Over the past couple months, I have been experience what could best be described as an identity crisis compounded by minor depression and ADD. The witch’s brew on mental maladies didn’t exactly make me the best person to be around. Upon a discussion one night with my wife, I was told that she is growing ever-frustrated with my current mental state and that I am not exactly exhibiting a “pillar of strength” in the house. That, as well as Maister’s wood chopping exploits sent the gears in my head turning and I realized that I was languishing in boyhood and not really becoming a man. Legally, I am of “adult age” but I certainly did not feel like it. Openly fretting about trivial matters to my wife certainly solidified the fact that my “self” was no longer trapped inside, but others were seeing it as well.
This kicked off thoughts about the men in my life, what they have taught me and the examples they have shown. My father, probably the best example, is a hard working business owner, often working from sun-up to sun-down. He was a man that could seemingly fix many things around the house from the family car to the fence, to small appliances. This was accomplished often through pure gumption and pride rather than formal training. I looked at myself, realizing that I let the ceiling fan in the living room sit in its non-functioning state for 3 years before finally doing something about it. I often times balked at a lot of the duties around the house, many times leaving without making the bed, doing the dishes and overall leaving the house in a state of chaos, much like my college dorm room.
Things changed since then. I looked online and found a blog that expressed a lot of my budding old school lifestyle changes, The Art of Manliness. Since then the house is humming along fine, I am rising early and taking care of things the first time-correctly. I have become a better husband, friend, pet owner and family man. I have bettered my appearance, which in turn has changed my confidence (sorely lacking) in both work and life. I walk to and from the house with my head held high and I have an optimistic look onto my future, whatever the world throws at me. I have also gained more confidence in my future (nothing “cooking” right now, mind you) fatherhood as well.
Manliness is many things, my old school notions of dress, attitude and position are just a small part of TRUE manliness. Modern Manliness is not what one would see on television, in the movies or in Maxim magazine. Modern Manliness does not balk at Feminism (by definition, I am a feminist as well as a man) nor does it promote the man as superior to women.
My next post is an article posted today on The Art of Manliness to read and ponder. I believe it is a good collection of thoughts from which to begin your own journey as well as solidify my recent thoughts.
Also, I provide a link to the archives, if you are interested in reading more.
Feel free to post your thoughts as I look to post more of my own should they come up.
Here is the article as promised:
Teaching My Son to be a Man
Looking upon the folks sitting in our Muni Court yesterday, I realized the above is a larger problem than previously thought.We may not need to wear three piece suits, seven days a week to look our best, but that doesn’t mean we should leave our houses looking like slobs. Proper grooming reveals our respect. Respect for ourselves, respect for those in our company, and respect for those we happen to meet. Proper grooming is not the sole domain of the affluent. Soap is cheap and time runs in equivalence to air.
The above was something taught early to me by my grandfather, a man for whom I harbor deep respect.For example, my son will know how to admit when he is wrong, because a real man does not always carry the need to be right. Being a man means recognizing when we err, and then extracting our best lesson from the experience. He will know how to play with his children, because he will use the same imagination he has always been encouraged to use.
Very important today for all, no?Possibly the single most important lesson in this brave new world, where a treacherous credit line is often but a signature away, is responsibility. My son will understand that things should be bought only when needed, and that we should pay for them only with money we have.