My wife thinks I need to be more confrontational. More controversial, if I want this blog to be a success.
The One Who Must Be Obeyed is of the opinion I need to say or highlight something that is going to go viral. Stir up the masses and create debate and argument and conversation. Maybe she has a point. I sit here and write this thing on a semi regular basis and know I am reaching only a few.
So who am I trying to reach? Am I trying to reach anyone at all, or is this simply about self-satisfaction? Do I have a message, am I ranting or am I just throwing words to the wild west coast winds, to scatter as they will?
And how exactly do I define ‘success’. What does it mean to be successful? In my situation I don’t work as such. I am a full time parent, which is work in itself and my kids are, as far as I can judge, happy and healthy. Am I, therefore, not already successful?
The real gritty truth of it is that I simply don’t have anything that fires me at the moment. Haven’t for years. There are things in our education system that annoy me, wider issues like the governance of this country, the management of our environment, things closer to home like the perilous state of my personal finances, my ever increasing decriptitude etc etc…
So is it age? Is it a malaise, an apathetic lack of interest, suffered in the realms of stay at home Dad’s? (I have never thought to ask where other Dad’s are doing their thing, if not at home.) Have I gotten too old to care? Have I gotten comfortable? Fat, lazy, preoccupied, too busy, not busy enough? Has my life as a father, parent, become so insular that the myriad of issues I am sure are out there, I simply let slide?
The answer is yes. The answer is no.
I don’t go anywhere and I don’t do anything. Nothing of note anyway. I have two children in my permanent care, under the age of five and they dominant my time and the manner with which I can spend that time. The nature of what my wife does for a living dictates, to a point, what I am able to achieve in my own, euphemistically termed, spare time. Then you factor in where we live, a small spot in the Far North, not exactly blessed with a wealth of family friendly activities and it is obvious that the ‘issues’ of the day do little to impact by minute by minute existence.
Over the years I have dabbled with all sorts of things. I loved Scuba diving, loved to hike and have hunted, fished, played drums in a band, even tried being a co-driver once in a rally car. No, before you ask, we neither crashed or got lost.
But somehow I have gotten lost. Not in the sense that I am not the man I once thought I was, or aspired to be. Just because I am home husband, does not mean I am in any way subjugated or play second fiddle, any fiddle, to my wife. Being the ‘home maker’ is not a minor role in any family dynamic and while doing so isn’t where I thought I might be in my early, okay mid, 40’s, doesn’t mean I am not immensely satisfied.
Am I stimulated?
I still rock. Crank up the tunes and let go like I did in the 90’s. The kids think I am weird, think I am mad, but every now and then bust out the grooves with me. I don’t read as much as I would like but I do write as often as I can or feel the need to. I am learning to cook, ever more adventurously and there are a heap of projects covering all sorts of activities that float around in the back of my mind.
However, I spend the day playing with dolls, fitting together puzzles I could do in my sleep and having conversations based around the merits of holding glass of milk in two hands versus one. When I do read it is out loud, to a sometimes indifferent audience, on topics that range from the activities of various animals engaged in a variety of outlandish activities, to the nocturnal and somewhat nefarious actions of fairies. My favourite movie at the moment is Rise of the Guardians.
No, in a nutshell, I am not stimulated, in that I am not challenged. Does this mean I am unhappy? No it does not. I only have to look out the window and am greeted with a stunning view that likes of which many only dream of. I only have to reflect on all the joyous moments that having children roaming around under your feet brings.
So I am happy enough, I am content enough. So much so that I cannot get stirred up over anything. There is no one single thing, nor any conglomerate of things, that gets me worked up enough to react, outside of a dinner table conversation, that may or may not border on a debate. Even in the midst of an election campaign, I cannot find anything that is going to get me waving my banner all over the place.
I am, therefore afraid, to report, for the meantime at least, there will be no controversy found here. I am not going to have a go at religion, feminism, politics, sexism, racism, environmental issues or anything else. Not until those issues knock directly on my door and I have to be honest, I hope they never do. The All Blacks keep winning, so no dramas there and Arsenal are predictable average, no surprises there.
I am not bland, I am not blank. I am just busy. Busy doing nothing in particular.