As dawn broke over the cool spring morning the sound of my alarm resounded with its sharp, trill, beeping. I looked at the clock. Why? Because, it is what we all do. We set alarms for a specific time. When they go off we still look at the clock, mostly in disbelief that this moment has arrived. As I prepared for the day, reflecting on the night before, as well as the weeks that have passed, this deep realization came to me. Parenting has turned me into a Machiavellian Masochist. I had not even had my first cup of coffee yet.
Right out to the gate, you should know better by now that I am looking at rather obscure meanings for those words. As a story teller, I also find it better not to merely define these words. To proof the statement based on definition alone ruins the ride. But, those are heavy words. Machiavellian Masochist. What in the world was my brain trying to tell me this morning?
For the last couple of weeks I have been going non-stop. Perhaps there is the part of me that compensates for what I see as a failure. Getting sick… for me (not for others) that is a failure. Being sick for three months, we are near the pinnacle of epic here. Regardless, I have been busy. Tackling projects like making a bed for my daughter birthday (how do we have a five year old already?), preparing the garden, editing vlogs, and working on a book (yep, it is happening) have kept me going at a breakneck pace. According to my Fitbit, and a little math, I am averaging less than four hours of sleep a night. And I am feeling it. Every day.
But I am not doing these things for me. Sure, there is the creative and cathartic experience of taking wood, shaping it, putting it together, and seeing your creation come to fruition. This cannot be denied. But, that is not (purely) how I work. Since my daughter was born (HOW DO WE HAVE A FIVE YEAR OLD ALREADY?) I have pushed myself. I have pushed to be the dad that she deserves and needs, not the one that I was prepared to be.
A Machiavellian Masochist Tackles All The Things.
This bed, it was for her, for her birthday. I knew that it would be something that I could do for her. Something that would bring immense joy. Seeing that joy would bring happiness to me, satisfaction in the work that I had done. And it did.
The garden. This is for my family. It is to help provide as well as to teach my kids how to grow their own food. After all, who does not like a little dirt and sunshine once in a while? I know that as this year passes by that there will be a ton of teaching moments for my kids. Some will stick, others will not.
The vlog, and the book. These projects fall in the same vein. They are both for legacy. They are for people to see now, and for my children to have long after I am gone.
All of these things point to the kind of masochist that fatherhood has turned me into. I enjoy doing all these things. Again, cathartic, joy, and legacy. But, they are exhausting. They are breaking me down, bit by bit. I can feel it most mornings, and think of more to do long into the night. Because of the joy that I feel.
This, my dear readers, is also what makes it so Machiavellian.
I know that these things are wearing me out. Heck, I am writing about it as we speak. Meanwhile, I think of more and more things that I can take on to achieve the same results. Therein lies the cunning that exists for me. As well as the duplicity. I mean, who would do such things to themselves? When given freedom, cannot one not take a break, rest, kick back and enjoy life a little?
I know that I am doing this to myself, to bring joy to others, to have joy because of their happiness, at the expense of myself. However I discount my own knowledge of this, refusing to accept it, because I know that one would not do something like this to themselves.
Parenting has turned me into a Machiavellian Masochist. Something tells me, I am not alone in this.
Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.