Month: January 2015

Introspective

Almost every six months or so I find myself in a weird introspective phase. I take a look at my life and the things I do and kind of take some weird inventory of those things to see if I’m living up to the things I expect out of myself. I have no idea where this inclination comes from, but I do it and I often have a really good time chasing down some of the things that bother me.

It’s really weird to do one of these kinds of weird journeys, but it’s also pretty energizing. This time, I think the whole thing is triggered by the fact that I’m going to be a dad in a month. Someone else is going to be relying on me for pretty much everything. I look at that not as just them relying on me for food, shelter, or simple things. I think about him relying on me for moral fiber, character, examples of strength, duty, honor, integrity, and all of those other intangible things that we provide as parents without thinking about it. I’ll be his first example of what a man should be, or what he thinks a man is. I want to live up to what I think a man should be so he has a good example. It’s a lot of pressure O_O

I know I’m thinking a little too hard about it, but I can’t help it. Either way, this practice has been really fun. I’m trying to go through some of these virtues in Manvotionals and seeing how I live up to them. This book is incredibly motivating. It’s not something that changes your life immediately, but its something to look at when you feel like you should be doing better or doing more. That’s kind of how I’m attacking everything. Focusing in on some things that I know I might be able to change over time.

This whole phase has honestly been really fun. You would think that this much time spent thinking about all the things you need to do might be a little distressing, but I find it to really energize me. I hope I can keep up with it and continue to make those changes for the better. This blog is part of that and one of the things that I want to dedicate some time to so I have a record of things that are important to me. These rambling streams of consciousness will mean a lot when it comes down to it. 😀

Manvotionals

I picked up a book the other day called “Manvotionals” by Brett & Kate McKay. Those are the folks who write The Art of Manliness blog. I learned about that blog from my buddy, Josh, and every now and then I will pick up something incredibly profound from it.

Since I’m well on my way to becoming a father, I thought I would pick up this book and really study on the things in it. I’m going to be responisble for raising another man in this world and I want to make sure that I exemplify the values that man should live by. It sounds pretty high and mighty, but it’s really not. It’s really about humbly taking on the task of being the man I should be. It’s about character and actions.

Anyway, there have been several passages in this book that really grabbed my attention. Some of them are quotes, and some are lengthy stories. This morning, a short paragraph got my attention and I’ve decided to paste it here so I can come back someday and remember what was so special about it.

The Hunter and The Woodsman
An Aesop’s Fable

A hunter, not very bold, was searching for the tracks of a Lion. He asked a man felling oaks in the forest if he had seen any marks of his footsteps, or if he knew where his lair was. “I will,” he said, “at once show you the Lion himself.” The Hunter, turning very pal, and chattering with his teeth from fear, replied, “No, thank you. I did not ask that; it is his track only I am in search of, not the Lion himself.”
The hero is brave in deeds as well as words.

^ Doesn’t that just grab you! It’s the simplest illustration of a very important point. I know I’ve been guilty of this at least one time, or at least had that moment of, “Oh crap, I just found what I was looking for and now I’m not sure I want it.” The instinct to preserve self is a powerful one, and that’s where courage comes in. Are you willing to throw caution to the wind in the name of some action that is greater than you? Maybe that’s not always the case. It’s not life and death that we typically deal with, but there are moments when we are called upon to step up and put ourselves second in favor of the greater good. This often requires a huge amount of courage.

I’m learning a lot from digging through this book and trying to take the many passages to heart, study on them, and reflect on how I pursue the character of ‘manliness’ in my life. There are seven virtues promoted here, and they all play a role in a persons character.

I highly recommend picking it up if you’re into these sorts of books. It’s also free on the Kindle Lending Library, so it’s at least worth a look. I’m truly getting a lot out of it.

Until next time!

2015

Well, last year went by fast! You didn’t even get to check out any of it! Thanks mostly to my complete lack of dedication to writing in my blog. I feel like that’s one lost year in my life that no one will get to read about. I have all kinds of notes all over the place, spread across multiple notebooks, so it’s not like there’s no documentation. I did exist! I just didn’t share any of my inner most thoughts with the internet in text form. If you really want to catch up with what in the world I’ve been up to, you can listen to Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Lots of good stuff in there!

I didn’t accomplish some things last year that I had set out to do. I’m not sure why I can’t seem to pull any of my goals together. Lately I’ve been coming up with tons of ideas for awesome stuff, but I’m garbage at the execution. Not a whole lot matters if you can’t pull it together. My job is going really well, and I’m enjoying learning and doing some awesome stuff, but it’s the personal goals that are tripping me up. I want to finish my book! I just got texted from my mom tonight letting me know that she finished what I had done. She loved it! She’s also the kind of person that would let me know if there was some kind of weird point or something she didn’t like about it. That makes me feel pretty good about it. Maybe I’ll finish it this year.

And that brings me to what I need. I need some written goals. I’m going to go ahead and bullet point some things that I want to finish. That way, when 2016 rolls around, I can tell if I didn’t make it or not. Some of these will be more likely than others, but I’m just going to throw them all against the wall and see which ones stick 🙂

  • Get RHCE certification
  • Finish “Crooked Fellows”
  • Get super proficient with Docker
  • Write the H&H Coffee Table Bookk

I honestly think that’s a pretty good start. If  I can accomplish those things, I’d say this year is a win. Of course, I’m also becoming a dad this year, so we’ll see how that changes things. So pumped! My son will be born in March, and I can’t even begin to express how excited I am. This is going to be really awesome year 🙂

Later!