So why that phrase for the blog? It was inspired from a song by one of my favorite musicians – Jack Johnson. But before I get into that, it has a ton to do with me, my personality, and how I tend to operate.
I’m a fixer. If there is a problem, I feel like it’s my responsibility to find a solution. It doesn’t matter what the problem is or if there even is a solution. Thanks to my wife, I’m slowly starting to learn that not everything has to be fixed.
I hate asking for help. It mostly still feels like weakness when I do. What is messed up is I only apply this to myself. I truly enjoy helping others and find a ton of value in doing so and I never view those needing help as weak.
More than anything though, I’ve spent 4+ decades thinking I have control of my world. I am a slow learner and I guess I am getting old (not really, I’m still 18ish in my mind).
Let me be very clear, I do believe there are many things in our lives we can control. We control our effort, we control our attitude, and we control how we respond to people and circumstances. What I’m beginning to own though is the fact I can’t control the outcome of every situation, no matter how hard I try. I can’t control how others will interpret a circumstance or how they choose to act. It’s especially apparent in a couple of our kids. No matter what I do to try to prevent or get ahead of situations where their behaviors may rear their ugly head, I am shown again and again that I can’t control them. I can’t control how impulsive they are and the poor decisions they make. What I am learning is I need to change my mindset. I need to control my expectations.
Controlling expectations or eliminating them is where the focus should go. Doing so helps drive better responses and reactions to situations, especially stressful ones. The other component that is not kid related is limiting the stuff you give attention to each day. There are so many things flying around us each day, trying to make it into our world. It is vital to limit distractions and only give attention to the things that deserve it.
I’ve been reading a lot over the past two years on ways to get better at these things. During this time I’ve stumbled into Stoicism. This philosophy really resonated with me. I’ll get into more details on this in a later post. In short, my natural instincts align very closely with this philosophy, and I can see a positive path forward by getting deeper into its teachings. Regardless of all of that, it has helped me maintain a better mental condition each day – especially when it seems like everything is on fire at once. Seven kids and a high stress job can get you to an overwhelmed mental state very quick if you aren’t willing to evaluate why you are feeling a certain way. It also requires brutal honesty with yourself and self-awareness.
Taking care of yourself mentally is vital to being the very best person you can be, not to mention being the best husband and father I can be as well.
Back to the phrase, it comes from the song my wife and I danced to at our wedding – I Got You by Jack Johnson. He is one of my absolute favorites. His lyrics seem to always carry a deeper meaning (I am a sucker for lyrics) about life and the world as it truly is. You can find the song lyrics here: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jackjohnson/igotyou.html . The whole song is great and a metaphor for my life, but the portion below is what really drove me to use it for the title of this blog.
We went walking through the hills
Tryin’ to pretend that we both know
Maybe if we save up
We can build a little home
But then the hail storm came and yelled
“You need to let go, you’ve got no control. No”
This weight’s too much alone
Some days I can’t hold it at all
You take it on for me
When tomorrow’s too much
I’ll carry it all
I got you
This life my wife and I lead is complex and messy. Some days are amazing, some days we don’t know what really happened. We know the control we thought we had or could create doesn’t exist and never will. We also know that no matter what, we have each other’s backs and are in this together – forever!!
#ivegot2more #accountability #7kids #loveofmylife #jackjohnson #endure #grind #fetalalcoholsyndrome