I ordered a journal for myself to try out.  It is one of those prompted journals, this one specifically designed for men, that asks you a question a day and you just write about that topic.  I haven’t been writing as much, been a little off kilter a bit, so I figured it might help me.  A little forced emotion might help me break whatever wall I am holding up in front of me.  I’ve used meditation, working out, breathing exercises, reading, yard work, and inventing dumb silly traditions with the kids to calm me down before, so why not try something new.  Try something new to see if it can help and add that to my list of things I can use when I just don’t feel myself.  I’m always looking to add little self-help tips, so I don’t go over the edge.  

Anyway, I mentioned I bought one designed for men called “The Manly Journal for Manly Men” for a few reasons.  One is, because I am NOT a manly man.  I consider myself less manly than most dudes on this planet.  I can’t hunt, I can’t gather…   But I am a good writer, I am good at letting my feelings and emotions out on a page.  So, I figured, how hard could this be? And then, I opened up the journal and the first question was “Describe your favorite power tool and the most manly task you have used it for…” 

Um, what’s a power tool? 

Any tools I have in my possession my father in law left here by accident.  I can’t hang a picture on a wall.  Just a couple days ago I watched my wife put together an outdoor storage bin while I folded laundry.  Sure, I can handle some yard work, some mulching and building fire pits and some of that stuff but put a hammer and nail in my hand and I will probably swing and miss or smash my thumb.  I absolutely have zero confidence in my ability to do a simple home improvement project.  Sure, I’ve built a deck on my house and I have replaced my front steps, but really, I watched my father in law work while I was his “gopher”.  On the steps, when we got to the very end, he handed me the last screw and the screwdriver, and I managed to strip the screw and it got stuck half in half out.  He had to go home, grab a special tool I couldn’t even pretend to tell you what it is, and he had to fix the only thing he asked me to do.  I’m a train wreck when it comes that stuff.  I always have my phone near me when he asks me to grab him a wrench or wire cutters so I can google image that, so I don’t come back with a saw.  I had to even stop and think about another tool to write and all I could come up with was “saw”.  I hope you get my point here.  

So, I start to ramble in the journal about all of this, all my faults related to “power tools” and I have a good laugh at just how ridiculously awful I am at anything construction related. But, in the last paragraph I find my way back. I defend what I am good at, I’m a good Dad. I know I am I love being a Dad. I love the challenges; I love the rewards. I love everything about being a Dad and I am the proudest when a friend tells me I am a good Dad. And, I can recognize a good Dad when I see him. My brother, that’s a good Dad. I’m not being biased, he’s just got it, whatever that is, when I look at him with his kids, I can see it. I’ve got a few buddies I’m lucky to know that are as well. I don’t know, you change, but, in the best way possible. I was having a conversation with friends of mine and we were talking about if your kid was gay, and my friend looked at me and said,“you’d be a great lesbian Dad”. It was one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. Of course, I went home and told my two girls and they both died laughing, and my oldest said “You absolutely would”.

Well, I guess by now you see that the damn journal worked. I smiled as I wiped a tear from my eye and finished writing my story. I went on a nice little emotional roller coaster on page 1 of my new journal. I love being able to beat myself up a bit and find my way back to me. I love testing myself and my writing and finding my way to my girls. Finding my way to my favorite humans to exist. The luckiest guy to walk this damn earth.

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