Shortly after I posted about The Chase, Brenda and I had a serious, heart-felt discussion about the direction of our family. It was one of those intense yet somber conversations where I'm certain that both of us were actively listening to what the other said. I love those moments.
Since then, I've been making a determined effort to chase my family, and specifically to seek after my wife. I don't mean that I'm doing it in ways that are necessarily easy for me, but in ways that make the biggest impact in her weekly routine. For example she loves it when I cook breakfast for the family on Saturday morning. Cooking is one of my least favorite things to do, ever. You get the gist, this is harder than it sounds.
An Unhealthy Assumption
The closest thing I have to a life goal is sitting in the title of this blog: to become the man I should have been all along. I want to end better than I started. Who doesn't, right? But I've been carrying around a hidden, unhealthy assumption in that motto. When it comes to the finer details concerning what constitutes becoming a better man, the assumption has always been that I'm the judge. I am the authority that not only holds the luxury of selecting the criteria for success, but also where exactly I measure on the scale at any given moment.
I want to reject that notion.
The practice is foolhardy when you really think about it. If I could noodle my way out of my own disfunction, chances are, I wouldn't be in the position of needing improvement. Or perhaps I would be much further along towards being the humble, selfless, charitable, and patient person I aim to become, instead of going to bed at night often feeling defeated and regressive.
It's a Team Sport
Very well then. Self improvement works best with teamwork, therefore I need, at the very least, one other person. A teammate. I'll start small, with only one. Now, if only I had someone I could trust. A top draft pick! A confidant who holds my best interests at heart and is willing to love me in spite of my foul moods and selfish behaviors. You know the sort of person I'm talking about, not some here-today-gone-tomorrow free agent that can easily be wooed away by another team with a bigger budget, but a person who has been patriotically loyal to this franchise since the early years.
I'm not above using sport metaphor to encourage men to listen to their wives. Clearly.
Yes, there is one person uniquely qualified to help me be a better person and her name is Brenda. Because she is my wife she gets to see the highest, shiniest bits of my character that radiate with brilliance on my best days, and the lowest, most decayed portions that wrinkle noses on my worst. She has a front row seat whether I like it or not.
So, even though I don't tell her often enough, I want everyone to know that she is my trustworthy advocate, my cheer leader and deliverer of tough love on my journey to become the man I should have been all along. Today, as part of my chase, I want to reaffirm her role in this area publicly, so that she knows I cannot do it alone, and to be more specific, I would not want to do it without her.
Noodling your way out of your own dysfunction requires an excruciating amount of trust, but here is the secret. It's only excruciating when you care more about being coddled than you do about being better.