a change of perspective

October 23, 2006

Speaking as a young male, I am well aware of my tendency to assume that I am ‘invincible’. I think this could be true of young men in general, and for all I know, young women too. Now, personal circumstances and events might rattle this assurance, but it’s hard to genuinely shake. There have been a fair few moments in my life (not usually in this country it has to be said) where this underlying feeling of “I’ll be fine” has made me linger in places or situations where the risk to life and limb was a bit more unecessary than perhaps it needed to be.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, what I have noticed is that the prospect of fatherhood is chipping away at this sense of invulnerability – and I am feeling a tug on my arm (not literally, yet) when it comes to weighing up decisions in certain situations. At the risk of you laughing at me, but in the name of honesty,  when in town at night time, my desire to fend off potential muggers/drunks/trouble-makers is now slightly undermined by the knowledge that I am no longer living for myself. Of course, I never have been, in the sense that I have always had people who love me, but this time…it’s different.

I suppose one way of looking at it is that fatherhood has probably increased my life expectancy.

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3 Responses to “a change of perspective”

  1. Trevor Goode said

    At 36 years of age, the feeling of not being the centre of my life leaves me in a cold sweat. I am to be a father for the first time next April and I am awashed with undiluted joy and fear. I agree whole heartedly with your latest blog (23/10/06), I have been gripped by caution like no other time in my life. My male bravado has been shoved aside, for the first time in my life I’m considering the full effects of everything I do, especially worst case scenarios (for years i argued with my mother about her being a merchant of doom, now I know exactly where she has been coming from).
    I am longing for that day in April to come, yet I am so scared, Am I alone? I see other families and they seem to struggle yet cope. One of my closest friends has recently become a father and he is filled with joy. What if I don’t cope like him? What determines a good father? unfortunately, I know what makes a poor one, but not doing what my father did isn’t a security that I’ll be doing the right thing myself.
    And again I ask, am I alone?

  2. andanotherone said

    My own mortality has become a central fear & concern. The thought of what I may now miss. It’s an uncomfortable feeling.

  3. tracie said

    Can I post as a mother? When we drove our son home from the hospital I was finally aware of how “fast” every speed demon around me was driving. Every driver seemed psychotic while every stop sign was a mark of order against the rolling chaotic traffic. For the first time 55mph (yes, I’m American) was the best advice I have ever wanted to obey. The weight of having these precious lives to take care of is heavy indeed. My husband felt the weight too….for about six months. Now he loves to race our friends to the office while our two children are pleasantly strapped in their car seats. Maybe mortality needs to set in with him one more time.

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