what its worth. Have them not value “things” cause I said,  but let them choose things for themselves, for I have not the answers. Have them know what its like when the world’s out to get them, to be beaten, battered, tail-tucked and afraid, then have them bounce back stronger, confident, and brave. Surround them with half-wits, some low lives, and slackers, then give them up-lifters,  motivators, and well wishers. Let them make that decision for them, not for me. Push them so hard they will blame you and the world, them give them the calmness to see the real cause. Give them the failures,  ridicule, and the scorn, and give them compassion when it’s the other man’s turn.  Allow them to see that I don’t have the answers, but I have all the love that I hope they will need. I want them to know that I don’t want perfection, but that I want them to fail on their way to succeed.

Most of all, I want for myself to understand that it is not my job to make them into anything, but to be there for them as they become something different. I don’t want to control, but to appreciate and admire all the things that they are, and decide to be. I want to remember that just because I like something a certain way, that it does not make it right. I want to be always accepting of their beliefs, viewpoints, and their system of doing things. I hope that you have a good day, and experience as many ups, downs, and in-betweens as life has to offer you.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Beefcake