The Importance of Being...Male
Read this and ask yourself, "at what price am I achieving things in this life. Ask yourself that question and then sit back and really think about it...let it ruminate a little...let it stew in it's own juices.
As we returned home from Brooklyn yesterday it was fully on my mind, "to what extent have I managed my life to put the important stuff first and the rest second?" I think I've done alright. I mean, I've got a brilliantly limber, kind and accommodating child...beautifully so. I've got a staggeringly beautiful and engaging wife...thoughtful and meaningful work...I'm happy. I do what I want mostly when I want. I have friends...friends that I wish that I saw more frequently, but friends nonetheless. I managed to make it to forty without selling my soul. I think that I've done alright.
Sometimes you need reminding of that.
I just spent eight days with five girls, two of which were bright, beautiful, kind women...the kind you're happy to spend time with, and I learned a few things listening to them talk. As men, we matter. Who we are, what we do, what we embrace and measure as important, how we interact, what we choose to value, where we choose to invest our time. It matters...a great deal. It has impact.
I wish I'd have managed the week better. I must admit that I wasn't my usual self. I was easily thrown off my game, distracted and defensive by our daughters squabbling and general four year old-ishness, and I wished I was a better version of myself, but nevertheless, I was there to listen and contribute, and what I learned was invaluable.
I might not be the most successful man, and I might not be the wisest, or most intelligent man. I might not be the best looking, or strongest, or most charming of men. I might not be the best dad, or fight all the proper fights and walk away from all of the appropriate ones. I might talk too much, and say too little, but I'm with you. I'm present. I'm engaged and eager and sometimes a little dog-like in my enthusiasm to be your friend, and get things right, and mostly I'm happy and desirous of properly fun experiences...mostly I want to be wherever it is that I am, with whoever it is that I'm with...and I want to be good at that...and I want to make people feel loved and valuable, and well, happy. Mostly that's what I want to do.
Listening to the girls talk...not the four year old versions...I learned that us men matter...who we are...what we contribute...what we bring to the recipe that is always cooking between genders. I want to be present and not sacrifice a moment, even the challenging oh-my- god-four-year-olds-suck moments, and I want to have impact...on my wife, on my daughter, on my friends...I want my presence to affect opinion, emotion, and change. I want to be present, good, bad, or otherwise, although I desperately hope for good. Spending eight days with five girls will make you think about your manhood, but mostly I suspect it should make five females think about it too.
I'm not always the most patient, and I'm no prize of a guy to brag about in the most mundane of moments, but I have a heart and mind that have prioritized the women in my life, and have found it easy to appreciate even the ones who only occasionally orbit around my world, and even if I'm not too sure exactly what my role is on the planet I know that it matters that I get things right, and not just anything, or some things, but the right things.