I was about to post this last Thursday but then a dark shadow fell over Nice France. So this week y’all get TWO posts for the price of one!
I think I’m getting my period. I’ve been crying at EVERYTHING! Grey’s Anatomy – cried. The new Tarzan movie – cried. Conversations with people – cried. Thinking about my horse (short version… he went lame, couldn’t put him down because he is too young and AWESOME, couldn’t keep him, found a place for him with supposedly good people, showed up to visit him one day and he was gone, place was vacant, found him at a rescue facility, skin & bones, tried to adopt him back, they wouldn’t let me because “if you gave him to people who starved him then we can’t trust you”) – Angry cried. Re-read last week’s post about my dawg – cried. Lost my baseball game – THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! (Thanks Tom Hanks!)
Maybe this is what happens as men get closer to turning 50? MENopause? Or maybe I’m just overtired? Oversensitive? Overloaded? Overweight? Over IT? Yeah! That’s the ticket! I’m over IT! I’m over this whole being silent for one day a week thing. What a stupid idea anyway. At least that’s what numerous people have said to me recently. “You’re doing what?” Really? Why?” “What’s the point of not talking for an entire day?” “It must be frustrating for those around you.” “Communicating with others is a gift you have. Why would you set aside the gift God has given you?” Even one of my Camino gurus I interviewed told me that I really owe it to the other pilgrims to tell them my story. That’s what the Camino is all about. Pilgrims sharing their journeys with each other. So – yeah. This silence thing is stupid. And it’s messing me up. Yeah… yeah… That’s the ticket. Silence is stupid!
Orrrrr maybe something else is going on…
This week’s Oprah “Ah-Ha” moment …
I’m realizing that I need to become a laid back, peaceful, happy, old man with a grey beard SOON! Because I’m going to become a Grandpa SOON! And I think I’m terrified because I’m not ready to be a Grandpa. I’M NOT GRANDPA QUALITY YET!
I wasn’t ready to become a parent when I knocked up my girlfriend when we were 20, but ready or not, we were married and parents by 21. I’ve been a parent my entire adult life. I never had much of an opportunity to date, to build a career, or to “grow up” without the added pressure of being responsible for a child and a wife along the way. (This message is brought to you by Birth Control – The Catholic Church might not endorse it – But I DO!) Obviously I love my kids and wouldn’t change a thing because my life went the way it went and is the way it is and life is good. But I’ve just barely tasted the sweet freedom of the proverbial “empty nest” that I’ve been hearing about for 27 years! I’ve just begun to allow myself to focus selfishly on my career and maybe carve out a bit more “me time” than I’ve allowed myself to do in the past. And now it feels like I’ve got to put back on that old parental coat of responsibility that I packed away. (Is it bad that I’ve been enjoying the break from having to be a “good example” 24/7? Not that I ever actually was, but recently I have given myself a little more breathing room as a human. An example of this would be, now that my kids are adults, I’m allowing myself to walk authentically down the road of spiritual doubt. I no longer have the fear that what I might find at the end of that road would negatively impact my children’s faith. Any other parents get this? When my kids were kids, I felt a tremendous responsibility to provide a moral/spiritual compass for them and my faith needed to be CERTAIN. Otherwise, how could I sell them on something that I was uncertain about myself?
*SIDE NOTE: I’m so proud of my son and his wife for doing life the way they’ve done it. A dating life THEN preparing for a career THEN committing to each other THEN getting married THEN having a baby. Not that doing things in that order is by any means THE way to do life – but it sure seems to be less of an uphill journey than the route I took.
I received a text from Bermuda during last week’s show letting me know that Johnny Barnes had just died at the age of 93.
I had the honor of sitting and chatting with Johnny for a few hours last year in Bermuda. For decades – come rain or shine or even hurricanes, Johnny went out into the darkness of early morning and greeted Bermudians on their way to work – Monday to Friday – with a wave, a kiss, and an “I LOVE YOU”. His stories are fantastic. His faith is simple. His reason for doing this – pure. I saw it in his soul when he let me take a close up picture of his eyes.
I need to be like Johnny Barnes – NOW! Johnny Barnes is the kind of Grandpa I want to be. I want to be the grandpa that no matter what happens in life (rain or shine or even hurricanes) I’m able to exude the peace that I felt leaking out of Johnny Barnes. I want to be the grandpa that Johnny was. (crying again – dammit). I don’t want to wait till I’m 93. I need to become a laid back, peaceful, happy, old man with a grey beard NOW! Because I want my granddaughter to see what I saw in Johnny’s eyes – what I felt in Johnny’s hands. Thank you Johnny Barnes. I LOVE YOU GRANDDAUGHTER MARSHALL!
Spiritual Benefit During My 15th Day Of Silence = 3/10 (but after someone challenged me last week to re-think my spiritual grading scale, I’ll bump this week’s to a 4/10)