The Grand Final

Today is Grand Final day in Melbourne. It's not my week with the boys, and right now I am missing them. I really enjoy watching the games with them, but this year it hasn't worked out.

It seem like I have heaps of other options for watching it - pubs, parties, gatherings, solo. I even had the opportunity to attend it live.

But I have been trying to work out what I actually need today. And I have decided, and feel great about, spending the day with one of my mates, at his house, watching the game.

It's the right setting for how I feel right now. It's what I need.

Alone

I am staggered at how easy it is to feel all alone in this world. I have developed a new network of friends. I have deepened old friendships. I am close to my extended family. I live inner-city. I am on social media. And despite all this there are days when I wonder if I still know anybody.

Those days are more common just after I have parted ways with my two boys. Yesterday was one of them. After a solid week of being with them over the school holidays, the contrast yesterday was tangible. I spent the day not wanting to be with anybody, or talk with anybody. My introvert needed some attention.

I think I am ready to be with people again today. Ready to remember that I am not alone.

Benefits of missing out

It is morning, and I check my diary for what I have on during the day. There is a 9:30 coffee with Chris, but no location. I email Chris to confirm we are still on, and where we are meeting. Five minutes later he calls me back, apologising as he cannot make it after forgetting to put it in his diary.

I am annoyed. I was looking forward to hanging out with Chris this morning. I don't know him that well, but he seems like an awesome guy. We tentatively make arrangements for the following week. I wonder what I am going to do with my morning.

I drop the kids and school and then drive to my favourite hood - Fitzroy. I drive around the back streets looking for a place just to hang; a cafe that could possibly meet my current weird dietary requirements. I see a face; a familiar face. Rodney! 

The last time I saw him was about 10 years ago, before we both left this city. So much has changed since then. There is nobody in the world I would more like to hang out with right now. Warm, genuine, thoughtful, Rodney.

I park the car, walk to the cafe, and then over to where he is sitting.

'Rodney', I say. We hug.

Implicit questions when asking for advice

Yesterday I put together a business equity structure for the business that I am working on which has two other cofounders. I think the model is really solid and fair, and puts reward and incentives where they need to be.

Before I took my cofounders through the structure I wanted to get some external reassurance that the structure was as fair as I thought it was. So I rang two close friends to see what they thought.

Both thought that the model was good - they gave me some valid things for me to consider when presenting it to my cofounders, and reflected back to me how the model may play out over the first year of operation.

And while the feedback was pretty good, my feeling at the end of both conversations was not what I expected or wanted it to be. I started by feeling very good about the model, but ended feeling a bit hollow about it.

This got me thinking about what I was really asking from my two friends. I actually don't think I really wanted them to feedback or critique the model I had put together. What I wanted was for them to reflect back to me how brilliant it was, and how brilliant therefore I was. Not exactly that useful for anything except my ego.

I thank my friends for giving me the feedback that was actually useful and will help to set the business up for long term success, not the feedback I was implicitly asking for.

 

Laundry List, Item 6: There is no way of getting all you want

The less money I earn, the less things I want. Doing Courtney Carver's A Simple Year has been a big help with this as well, enabling me to realise that many of the things I think I want to keep (forever) actually don't bring me any joy.

There is no way of getting all I want anyway. This is liberating to live. I can allow myself to want things without being attached to getting them. If they come my way, excellent. If they don't, so be it. I can be honest about what I want, and then allow life to take care of the rest.

There are things I need in order to keep living. Food. Air. A place to sleep. Something meaningful to do. Somebody to be close with. To understand how to be a good father. There are other things I consider needs as well. Over time perhaps these things will become less as I realise they are more wants than needs.

Despite all this, it hurts when I lose something I thought was good for me, something I thought I wanted to keep. Perhaps I will understand in time that I was not good for it, nor it for me.

The Niggle that is the Hint of Amazing

Through my personal crisis of the last year, one of the great benefits has been the way I have been able to reconnect with my friends. They have listened to me, supported me, offered wise council. In short, I am not sure I would have got through it without them. Sometimes the grief and pain has been so overwhelming that the only thing I could do was to call one of them and cry.

I had dinner with two of my best friends last night. We talked footy and I told stories about my latest adventures and experiments in being a part time single man/part time single dad.

At the end of the night one of my friends and I ended up at a bar for a night cap, and we finally got around to talking about him. Its funny, but in me being open hearted about my journey and pain, it has created space for some of my friends to do the same.

This particular friend is certainly not in a lot of pain at the moment, his life is actually pretty good. But he is stating to have a sense that something is not quite all it could be. A niggle. A niggle that is telling him he needs to take a moment to reflect; a day off work to ponder his life, by himself. He is starting to think about legacy, about his health, about how he is a great all-rounder but not excelling at anything, about not really knowing what he likes and what he cares about.

Before a moment of crisis forced me to take action, these were many of the same thoughts that went through my head. I needed a crisis to act on that niggle. The result of acting has been nothing short of amazing. I wake up every day not knowing what adventures will unfold. I wake up excited. I hope my friend can find a way to start acting on his niggle before a crisis forces him to.