We watched the bamboozler’s speech about building his great wall of nothing and I pointed out the fallacies, mischaracterizations and blatant lies to the children.
Not because I feared they wouldn’t catch most of them but because it was a good teaching moment for them and in their teenage years it is harder to get them to listen to their old man with the attention they should.
I understand because I had a harder head than they did and was probably more aggressive about pushing back against parents and authority than they are.
Not so long after Pelosi and Schumer responded my attention was diverted to personal experience with walls, those I have erected and those I have torn down.
I may not be particularly graceful but I am built for demolition and I have put my fists through doors and walls. Torn some doors off of their hinges and destroyed a few block walls among other things.
When you write about the Rules For Falling Down Stairs you have to do so knowing you have to decide if you want to assume your role as a modern day John Henry and swing your sledgehammer repeatedly at some walls that stand in your way.
The benefit to pushing 50 (yeah I think about it quite a bit) is that I am more inclined to take a moment to consider the best approach for handling said walls.
That is not to say I didn’t check to see if they were load bearing in my earlier years because I certainly did but now I look,listen and measure because it is clear some are temporary.
You don’t necessarily have to waste energy swinging because those who erected them will pull them down on their own and save you the trouble.
I spend ridiculous amounts of time in the car for work which is why I listen to a ton of books on tape. It is not always as enjoyable as sitting down and reading the real thing, but there are moments where it is even better.
Good topic/story with the right narrator can be exceptional.
It isn’t unusual for me to listen to the news, a good interview on Howard Stern or take the time to ponder life’s mysteries.
Sometimes I’ll turn on some music and consider what I have been told/heard about various things, both personal and professional.
It is where I think as much about the information that hasn’t been shared as much as what has. I suppose if you had a camera on me you’d see my expressions change as I debated what is unadulterated bullshit, intentional omissions and or consider possible outcomes.
Sometimes it is relationship related or sometimes it is health related.
I play back the soundtrack in my head and work on putting together the pieces.
Generally that happens if I am tired of the news, not interested in listening to music or anything else and haven’t been able to turn off my brain.
Someone told me recently it is hard to fool me. I didn’t agree nor disagree with them because I wasn’t sure how to respond.
Everyone wants to feel like they are too smart to be bullshitted, but I learned long ago that getting too cocky is a good way to set yourself up for having the rug pulled out from underneath your feet.
Now I want to walk away from whatever situation I am in feeling good about it. I don’t need to feel like I negotiated a better deal than anyone, I just need to feel good.
If it is a personal relationship and they are important to me I need to know I let them know I am here. In certain situations I might push harder to let them know, but only if I think they are being unnecessarily foolish.
And even then I might not say anything. There is no framework or structure for it, just a gut feeling.
I texted my niece last week following her surgery to make sure she knew her family is looking out for her from near and far.
Afterwards I swore I heard my dad thank me and could feel him smile. Probably didn’t happen, probably wasn’t any sort of message from the beyond but I didn’t care.
It doesn’t hurt to feel like he is around and given his instructions to me I felt like I hadn’t just done what I would normally do, I had done my part to do what he would have done.
I can’t be grandpa and I am not trying to be, but I can lend another ear/support to a 17 year-old who may or may not ever ask for it. Can’t hurt.
What continues to strike me is the uncertainty of how much time we get and the questions that come with how we spend that time.
Got Rheumatoid Arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and various cancers floating through various family members plus Parkinsons and a couple more fan favorites.
Haven’t gotten hit by the heavier ones and am actively working on trying to dodge 0r destroy those that pop up. Medicine helps manage bits, drips and drabs and exercise in theory might help with some of the others.
But there are no guarantees and thus I ask myself if I am on the path I want to be on with the people I want to be with.
What do I want to do with my time? How do I want to spend it and what sort of obligations do I have?
They are hard questions to ask and answer because some of it is impossible to decipher without a crystal ball and some without others.
Life isn’t black and white enough to delineate all choices, so we live in our choose your own adventure book and hope we find that brass ring or at least one that satisfies our soul.