Writing the story before it happens..

Yesterday was election day.  In the past, election day has been a day where I go vote then head home to turn on the television and watch results.  This year was much different for me.  Now that I am a reporter, it was my job to make sure people received information about the election.  I was the one who was responsible for writing the stories that would be in the newspaper the next day.  Let me say, the task is not an easy one when you are up against a deadline.

I was fully aware the day would be hectic.  I knew ahead of time that I would need to prepare my stories, laying the ground work for news that would be coming, so I began writing election stories prior to the vote count being taken.  This was new for me.  It was the first time I had written a story before it actually happened.  I felt though that the job would be much easier If I would anticipate outcomes based on my knowledge of what was happening and write the stories as closely to that as possible.  Of course, I was able to later change some of the information depending on what happened.  I left blank spaces for all of the numbers and additional spaces for any quotes I might receive after the election.  I found this to be very helpful in assisting me at getting the stories out in time last night.

I realized after the long day had ended, that life should also be the same way.  I have always struggled at planning ahead.  I think if something happened today that I was not ready for, I wouldn’t know what to do.  I would be lost.  There are some people who are really good at anticipating the future, I am not one of them.  I know now that preparation takes more time in the beginning, but saves a great deal of time in the end.  I really hope that in the future, in all of life’s moves, I will begin writing my stories before they happen.  I want to leave blanks for the spaces that can be filled in later, but for the most part, I want to be prepared for what happens next.  Obviously I cannot predict love.  I cannot predict tragedy.  I cannot predict the moments that change the course, but I can prepare for anything.  I can look at my life and consider the course I would like to take.  Sure, there may be changes or alterations, but If I write the story before it happens, I won’t have to start fresh each time something changes.  I will only have to fill in the blanks.

Look at your life as well.  Where do you want to be in the future?  Where do you expect to be in the future?  Where do you WANT to be in the future?  You have the ability to write the course for yourself.  This is your story.  Life is only a co-author.  Don’t let all of life’s situations tell the story for you.  You need to author this.  In the end, you will find it easier to make the best of your time if you have a pre-written life.  Don’t be the person who waits to see what happens before you decide what to write about your life.  Write it now.  It is time to start writing your story…Before it happens.

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Act your age…

I had a difficult time trying to get my kids ready for school this morning.  My oldest son, who is eight-years-old, is constantly making noises, singing or talking.  Sometimes this can become very annoying very quickly and cause me to yell at him.  I don’t know how many times I have had to tell my son to act his age.  What I think I am missing about the whole thing is that he is eight.  He is not old enough to be an adult or act like I am.   I rememeber when I was young, I always acted similar to the way he acts now.  I enjoyed singing or making noises.  It was fun to run in the house or climb the walls.  I am not saying that it was permitted.  I just knew it was fun and did these things when I felt I could get by with them.  I wonder when I yell at my children to act their age, if what I am really saying is, “act my age.”

I often wonder if I am failing as a parent.  I can’t help but wonder if I am good enough or if I provide the necessary needs that should be provided for a young one.  I have been divorced for over three years now and it seems the further I go, the more I realize, I am not a mom.  It is easy to be a dad.  I enjoy the role.  Most of the dad traits just come naturally to me.  But to be a mother . . . not so much.  I struggle to give them what they need and can only hope that what little bit of good I can instill in them will grow in them, causing them to be great when they get older.

Now, I look at myself.  Do I act my age?  Am I as mature as the common 29-year-old man?  I want to tell myself that I am.  I can’t help but see all the areas where I am lacking though.  I am not acting my age.  I am acting like someone who doesn’t have it together.  Sure, I am stretched to the limit with my hands and feet spread apart, clinging to what little bit of life, peace, hope and happiness I can hold on to, but in the end, I feel I have fallen behind and not only is it a struggle to act my age, but to be my age.  I fail.  I fail regularly.  Is it this failure in me that has caused me to redirect my children when they act like me?  The very things that make up who I am is the things I try to change about my children.  I wonder if it is fear that they will one day become me, and fail in the same way that I have.

The outcome of my life is still under my control.  I may seem to old to change my ways, but this old dog is going to learn new tricks.  I am ready for a different life.  A life where my kids can look up to me and feel proud to be my son.  A place where my kids can be themselves without fear of getting reprimanded for it.  I love my children.  Really, they are my life.  Without them I am nobody.  They have shaped in me the very essence of who I am.  With all that they have given to me, I feel it is time to give back.  My kids shouldn’t teach me, I should teach them.  I am their father.  It’s time to act my age.

Mirror, Mirror…

It’s funny how much the losers in so many movies remind me of myself.  I don’t completely understand why I feel this way, but I always seem to share similar attributes with the characters in the movies who seem to have no luck at all.  Is it that I am a loser myself, which makes it easy for me to relate?  Maybe it is that I am that guy who can’t seem to get it together no matter how hard he tries.  Truth is, I think I am that man.  But why are these movies so popular?  Are there more people out there, like myself, who fall into this very same category?  Maybe we all have these insecurities about ourselves.  I think Hollywood is aware of our insecurities.  Writers and producers always seem to try to paint the picture of their main characters as the common man.  If this is true, I may not be as alone as I think I am in this world.  Maybe we all see ourselves in dim light.

I can remember times in my past that I looked at my situation in life and thought to myself, ‘Nobody will ever want to be with someone like you.’  I have thought this about relationships, friendships, jobs, you name it.  I have felt failure in ever category imaginable.  I find it funny though because I also like myself.  I look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘You’re not so bad.  In fact you’re kind of cute, and funny, and just an amazing person who anyone should love to be with.’

Our insecurities shape who we become in the public eye.  People never want to be around someone who doesn’t like themself.  Question is, how can somebody like themself when no one around them treats them respectfully as a person.  It’s a double delimna.  It’s a scale that is hard to balance.  I don’t think as many people view us unfavorably as we might make ourselves believe.  We are just as much the perfect person in the movie as we are the loser.  This all depends on whose eyes we are looking through.  I would like to think that other people see me the way I see myself when I look in the mirror with encouraging thoughts.  Maybe we aren’t all that bad.  We should find courage in the promise we see in ourselves.

The next time you look in a mirror, don’t see the person that is a failure.  You are not a failure.  If anyone can look at you and tell you that you aren’t good enough to make the cut, I can say pretty assuredly, the same person who tells you that is struggling to make the cut themself.  We all deal with issues of insecurity.  It is the people who look in the mirror and believe the positives thoughts, who overcome these insecurities.  You are not a loser.  You are not a failure.  I look at my own life and worry about the areas where I have failed.  While sometimes that is a sad story, it still doesn’t make me any better or worse than the next person.  We all make good choices, we all make bad choices.  No one is immune.