We made it. We survived longer than most thought was possible after the election of Donald Trump. During the election, I heard talk of the “end of the world.” I am happy to report that so far, that has not happened. I am not saying that everything is perfect, I am not saying that everything is good. I am not saying that everything is going to be perfect, or that everything is going to be good. I am simply saying we are still here, and maybe this is a good time to take a peak in the rear-view mirror.
If I am being honest, I could have done better over the last 101 days. I feel like I did a relatively good job, but there was certainly room for improvement. I would give myself a “B.” I wish I could say A+, but I didn’t earn it.
I wasted a good amount of time on social media, reading endless arguments and articles that support and defend the various positions people hold. I drank too much a few days, ate too much a few days, caused a couple of “semi” ridiculous arguments with my wife, where on one occasion I may, or may not have refused to modify my position to avoid being “wrong.” I skipped a workout here and there, and slept in a few days when I should have gotten out of bed. Over the past 101 days my biggest shortcoming was with my kids. I had less patience with them than I should have, more than once.
On a positive note, I ate pretty clean, worked out hard when I could, got up early, and spent my time productively. I had my patience utterly tried more than once, most often from people in check-out lines at the grocery store. If you have never had the pleasure of standing in line behind a man demanding a manager so his “9 limes for 99 cents” coupon from a competing chain is accepted, I recommend the experience. I often talk about controlling your emotions, and I am as susceptible to failing as anyone else. Over the past 101 days, I did a good job of holding the line on that issue. I feel I was true to my word, but I am also fortunate that every word coming out of my mouth is not recorded or transcribed for review and dissection at the leisure of others.
I did ok, plenty of room for improvement.
For those of you that thought I was going to post something political, sorry, that’s not who I am. I care who is President, I respect the office, I try to pay attention, but I don’t look to politicians, Republican or Democrat for my salvation or sustainment. I look to myself.
I have never known a President of this country and I doubt that I ever will. They don’t call me for advice, and they sometimes make decisions that are counter to my best interest. Yes, someone other than me has impact on the layout of the chess board I call my life, but I alone choose how I play the game.
Perhaps you think my board is different. Perhaps you would tell me that I am privileged. Maybe I am. I come from middle class, blue collar parents and the public-school system. I voluntarily enlisted in the military at 17, and volunteered again multiple times to achieve my chosen career path. The opportunities I had are open to every citizen of this country, regardless of race, gender, or religion. They are not for everyone, but they are available to everyone. Everything I have today draws its origins from those opportunities, but having opportunities is not a guarantee. I could have easily given up along the way, squandering their potential. There is one privilege I cannot deny, I am privileged to be an American. I won the lottery, and was born into the first world.
It is easy to sit back and judge 101 days of someone else’s life. The President volunteers for a higher level of scrutiny by accepting the oath of office, but does that mean you and I should get a pass? What would happen if that microscope swung on to your life, or mine? I suspect flaws would be exposed. I suspect we would all improve our game, work harder, and be more conscious of our actions.
It goes without saying that it is essential to hold the President, and those that work for him or her accountable. I choose to leave that responsibility to those more qualified. Personally, I would rather focus that effort and time on something I can actually control, myself. I have lived through good bosses and bad bosses. I have found that my situation never improves or is changed by analyzing how good they are at their job. If I want my situation to improve, I need to take the time and effort to analyze how well I am doing MY job.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of working for a terrible boss, give it some time, you will. The same holds true of co-workers. Eventually, you will be in an environment where you don’t like those you work for, and with. Welcome to the world, get over it. If you cannot change their attitude and behavior, stop wasting your time worrying about it. Focus on the things you can control, yourself, your actions, the example you set, your family, your community. Anything beyond that is arguably a waste of time. Regardless of how witty, sassy, and entertaining your post or meme is, it is not going to change the outcome of the world we live in. Holding yourself accountable just might.
To those who are not able to control posting every single shred of information (news, articles, essays, opinions) about individuals you love or hate, consider this. The endless barrage of information does not paint the picture of that individual, it paints a picture of you. If you want to be a leader, act like one. That starts with being critical of yourself, before being critical of others.