Confession...I don’t actually like talking about a lot of the things I write about...I mean, put me in a group of guys and ask me to talk, open up and say exactly what’s on my mind is not something I’m comfortable with. It’s absolutely why I write and do the podcast as they are devices and outlets that I use to cover up my own fears and anxieties and step outside of myself, my vulnerabilities and ego to be able to learn, express and find company and comfort.
Something that's become really important to me over the past few years has been "The Guy's Trip". The value of connection, re-connection and placing experiences over things in the pecking order of Midlife. Making the time instead of making excuses. The realization that wealth comes in a variety of forms; health, family, friendship, career, fitness, experiences, conversations, travel, camaraderie and happiness.
The beauty of the guys trip is that it encompasses all...The super shallow and juvenile revisiting of your “good ole days”, to the realities and depths of issues we face with wives, kids, businesses and the questions; lots and lots of questions and hypotheticals that take up space in our minds and cause feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty, fear and imbalance....Far more questions than answers and certainties.
While I have zero recuperative powers, some of my friends are still highly trained professionals when it comes to partying.
You get a glimpse into your friends routines. Who gets up early, who eats what, calls home often, packs eye cream (ok, I pack the eye cream...)
We almost made it...Almost made it 3 days without actually talking about anything "substantial"...And don't get me wrong, that's ok too. Sometimes its exactly what you need; a little time away from reality to just blow off steam with a group of guy's without judgement of any kind and just laugh your ass off.
We all can’t stand the Botox and plastic surgery.
We all still check out all our “exes” and the "One night stands" that truly stood out; what they’re up to, who they married, how they look...Hard to believe anyone actually chose to sleep with us back then, much less more than one time.
Anything that happened in college and was funny then, is still funny now. Just not to anyone who wasn't there.
We established that there's a formula for the age of women we can still look at/date is "half your age plus 7."
There's a fascination with the two foundational relationships in our lives; wives and careers and are they "enough". Are we doing "enough"? Getting "enough"? Giving enough? Is "it"..."enough"....Kids are never in question. I'm around some tremendous fathers.
But then came the question "Does everybody here know what’s going on in each other’s life?"
If we're going to see each other once a year, shouldn't we actually know or try to know what's actually going on in each others lives? Family, Personal, Business...
So we had to go around the table and actually try and talk.
One started going all in, just opened up the floodgates of sharing...Impressive.
A couple others struggled to open up. Not comfortable with it...That's growth too.
One uses humor as a defense mechanism.
But this is how you stay connected.
It’s cool if you just wanna hang out and get fucked up.
But us getting together can be something else, something more.
But if getting fucked up is what you need, then we’re there for that too...
Has there been any change in family situation?
What are the kids up to?
Preparing for college....Paying for college...
How we're changing, how our wives and lives are changing.
Where is the Next level and is there a next level?
We gained insight of going thru the process of divorce.
Dealing with health issues of kid.
How we're going to become empty nesters in the very near future when we still can't fathom that we've been out of college for 25 years and all our jokes and stories are still the same, still crack us up and still seem like yesterday...
There's therapy...And a 1/3 of the guys are in it.
I've learned that you get what you can handle.
As you listen you realize that everyone has their own problems and issues and everyone has figured out their own way of handling them...You can't do it for them and when everyone's are put out there for all to hear, you end up wanting your own back.
We make decisions based on money; and that's not a bad thing either. We have families, overhead, lifestyles and it takes time to figure out how to navigate. We've already put the years in and starting over doesn’t equate for some. For others, it's the opposite. Both are ok.
Guys don't argue over who has the remote, where we're going to eat or who wants to do what...We just do our thing. 24 years or 24 hours...Somehow doesn't make that much of a difference. You can either hang or you can't. It's always been that way. Half the time we don't even say goodbye. It's perfect.
And so is the rest of it. Perfectly imperfect. The lives we've created, allowed, enabled, supported, argued over. The "I never thought this would be me" stuff. The things that are so much bigger than ourselves. The "Somehow I seem to be adulting" and am responsible for a whole lotta stuff I'm still not sure I'm capable of.
It's a 4:45am Uber to LAX because you've got to be home for the proverbial "Handoff" to take place. The "You've been away since Thursday with your guy friends having a grand time so now it's your turn" tag me into the ring....
My reality is that I'll be taking the boys to a pop in at school at 2:40pm, Kate's going to hit a movie and dinner with a friend and Auden has to be somewhere for Loeb board I think at 5 and just just told me last night so I'll do round trip carpool with pickup at 7 and then take Harper to another Bar Mitzvah where I'll have to pick him up at 10:30pm...And to think, less than 18 hours ago I was watching bikini clad women playing volleyball in the sand...