Outside our kitchen window just now, my neighbor Joseph walked by with a wild turkey he shot in our back yard. Back in the real world, he hasn’t worked for over a month and struggles to make ends meet. But when he’s out stalking game, the world is primal and basic and works like it’s supposed to.
Today I’m headed out on another 3-day hike (on the AT) with a group of men. We’re businessmen, engineers, ministry guys, and programmers. We live behind desks, telephones and computers. We change diapers, do our taxes, and struggle with our identities. And if our women are smart, they’ll encourage us to get the heck out of the house and tromp around at least once a year like this.
Granted, this may run contrary to instincts. The TV show Modern Family is funny because it captures the ambiguity of our roles. A lot of the time we’re confused and diminished, wondering where the boundaries are, yearning for a little simplicity.
It’s too easy to lose yourself in our society. Life gives you all kinds of reasons why you don’t measure up and need to change. Whatever your dreams are, they may feel impossible. You may have the urge to hunt and live adventures, but life squeezes you into a one-size-fits-all mold. And before you know it, you feel like a stranger in your own house.
Only the company of other similarly challenged men is an antidote to the ambiguity we men face. And if it can be out in nature, then that’s even better.
Smart women get all this – they may even budget to make it happen. And they know that the investment will produce a nice return. Their man will return from his little getaway having been restored to his right mind, having processed his midlife crises and vain imaginations. Most of us will come through the door with a renewed appreciation for just how special and beautiful our woman is. If we’ve been jerks, our buddies probably sniffed it out and called us on it.
I’m no expert on this phenomenon, but I know it’s real. Perhaps some of you readers can better explain the issue here and help us understand why it’s so.