Live With Your Choices… The Good And The Bad

I am writing this as much for myself as I am for others men out there, struggling with decisions we have made that did not work out as planned.

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I went to the doctor this morning for a routine visit.  They have a new check in process that involves an IPad type device.  You update your information, make payments, etc… In addition, it asks health related questions.  I got to the point where it asked a series of questions about depression and it caught me off guard.  While I’m not depressed, I have not been happy.

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I am happy in my marriage, my kids are awesome, health wise I’ve never felt better.  All these things are great, but man is not fulfilled by those things alone.  Hollywood would like you to believe they we are, but it is not the case.  Your wife does not want to be your mission.  She wants your love, respect, loyalty, protection, but does not want to be your only source of fulfillment.  That’s a tall order to ask of anyone.

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Your happiness is ultimately up to you.  For men, this comes from having a mission in life outside of your family.  Don’t get me wrong, your family is number one in your life, but your mission is realized outside of them.

Retirement, while awesome in some ways, has left me with no mission.  I have spent my life making safe decisions, always with my family in mind.  Retirement allowed me to step outside the constraints of operating in that frame.  I was offered a very good job in law enforcement about the time I retired and started in real estate.  I turned it down, taking a chance with the unknown.  For the first time in a very long time.

I have come to the conclusion that I screwed up.  There lies my problem.  I am far from perfect, but with decisions like that I’ve always made the right call.

I have been successful in real estate.  It has been fairly lucrative, but it lacks something.  I cannot get excited about it.  There is no danger…  No challenge…  I was a hunter (of bad guys… and deer when I have time) during my career, 19 of those years as a detective, the last five doing some undercover, working with drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes… aka Human Trafficking…  My partner and I were very good at what we did.  I loved it…

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I thought I could transition to another field seamlessly.  I was wrong.  Instead of having the fear of dying on the street, I now have a fear of dying of boredom.  Fear is what keeps a man alive.  Men need the fear, the hunt, the challenge, the adrenaline.  It is hard to describe.  All I can say is once you get a taste of it, everything else is bland.  There is no mission in real estate, no helping people.  It lacks a real purpose… for me anyway.

So I am getting out of real estate and on the hunt for another job.  As I’ve looked, I see the mistake I made when I turned down the job offer I had.  I question myself as to why I deviated from my normal decision making process.  I have not been happy about it.

What I’ve realized is I have made a whole lot of good decisions, one bad one does not define me.  Really, it hasn’t cost me much, in fact made me some money.  It also helps to look at the good decisions you have made and realize how far you have come.

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I look at my family, my kids are awesome and successful, my wife is happy, at almost twenty five years of marriage we have sex daily.  We hardly ever argue.  I have a new home with a minuscule mortgage, and damn, I have a 1994 Jeep!  How bad can life be when you can jump in your Jeep topless (the Jeep not me… well, on occasion…).

Life throws a lot of things at us.  There are many decisions to be made.  Nobody will get them all right, so don’t expect yourself to.  Each day is a gift.  Each experience is a learning opportunity.  Look at the good and the bad.  Don’t give either too much weight.  If you make a bad choice, dust yourself off and figure out how to change your circumstance.  Don’t let things drag you down.  Shake them off and rise to the challenge.

After all, that’s what we are supposed to do as men, as leaders of our families, as our ancestors did throughout history, giving you the opportunity to be here today.  Don’t disappoint them or let their sacrifices be wasted.

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7 thoughts on “Live With Your Choices… The Good And The Bad

  1. this is very necessary for women to know and understand – that their husbands have a purpose and need that they and the family are not able to meet, and that God created you men that way.

    – – –

    i think that sometimes we want to believe the topography of life should always be straight up, but i don’t think God works like that – or cares that much about us always moving straight up the highest mountain we can climb. i think He cares more about the journey and how we travel said journey.

    “Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
    Proverbs 19:21

    God is brilliant at taking all that we perceive to be rubbish and wasted and turning it into breathtaking masterpieces … if we choose to allow Him to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I look at my family, my kids are awesome and successful, my wife is happy, at almost twenty five years of marriage we have sex daily. We hardly ever argue. I have a new home with a minuscule mortgage, and damn, I have a 1994 Jeep! How bad can life be when you can jump in your Jeep topless (the Jeep not me… well, on occasion…).”

    I just want to encourage you that this is so wonderful to read!!!!!!! And I love that y’all made it despite all the divorce statistics of police marriages! It is SO GOOD to hear ❤ makes me so happy and inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Retirement, while awesome in some ways, has left me with no mission. I have spent my life making safe decisions, always with my family in mind. Retirement allowed me to step outside the constraints of operating in that frame. ”

    If I may say… that transition looks VERY hard. And I know a lot of wives who have been through that supporting their husbands when they retire (just now, my good friend and President of our Wives Assoc. just went through it this Summer). I think it’s very hard for you men to find a mission that gives you that same sense of fulfillment as you had before when fighting evil – literally. There’s just nothing else like it, you said it yourself in the Rough Men post. My friend’s husband was a great instructor at the academy, and had such a sense of purpose there. And before that he was in the DWI unit and LOVED it so much (tons of hilarious stories about what drunk people do lol). He thought he had another LEO job (for a smaller city) lined up for after he retired, and then poof, it was gone and he was really disappointed. He’s still trying to figure out what to do.

    So I totally get that. And I know the burden you bear in that job, seeing all that evil… too often… and how you come to feel like you NEED to bear that burden. The burden itself almost becomes apart of you. I’m sure retiring and suddenly not carrying that burden in that way any longer, just feels like a loss of your sense of self to some degree. I’d love to believe that the men can just relax and go shooting and have fun now or go after a dream they’ve had all these years, but it often looks a lot more complicated than that

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much understanding in your comment of what it is like. It should be a happy time, and it is in some ways. Yet, in some ways, it’s a time of uncertainty and questioning what your purpose is now. A man without a purpose is a man without direction. I believe in time I will adjust and find something to focus on. Right now I am in a bad spot mentally, not knowing where to go next. However, realizing this and working towards an answer is so much better than wallowing in the darkness of depression. I am certain I will emerge from this with a clear direction. It will just take some time to adjust after a lifetime of knowing what your mission was.

      Liked by 2 people

      • i had never heard of it, either, and had to look it up 🙂 … (love how i can so easily do that on my kindle)

        en·nui
        änˈwē/
        noun
        a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
        synonyms: boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, weariness, enervation; malaise, dissatisfaction, melancholy, depression, world-weariness, Weltschmerz
        “an ennui bred of long familiarity”

        Liked by 1 person

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