Sometimes, Good Is Not Enough

Christmas with ASAP Roofing & Construction

The Gas Station Story

My Dad left me behind at a gas station, out in the middle of nowhere, when I was a kid.

He didn’t see me crawl out of the back of our station wagon while he was inside paying for gas. Everybody else in the vehicle was asleep, but I woke up because I really, really, really had to “go.”

Dad was a gospel singer. Actually, the whole family sang, but my Dad and baby sister were the only ones with any real talent. For several years, in the late 70’s to early 80’s, we traveled full-time all over America.

Quick Summary

  1. Unexpected Separation: The author recounts a childhood experience where he was accidentally left behind at a gas station by his family, highlighting feelings of fear and abandonment during those frantic moments.
  2. Family Background: The story provides context about the author’s family, who were involved in gospel singing and traveled frequently for performances, indicating a lifestyle of constant movement and instability in terms of residence.
  3. Moment of Panic: The narrative focuses on the intense emotions the author felt when he realized he was left behind, emphasizing his sense of isolation and desperation as he tried to catch his family’s attention.
  4. Relief and Reunion: The author’s father eventually noticed him and returned, with the reunion marked by a sense of immense relief and the comfort of being rescued, highlighting the deep familial bond despite the initial oversight.
  5. Reflection on Parenthood and Responsibilities: The story reflects on the author’s father’s dedication to providing for the family, even if it meant taking risks and pushing himself to his limits, showcasing the complexities of parenthood and financial responsibility.
  6. Pushing Boundaries and Taking Risks: It delves into the idea of taking unnecessary risks when under pressure to succeed, suggesting that relentless pursuit of a goal can sometimes lead to dangerous compromises and decisions.
  7. Acknowledging Limitations and the Need for Change: The author acknowledges that being good at something doesn’t suffice when it jeopardizes one’s well-being or family’s safety, emphasizing the need for change and improvement in pursuit of one’s goals.
  8. Comparison with Others and Internal Struggle: There’s an expression of frustration when seeing others seemingly achieve success with less effort, coupled with an internal struggle of knowing one’s potential but not how to reach the desired level of success.
  9. Desire to Help Others Succeed: The author expresses a deep desire to assist others in finding success, deriving personal satisfaction from helping others navigate through challenges similar to what he experienced.
  10. Letting Go and Moving Forward: The conclusion touches on the concept of letting go of unattainable dreams and focusing on those that enrich one’s life, like providing for the family, suggesting that some dreams might need to be relinquished for more practical and rewarding pursuits.

LEFT BEHIND

My little brother and I had to sleep curled up between our Peavey speakers and the rest of the sound equipment.

It would have been hard to tell whether we were still inside the vehicle or not because the station wagon was always loaded to the top with stuff.

So, while Dad was inside paying for the gas, I crawled out to make a quick dash for the outside bathroom. By the time I finished doing my business, Dad was driving away, picking up speed, headed down the gravel driveway in a cloud of dust, only a few seconds from turning on to the highway.

I took off running frantically toward my family.

I must have been eight or nine years old. They were too far away. I reached down for a handful of gravel and flung it as far as I could. It was no use. I was crying and snotting all over myself because my family was gone. I was alone and terrified.

MY RESCUE

Fortunately, Dad noticed me through the gravel haze in his rear view mirror just a second before he turned on to the access road. He quickly spun the station wagon back around and came back to rescue me.

To this day, I can still feel his giant bear hug and how good it felt to be rescued.

GOOD WAS NOT ENOUGH

I’m sure Dad was behind schedule and probably preoccupied with just getting us where we needed to go as fast as we could get there.

Dad was good at getting us there.

As a matter of fact, my Dad was a very good driver. His driving was every bit as good as his singing. He could even drive with his eyes closed. :-)

I know because I watched him take cat naps driving down the highway in the middle of the night. He didn’t mean to put our entire family in danger, he was just pushing, trying everything in his power to make the dream happen. If we didn’t make it to the next concert, we didn’t eat. It was just that simple.

You do things you wouldn’t normally do when you’re pushing hard to make things happen.

TRYING TO BE BETTER

Maybe you already know where I’m going with this story…

You’re good, but you’re tired.

You’re good and tired all at the same time.

You’ve been pushing, trying everything in your power to make your dream happen.

You don’t mean to put your family at risk, but you know you’re taking way too many risks.

You’ve been lucky so far, but something has to change soon because you can’t keep this up for much longer.

Something bad is about to happen if you can’t figure out a way to get better…and get better soon.

You realize being good is not enough because you don’t know how to get to where you want to go being as good as you are today.

You’re talented, driven, and ambitious. When you close your eyes, you can see where you want to go. You even know what it feels like, but when you wake up, you’re still not there. You’re still trying to get better.

Bottom line, you don’t know how to get where you want to go.

HAPPY LIFE

There’s an old saying I’ve come to realize as being true in my own life: “Happy Wife. Happy Life.” Here’s me enjoying being happy in Branson, MO with my wife recently.

 

My wife told me I’m always the happiest when I’m working to help other people learn how to succeed.I’ve been where you are — longing, dreaming, striving, stressing, praying, working, and falling short — it is a very frustrating place to be in life. I put my wife through the ringer figuring these things out. She recently had something to say about that. I’ll tell you in a second.

I’ve been where you are — longing, dreaming, striving, stressing, praying, working, and falling short — it is a very frustrating place to be in life.I put my wife through the ringer figuring these things out. She recently had something to say about that. I’ll tell you in a second.

I put my wife through the wringer figuring these things out. She recently had something to say about all that. I’ll tell you what she said in a second, but first, let me say this…

You look around and see other people doing so well in this business, working half as hard, and it can be extremely frustrating.You know that you’re just as good as they are, but you just don’t know how to get where you want to go.

You know that you’re just as good as they are, or could be, but you just don’t know how to get where you want to go.

I want to help you get there if you’re serious about going.

Peace,
Mike

P.S. For those of you who have been with me for a long time, you’ll remember me wanting to be a Christian Rock Star in my late teenage years. In the picture below, you’ll see my dorky late-teen self with a bad haircut standing in the middle with my arms crossed, up against the tree, with friends from church in our first band together called, “Vision.” I don’t know why the newspaper called us “Visions.”

We’re all still solid friends to this day. My friend, Chris Ledgerwood (front, far-right), still has a band, “The Thrift Store Poets.” My buddy, Matt Helm (to my right), could be playing guitar for any band in the world, and my man, Harlan Bryan (front, far-left in the trench coat), can still rip it on trombone. For me, the dream of being a rock star died a slow, hard death, but some dreams need to die. Others, the kind where we learn to make a good living and provide well for our family, well, those dreams are worth fighting to keep alive.