Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Father wasting his life away.


Every evening for the past four to five weeks from around 6pm until into the night, my father has been playing poker in front of the computer screen.

I've been commenting lately to him that this is a waste of time and that nothing productive can come from the six or seven hours of poker each night. He says, "What do you want from me? I want to enjoy life." I tell him that poker isn't even an activity which requires skill or thought.

I told him to get a productive hobby. I asked him, "why don't you learn some new skill or learn to do something that you enjoy?" He said, "I'm almost 60 years old now. There is nothing that I can learn."

I asked him, "Your father lived until he was 92. Are you going to spend the next twenty to thirty years wasting your life? Why don't you do something with your life?" He answered, "I don't plan on living that long."

When I questioned him on it, he simply said that he didn't feel that he was going to live into his seventies, eighties or nineties.

There is nothing wrong with his physical health. Yet he has no motivation to do anything of value. I'm not asking him to open up a Gemara and start learning Torah. I just feel that the only time he picks himself up to do anything is when he is sued by someone. Otherwise, he just sits there in the same spot for hours at a time doing absolutely nothing. Before it was poker, it was sitting in front of the television while laying in bed from early evening until late into the night.

What scares me so much about this is the saying, "like father, like son." I am so terrified of becoming like my father because I feel like he is a waste of skin. Aside from the fact that many years ago he had sex with my mother (now his ex-wife) resulting in having me and he built himself a home, he has done little with his life that an objective person would say has created lasting value. To his credit he also had a few failed businesses, but the important thing is that there was once a time when he tried.

I see him now as if he is an animal. This bothers me because I want to love him and I want to admire him and look up to him. I want to be proud of him as a father and I want to see him as a role model. I then think to myself, "I should love him for who he is," but then I think to myself, "What is someone who does not have goals in life and who does not have any character aspirations or hopes of improvement?"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

No one (and certainly no Jew) is an animal or a waste of skin. The best thing you can do is to set a good example. Inspire him to become a better person!

-Ahuvah

The real me said...

Either way you should love him for being your father, stop being so judgemental.

Start loving, and camayim haponim el ponim, he will love you back.

Zoe Strickman said...

I know I shouldn't use such harsh words like "animal" or "waste of skin," but I'm just trying to write down my feelings exactly as they are. Thank you for your comments though.

G Green said...

I feel sad at reading this as I often think the same way. I don't want to end up like my father but I can already see myself walking along the same path and doint the same things. (Not that its all bad)

Zoe Strickman said...

G Green,
I would say that it is healthy to be sad, because this thinking that I wrote about in the blog entry is VERY dangerous thinking. The question that I have for you is -- what are you going to do about it?

-Zoe