Friday, 23 January 2015

2015; Year of the Man


I'm not usually one for New Year's resolutions. After several failed attempts, I thought it was better to save the disappointment and not promise myself something I knew I couldn't keep.

I read somewhere recently that only 8% of the population stick to their resolutions anyway, and I can assure you I am in the opposing 92%. After fruitless New Year's resolutions, my future resolutions became not have any at all.

However, I think this year is different. I recently watched Russel Crowe's The Water Diviner and decided that in 2015, I am reverting back to a resolution. Ladies and gentleman, 2015 for Dom Meese has been self coined "Year of the man".


I don't want to spoil Russel Crowe's movie for anyone that hasn't seen it - and if you haven't, do yourself a favour and do so - but essentially it is about a man named Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) who's unwavering dedication for his wife and three sons is so absolute, he stops at nothing to love and protect them. It was a real eye opener for me and struck a chord that would not otherwise have been struck prior to having kids.

In one of the opening scenes, Connor finds water in a deserted and rural part of Northern Victoria. Once found, he digs a hole and builds a well with the guidance of his dog who sits there obediently watching him.

I couldn't help but think, wow, I couldn't dig the hole let alone build the well. I then justified it in my head by claiming that that was ok because I am really good at using Excel spreadsheets (yeah that's manly). However, after a more truthful analysis, I realised I probably wouldn't even do it if I had the capacity as it would constitute too much hard work and it'd be easier to engage a tradie.

I spent a couple of days reflecting about what it is that makes a good man and a great father and whether I was anywhere near either. Joshua Connor might have been able to find water and build a well with his bare hands, which is useful, but the well itself didn't make him a man. What did was the individual virtues that together gave him the drive and desire to build that well. For example, hard work, self-sacrifice, persistence and dedication to the cause. Without these, I doubt he would have been able to dig a hole, let alone build a well.

I considered each of these virtues individually to determine whether they applied to my life as a man, a father and a husband and I came up (probably not surprisingly) short.

Hard work

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the hardest worker when it comes to domestic duties. My wife on the other hand is a near nut case when it comes to house and garden work and I am often telling her to sit down and relax. Most of the time it's as good as asking a stone to bleed yet I admire her dedication to our household and know that her efforts are not for personal gain but rather our family. It is a great quality in her and one that needs to grow in me. 


There is a stark difference between hard work in the office and hard work in the home. I'd argue the latter is more difficult, especially after a day's work, but a real man wouldn't think twice about helping  his wife around the house. 

Self-sacrifice


While I have sufficient drive at work, writing blogs and watching sport, I lack when it comes to helping around the house. One phrase I am trying to rid in 2015 is "yep, in a minute". I whinge when I'm comfortable on the couch watching the Big Bash and Adam has a night terror and needs re-settling. Half the time I look to my wife to see if she is going to attend to him, even though she's just cooked dinner, done the dishes and is probably folding washing on the couch. In 2015, Dom Meese the man is attempting to show more self sacrifice and get up without question.

Persistence

When it comes to maintenance, I'm as handy as mud flaps on a speedboat so when I can't do a simple maintenance task, I find it easy to throw in the towel. Rather than take the time to try and work it out, I'll get flustered and frustrated. Then I'll get annoyed that I can't work it out, which only really makes the task doubly as difficult. 


Joshua Connor could have thrown in the towell when he was struggling to find water to dig his well, but he persisted and got the job done. A real man!

Dedication to the (family) cause


It is easy to be dedicated to things we enjoy or are passionate about. As eluded to earlier, I can watch sport for Australia and will dedicate myself to following an AFL season rather rigorously. It is not so easy to be dedicated to chores around the house, or to put my wife and son's interests before my own, especially when the mighty Dons are playing.

Joshua Connor's dedication to his family in The Water Diviner was unwavering. A real man like that will always put himself last to his family.

So while I usually roll year into year, continuing on from where I left, 2015 is going to be different. I am going to dedicate myself more to my family and attempt to be a real man!

All the best,
Dom Meese

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