Shoulding On Myself

Posted: April 14, 2011 in It's All Important Stuff, Lyrics & Poetry

Are you living a life you never wanted? Perhaps you are just doing what you have to do in order to fund the things you like to do?  Maybe it is just easier to stay where you are?

When I was about 16, I used to hang out after school, or instead of school, in my friends basement smoking pot.  Through the haze, the song Day After Day by Alan Parsons became more than a mantra, it is now part of my DNA.

But day after day,
the show must go on.
And time slipped away,
before you could build any castles in Spain,
the chance had gone by.

This has driven me to not arrive at age fifty saying “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.”  Because of this, and the early loss of my dad, life has had a sense of urgency and I absolutely HATE to waste time.  I don’t want any chances to slip by.

In my early twenties I began racing bikes.  Greg LeMond became my idol.  I closely followed his career and his advanced training methods.  I even went to one of his training camps.

Much like now, I took it very seriously.  With a new wife and daughter, trying to fit racing into my life was very difficult.  I resisted, so very strongly, the societal demands to be an “adult.”

Then Greg goes off and wins the 1983 World Road Championship.  For me the celebration ended when VeloNews arrived (yeah, in the mail) and the headline over his image was “Building Castles In Spain.”  I realized right there that I was not ever going to be a great bike racer.   Perhaps it was time to become an adult.  I succumbed – I changed – I let a valuable piece of me go – I should on myself.

Fast forward: College > Job > Mortgage > Kids > Irregular Riding > High School Reunions > Promotions > Stock Options > Lifestyle > STUCK!  More than two decades passed before I blew it up.

My oldest son just turned 18 (see his story here).  His life is full of measureless opportunity.  He has the brains, talent and drive to be practically anything he wishes.  I have refused to reinforce that he has to choose between job (work) and happiness (play).  Society will do this for him.  When he asks me what I think he should do I tell him to learn to live with little such that way he can do whatever he chooses.  Or, I say “be a poet.”   Just don’t should on yourself.


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