Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cue the amply-sized lady!

This is a bitter sweet post for me. I really didn’t know how I wanted this to go. I wrote two posts and half of a third before scrapping them all. None seemed to fit the occasion even though I admittedly don’t necessarily know what that means. Since this is the last post you are going to read here, I had delusions of making it particularly superb. The first of the discarded posts was about the irony of starting this blog as a disgruntled Michigan fan and finishing five years later as a disgruntled Michigan fan despite all of the change that I had hoped for coming to fruition. I didn’t like the finished product so I tossed it. After that I figured I’d go with a “slam dunk” and write about the Tigers shedding $92 million in payroll over the next two years. I wrote it and—for reasons I don’t fully understand—scrapped that one, too. I started and abandoned yet another post chronicling the competition between Sepp Blatter (FIFA’s President) and Bud Selig to see who can be the dumbest person in the world by holding out the longest on video replay. That was an easy decision, though. Part of my personal constitution is to not devote a final blog post to Bud Selig. I apologize to those of you who needed a Selig fix. Scrapping two and a half posts does not result in the most fulfilling feeling. However, the fact that I even had to let me know that I was doing this all wrong.

What I realized as I tried to chase the white rabbit of a magnificent final post is that there was no single topic that was going to be “worthy” of a final post. This isn’t “just another post.” I spent 696 posts over the last five years writing about various sports related topics. Today is about saying, “so long!” It’s about saying “thank you” again to all of the people who took the time to read and comment. It was never my goal to make this blog mainstream. I knew from the very beginning that I could probably attract a much larger audience if I kept the content narrow. But, that’s not what I wanted to do. I liked the freedom of writing about whatever popped into my head even if that was wondering “how many MVPs should Babe Ruth have won?” Even though it isn’t necessarily the status quo of the blogging community, I appreciate that you not only allowed me to post such diverse content but demanded it (Remember last fall when I got called out for writing too many Rich Rodriguez themed posts?).

When I started this thing, I lived in Germany, had a 6-month old baby boy, and was just starting my new job as a stay-at-home dad. Now I live in Michigan with a five-year old little man who’s about to start kindergarten and a 3-year old little girl nipping at his heels. It’s not easy being a stay-at-home parent. The work is endless and the appreciation is non-existent. There’s a reason why so many American parents gladly transport their children to daycare every morning and pay a king’s ransom to do so. It’s an amazing experience that I would not trade for the world but, to survive, you absolutely need an escape. This blog was my escape. This was my connection to the outside world. This was my chance to be a contributing member to society. It’s not going to be easy to say “goodbye.” I can look back at any and all of my posts and remember where I was and what the circumstances where in my life when I wrote them. Looking back at old posts is like an emotional time machine. However, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this is the time to let it go. I’m really looking forward to not having to deal with the sudden fear that comes with realizing it’s Wednesday night and I don’t have a post topic in mind. I’m also looking forward to being able to think of something interesting without having to automatically spend a few hours researching and writing about it. And, I’m especially looking forward to spending more time with my kids. They’re rapidly approaching the age where nap time is no longer mandatory. That’s important because “naptime” is when I spent researching and writing 95% of my blog material. Now that will become their time.

One of the most difficult aspects of being a stay-at-home parent is watching your friends excel in various professions while you sit idly at home. I’m friends with more doctors than I can count on one hand. I know lawyers, engineers, writers, teachers, chefs, chemists, soldiers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, paleontologists, filmmakers, administrators, computer programmers, principals, bankers, investment reps, financial analysts, business owners, and managers. You name it, I know someone who works it. I share engaging conversations with these people but what I don’t share is a fancy resume or a list of impressive career achievements. Instead, I’ve got 5,000 diaper changes and 3,000 prepared lunches under my belt. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate in the real world. I often wonder what I’m going to do when my kids no longer need me at home. That’ll be here before I know it. This blog is all I have in the form of measurable accomplishments. I have no idea what a prospective employer will think when I reference what I’ve done here but one thing is for certain, I’m proud of it. Thanks for contributing to that feeling. It has been a pleasure. So long!

21 comments:

J.R. Ewing said...

Thanks for your insight over the years, you and this blog will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jake, we will miss you!

Michael C said...

Great final post. Enjoy the rest of your life!

Jeff Stanzler said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, Jake...thanks for the hard work. Best of luck with the next chapter in your life.

Nick said...

Thanks, Jake! I loved the blog and will miss it a ton...

Steve C said...

It's been fun reading all your posts these past few years. Enjoy playing with the kids. You have an opportunity that few fathers have, and it's good to see you preparing to make the most of it ... even if it does get in the way of my own selfish desire to see you continue the blog.

Kyle said...

I've been reading for a few years now, and I've never commented, but I enjoyed checking back on a weekly basis to see what you'd have for my reading consumption this time. Thanks for all the awesome posts and interesting insight that almost always differed from mainstream media opinion. It's a dying industry, but hey, I know I'd enjoy reading your posts if you went on to star in the online sports journalism sphere. In any event, thanks again, and good luck with whichever path you choose to follow in the future.

Patrick said...

I have come to really like this blog despite having no connections to Detroit. The amount of work you have put into this blog is amazing. Enjoy the next phase of your life Jake, you will be missed here!

lnfyang said...

Oh man...I am seriously bummed. Of all the Michigan sports blogs, this one is my favorites. You are insightful and don't go along with the crowd. Living in Arizona now, I search out everything I can about my childhood teams in Michigan, and I always felt that I was back at home reading this. You can tell a lot about a person by they way they write, and you sir, are one smart guy. I'd hire you in a second. Best of luck to you (and your kids), I've got two of my own and it's a great ride. Hope you start the blog up again in the future...

Matt said...

Really enjoyed your work, Jake. I will miss it. Good luck with your family.

Anonymous said...

Jake, say it ain't so! Thanks for the great posts.

Allen said...

Thanks for all of the great posts Jake! I enjoyed every one that I read.
-Gaver

Jake said...

Thanks everyone!

"See you in another life, brother!"

Lord Byron said...

More Posts Please!!!! Hey it's football season!!1

Jake said...

Hey, Byron! I turned my brain off when I retired the blog and I don't know how to turn it back on. 10 days and counting, by the way. Go Blue!

Jules said...

Interestingly enough, today is the first day that I have seen your blog...
I know that you will miss it, and I know that the time with your children is a gift. Not only a gift of precious love from them to you, but the it will be the gift of knowing and spending time with their Father. My Dad died just a few weeks ago and I never really spent time with him. I knew the surface and the tough guy who made me think twice before screwing up. He held me accountable and made me do the right things for fear of consequence...then later because I knew it was the "right thing". I think he just never held me, or talked to me...You will do this (and have already done it)and you will be someone they really know and love (or hate, at times...lol). The heck with the Doctors, Lawyers, and Indian Chiefs, you are doing a very special job. And all of you will be the better for it! Thanks, Jake!

Jake said...

Thanks for the kind words, Jules. Sorry to hear about your father. I know from experience that it's not easy regardless of how close you were.

All the best!

Jake

Jason said...

Why couldn't I find this blog before you retired??

I've appreciated some of your past posts.

Anonymous said...

Hoping/waiting for you to update your top 100 NBA players all time! :D

Game Apps said...

I have also enjoyed reading your blog Jake. Here is mine if you ever want to check it out. Game Apps

Gerrard said...

cool

 

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