About Giving Up

Giv­ing up is some­thing I’ve been try­ing to learn the last cou­ple of years. It does­n’t come nat­u­ral­ly to me (or any Amer­i­can, prob­a­bly), but it does take away some chron­ic stres­sors. From a busi­ness stand­point, the things I’ve giv­en up on are all things that have had no return on the invest­ment I’ve made try­ing to achieve them. I’m not say­ing that the good things in life must be defined in terms of cap­i­tal, but I have lim­it­ed means to invest, and so I’ve opt­ed out of mar­kets where I’ve been wast­ing my time.


I’ve giv­en up on dat­ing. My last rela­tion­ship end­ed in Feb­ru­ary, and in that time I’ve gone on 3 dates, and have been can­celed on or stood up prob­a­bly 9 times. I haven’t even tried since June. I’m a 34 year-old sin­gle dad, which severe­ly lim­its both the avail­able time, and the num­ber of women who might be inter­est­ed in me that I am also inter­est­ed in. For awhile I was going out by myself, but I became envi­ous of all the cou­ples I saw. For all the time, mon­ey, and effort I was expend­ing, I was in the same spot. I keep review­ing past rela­tion­ships in hind­sight and sec­ond-guess­ing my deci­sion-mak­ing. In my expe­ri­ence, there’s nev­er a clear answer when it comes to love.


I threw a par­ty a few weeks ago and invit­ed about a dozen peo­ple that I con­sid­er friends or see on a reg­u­lar basis. Most said they’d come, but only three showed up. A year ago I would have invit­ed dozens of peo­ple, but in that time I’ve reduced my “friend list” from a cou­ple hun­dred to about four dozen. I removed every­one who I had­n’t seen or heard from in nine months or more. I’ve also pret­ty much stopped using Face­book. I unfol­lowed every­one left on my friends list, and only use it for mes­sen­ger or events. Dras­tic, yeah, but if peo­ple want my com­pa­ny, they know how to get in touch. The peo­ple I’m still in touch with, I was in touch with on the reg­u­lar before. I have three folks I’d con­sid­er good friends. We talk week­ly, and did so even before I start­ed radio silence.

Life Goals

By now I was hop­ing to be mar­ried, with a fleet of kids, and liv­ing in a nice home that I own. To be set­tled down. Maybe have air con­di­tion­ing. I’ve giv­en up on those goals. I made a cou­ple of poor deci­sions in 2007 that irrev­o­ca­bly changed my life. I’ve resigned myself to being a sin­gle dad; to not hav­ing any more kids; to rent­ing for the rest of my life. The kids piece is the hard­est one for me to rec­on­cile myself with. As an only child, I always swore that I would have more than one child myself. Being a dad is the great­est thing that has ever hap­pened to me, but it’s only going to hap­pen once.

So, what?

Hav­ing giv­en up on the above, I am bet­ter able to focus and invest my ener­gies on being a dad to Abra­ham, and work­ing hard at my job. After those items are squared away, I’m fair­ly monas­tic. Bike rides, walk­ing my dog, main­tain­ing the house I rent. Try­ing to sim­pli­fy. If not hap­py, at least con­tent; mind­ful. It is very hard.

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