Thinking about Manweek

This week is Manweek – brought to my attention by Servant of Chaos last week at Coffee Mornings. It’s about men talking about their feelings. Not easy – as I am finding now, since I’ve been thinking about this post since last Friday.

I’m going to be brief (it’s a way of me getting out of this easily 🙂 – but the thought that is in my head is that I am very good at relationships in general (business and personal) however I don’t think I am good at communicating my feelings to those I care about most – particularly to my immediate family. I am going to talk about my father now – a man who reminds me of the good qualities shown by Walt Kowalski – Clint Eastwood’s character in the movie Gran Torino I have the utmost respect for my father – he works hard at everything he does, is a good man but is easily misunderstood. Sometimes I think we misunderstand each other – and that I believe is due in part to the difficulty in communicating our feelings.
With this in mind, I am going to try to be a better communicator of my feelings. Meanwhile, I am going to say this: dad, I love you – you’re a great inspiration to me, and I look forward to sharing many years ahead of happy family times, and great memories.
Phew! This post was extremely difficult to write, but at the same time, it makes me feel good to write it. For those men reading this, and who may also feel that they cannot communicate well with a loved one, perhaps try writing something down – a letter, an email, a blog post.
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14 thoughts on “Thinking about Manweek

  1. Hey Tony. Are you going to share this with your dad? I sent a link to one of my posts to my dad and knew it would be tough to talk about face to face. But it felt good… at least for me, hopefully for him too.

  2. Thanks Mark – initially I didn't, but your comment got me thinking and, yes, have hit the forward button!
    Cheers
    Tony

  3. It's hard to write honestly, isn't it? We are so used to hiding behind layer upon layer … it's great that you've made it this far. And I am impressed that you are sending to your Dad!

  4. Tony – what a great post.

    You've expressed yourself simply and honestly – I think that makes your story quite powerful and profound.

    Glad to get to know you just a little bit more each week. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    kristin

  5. Thanks Gavin, yes, layers – as Shrek says, we're like onions 🙂

    Kristin, thanks for your feedback – much appreciated. Look forward to many more coffee mornings…

    Cheers
    Tony

  6. Great growth displayed….step 1: Write your feelings, step 2: SAY THEM ….preferably while looking your Dad in the eyes! 3. TOUCH 4. Repeat with others – it gets easier, not more difficult!

    ENJOY your new liberatuon and keep us posted on how your dad responded?

  7. Great initiative, and beautiful post, Tony…
    Oh so true, that thing about men finding it quite hard to express their feelings, especially to close friends and family. Definitely apply to the men in my life, as both my dad and long-time boyfriend seem to find it really hard to express anything too personal. Just the other day I was thinking exactly that: you see, I’m starting my own company and I’ve reached a couple of key milestones in the past couple of weeks. Well, whenever I’m not around, my boyfriend tells our friends how he’s proud of me and everything, but he’s never telling this to me. ever. Not sure I understand why he finds it so hard… Anyway, I’ll make sure to forward him to the link to Manweek!

    PS1: So did you end up showing the post to your father at all?

    PS2: loved Gran Torino, Clint is such an amazing actor / director…

  8. Hey Tony, I needed a box of tissues to get thru your last post.
    As an author, I’m often faced with scenarios where my characters are expressing or thinking about their feelings.
    Sometimes, although not often, I’m faced with the fear that one of my close family may mistake one of my fictional rants as my true feeling towards them personally and that this may lead to guilt, suspicion, mistrust…
    I wouldn’t be true to my writing if I hid my feelings behind cliches and compliments only.
    So it should be with our dealings in real life.
    Unfortunately, my father died many years ago, and I was never able to truly express my love for him . We each knew we loved one another, but knowing and saying are two very, very different things.

    Ray.

    1. Thanks Ray – I love how my very brief post has got people thinking about their feelings – that’s what #manweek is all about. Did you see Gavin Bollard’s post? He picked up my tweet and it got him thinking – his post was wonderful. See http://life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com/2009/07/man-week-fighting-stereotypical-aussie.html

      If you would like to participate there is a book being planned where we are all encouraged to write a few more words about what it means to be a man, and communicate our feelings.

  9. lyrics exerpted from “The Living Years” by Mike & The Mechanics

    I know that I’m a prisoner
    To all my Father held so dear
    I know that I’m a hostage
    To all his hopes and fears
    I just wish I could have told him in the living years

    Crumpled bits of paper
    Filled with imperfect thought
    Stilted conversations
    I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got

    You say you just don’t see it
    He says it’s perfect sense
    You just can’t get agreement
    In this present tense
    We all talk a different language
    Talking in defence

    Say it loud, say it clear
    You can listen as well as you hear
    It’s too late when we die
    To admit we don’t see eye to eye

    So we open up a quarrel
    Between the present and the past
    We only sacrifice the future
    It’s the bitterness that lasts

    I wasn’t there that morning
    When my Father passed away
    I didn’t get to tell him
    All the things I had to say

    I think I caught his spirit
    Later that same year
    I’m sure I heard his echo
    In my baby’s new born tears
    I just wish I could have told him in the living years

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