I sometimes forget how much more I like nighttime outdoors. I shouldn’t.
I don’t make any apologies for my musical tastes. Like everyone else born in the early 70’s, I grew up listening to the radio and then MTV. A steady diet of pop and country (because of my parents) gave way to rock and metal and then eventually, punk. Punk music of just about any form is the ultimate panacea for those of us with attention disorders. It keeps us focused and productive, all while railing against the society which produced all of the jerk-wads who picked on us for being socially awkward. I call that a win-win.
However, as much as I love punk music, the last thing that you can call punk music is a source of wisdom for a well-adjusted adult life. Anti-antidisestablishmentarianism will only take someone so far. You can imagine my surprise when I watched a documentary which was referred to me by a friend and I found that several of the pillars of the punk community have had kids and have some serious wisdom to offer, regarding fatherhood. The documentary is called “the other F word” and you can find it here.
Be warned, this film is not safe for work…or kids…and most pets. If you choose to watch it, ignore Fat Mike. He is an idiot and a pervert. Beyond that, you will find a collection of men (often from broken homes) who had kids and suddenly discovered that being a father brought about an amazing change in priorities.
What I found to be amazing was how much that it instinctively made sense to these guys to put their kids first. The amount of traditional family values coming out of these guy’s mouths is absolutely astounding and it left me with this one, profound takeaway: There is absolutely no excuse for not being there for your kids.
Not one acceptable excuse.
If this bunch of non-conformists and screw-ups can figure that out with all of their baggage, then anyone can. Seriously, hearing Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 question how it was ever okay for parents to just let their kids roam the neighborhood from school letting out until the street lights came on was just sublime. Mark Hoppus. Mark “running through the streets naked in a music video” Hoppus. Yeah, wisdom from guys like that.
I’m headed somewhere and I’ve spent the last few months really contemplating the destination. After taking my last birthday in stride, I’m making plans for what I want to do with the rest of my life. It is kind of like constructing a road map for an open-ended road trip. I don’t know where I am going to end up, but I definitely need to know where I am headed. I think that taking some time to intentionally plot one’s future falls firmly within the realm of “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
As part of the introspection process, I couldn’t help but notice where we all are as a society in contemporary America and I’ve come to a conclusion: the wheels are about to come off of this thing. I don’t meant that we’ve got a flat tire and have just not noticed the noise. I mean that we are doing 120 mph and there is maybe one lugnut left on each wheel. We’ve got some serious problems.
So, here is my solution. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, reorganizing, and re-prioritizing. In fact, I believe that all of us needs to start with a hard look in the mirror before we set about to address larger issues. Regardless, I have some goals in place for myself and one of them is that I am going to write every single day from a whole year. While this is primarily an exercise in writing for my own benefit, I also hope that publishing on the website will give me some accountability…along with a forum to either address some issues which merely need clarity or set fire to some issues which need to be burned to the ground.