Sleep in the Fire

Photo Credit:

It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.

If there’s one thing I would teach men, teach them early and often, teach them with endless examples, teach them with all my grey hairs, all the creaks of my body, all the sleep in my eyes waking up early to stand a post, all of it, it’s that it never ends.

Men were specifically built for the heavy lift of life. They were specifically built to be the line to guard and protect all he loves with his strength and never-ending vigilance against those that mean to take it.

You don’t sleep. You rest.

You don’t ever let your guard down, because if you do, everything that you’ve built can be blasted away.

You are the order in the chaos.

And this terrifies the fuck out of men these days.

When I tell you it’s going to all fall down, no one wants to play “Ring around the Rosie.”

Because the measure of a man is his ability to provide for himself and those he loves. And if he’s not doing that, then he’s not a man. We’re told this every day.

See the countless numbers on male suicides (7/10 suicides in the US are men) and the absolute state of masculinity as a service to the world.

Men are the livestock of the world, providing and not getting back. This is the true issue, but it’s not going to be solved anytime soon.

The bottom line that will never change is that men are success objects. And many of us, through feminization, have been told we can put down the burdens and let the women do it. But the women aren’t equipped to do it, they’re different. They can do it just fine, but that’s not their role.

Men are constantly expected to perform. And this is not a bad thing as we are built for exactly that, but somewhere, someone sold us the fact that we didn’t have to. We didn’t have to carry the burdens and we could fuck off in life and not hold the line. And that was the day it all changed.

“Sleep When You’re Dead.”

Men have to understand that the world is thankless, and the work we do is even more thankless.

You aren’t going to get a pat on the butt for a good job done every day. No one cares. You still have to get up and make the donuts. You still have to do what you do.

Which is what I do every day.

Since starting my own business 10 years ago, it’s become less about me and more about those that rely on me to provide them a livelihood. Now, 15 people rely on me to be upright and focused daily to make sure they have jobs.

Which means? I don’t sleep.

I just rest.

I can tell you for 22 years, and especially these last 10, the trucking industry and owning my own business doesn’t allow me much sleep. Sleeping sound isn’t happening, as I’m always concerned about what’s happening, challenges my business faces, and how I’m going to maintain keeping 15 people employed on a daily basis.

But keep in mind, if I’m not there, it doesn’t all go to shit. There are tons of qualified people that I employ that run the day to day very well, and my fellow owners are some of the best people to be in business with. But the peace of mind that comes to my employees and my fellow owners knowing that I’m always THERE, even if I’m not, and my mind is always THERE, is some of the most powerful support I can give them. They know that I won’t drop the ball, and if I do, it’s picked up quickly.

Even when they don’t need me, knowing that I’m here watching everything is a comforting blanket for all of my employees and they know that they don’t necessarily NEED me, but if there’s an issue, they know I’ll handle it.

There’s a certain pride knowing that you are steering the ship, making sure you’re avoiding storms, and fighting every day at the helm to make things better for everyone who counts on you.

But you constantly are on guard to protect those who count on you and those you love. You have created the bubbles they live in, and you have a responsibility to use all of your strength to maintain it.

Which means….

You have to get stronger, every day. The pain of growth makes you impervious to life. The pain of failure makes you aware of life’s pitfalls.

Both are useful in making you the best you can be so that you can more easily maintain your life and the lives of those who count on you.

But it still means you don’t sleep….you sleep in a fire. Constantly aware of issues affecting you and your business and navigating to avoid or surpass those problems.

Yes, you’re always on.

Harsh Reality is Better than Malleable Fantasy

People don’t want to experience bad stuff. But we have to in order to grow.

Men are playing scared. They’ve been told masculine traits are outdated. They have been told to be vulnerable. And while the vulnerability is certainly valid, it’s not good to consistently be that way. Men stand guard. Men hold the line. Men put the world on their backs and carry it.

Confrontation, tragedy, setbacks, failures, bumps in the road are all a part of it. You can’t get away from the way life goes, but you can determine how you’ll allow it to affect you, and that’s by forging yourself in the fires you sleep in. Always being sharp, prepared and ready for anything that will cause you issues in your life.

The world won’t stop. We want it to, we do. But it doesn’t. The sooner a man realizes this, the sooner he understands that he must always sleep with one eye open, to stand guard and protect, because the world doesn’t care about you. Life doesn’t take it easy until you tell it to.

So you want an easy life? Be prepared to live an uneventful one.

I’m not promising anything but tough love to men who come to me for advice.

I’m telling them if they want to be successful, they always have to be on.

I can’t put it any other way. Men want to be successful and that means that have to work. Depending on how smart you work and how you play your success determines how much you can let off the gas later in life.

But you NEVER can coast. Many men believe they can coast, sleep with no consequences, and wake up with no worries.

The good, easy life is a lie. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Facing life with your chest out, getting stronger with every obstacle you overcome, until the obstacles aren’t obstacles anymore. Until the pain doesn’t hurt anymore. Sleep in that bed of fire, because you’ll wake up rested and stronger.

Remember, you don’t sleep, you rest.

You have to get up and fight every day, so fight stronger, fight knowing that there are those depending on you to be stronger, more invincible than you were the day before.

You want an easy life?

Then do what you’re doing. Don’t worry about anything. Clock in and clock out. Kiss the wife, play with the kids, go to bed, get fat, watch the clock tick away on a life with no legacy, no direction, no purpose, no mission.

The men that lead this charge are the same men who have regrets later in life and are chained to an uncaring wife, dead-end job, and die as soon as they retire.

Some want to watch the world die. The “enjoy the decline” crowd have every right to live their lives the way they see fit. But remember, they won’t understand that overcoming hardships is one of the truly amazing parts of a full life.

Making excuses for not overcoming becomes a punch line for those who will never be there, on the front lines, fighting every day to provide the world that the decliners enjoy.

Thankless? Sure.

Worth it? You tell me.

One thought on “Sleep in the Fire

  1. Pingback: Bard’s Corner 050 - Barbarian Rhetoric

Leave a Reply