Last weekend in Las Vegas, we rode the roller coaster at the New York, New York hotel.
It was loaded with ups and downs, twists and turns, highs and lows.
Basically, it’s the same feeling I get as a member of the unemployed.
I have my good days and bad days, but I have been really fortunate to enjoy the majority of my time staying at home.
I enjoy my family.
I enjoy my free time.
I enjoy the opportunity to live.
What I don’t enjoy is this 900-pound gorilla on my back.
His name is FAILURE.
Failure doesn’t poke out his head very often, but when he does, it gets very ugly, very quickly.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of writing this blog has been the opportunity to speak my mind.
So here goes.
I am one of the lucky ones.
I have an incredible family -- a wife and three healthy children.
I enjoyed tremendous success working in the TV business since I was a freshman in college in 1985, winning five Emmy Awards.
I have an incredible support system, with friends who truly accept me as I am.
But even with all of that, the thought of being unemployed at this point in my life makes me feel like a... failure.
I just can’t come to grips with why I am still at home.
I know this is “just a phase”, and it is “just a matter of time”, and “good things are ahead”, but the bottom line is, I am still unemployed.
Fortunately, the negative feelings that I have are a small percentage of my day. In fact, for the most part, I feel that I am in a better place and more relaxed than I have ever been in my life.
In the last 15 months, I have found a new lifestyle that keeps my head above water.
Working out. Grocery shopping. Cleaning the house. Having lunch with my mom. Picking the kids up from school.
And that was just yesterday.
I don’t have any problems sleeping at night. I don’t have any problems getting up in the morning.
But one small slip-up and KABOOM -- failure takes over.
For example, when I got home from the grocery store, I grabbed the two bags from the back of my car.
As I walked towards the front of the house, one of the plastic bags ripped, dropping the groceries from my waist to the ground.
Just my luck, that was the bag with the pickle jar in it.
I heard the glass shatter and that was all it took.
I grabbed the two-pound bag of baby carrots and slammed it to the ground, watching the carrots fly around my driveway like it was ticker-tape parade for rabbits.
The cough drops were also an innocent victim as I stomped my size 11’s right on top of that bag.
Within seconds of this happening, my wife pulled into the driveway, giving her a front row seat for my tantrum.
I couldn’t have been more humiliated.
She tried to make a joke or two to lighten up the moment, but I wasn’t interested in visiting the Improv.
This was not my proudest moment, but it was real.
I have no explanation why a broken $3 bottle of pickles brought on the reaction that it did, but thankfully within moments, I calmed down, picked up the carrots, all of them, and moved on with the rest of my day.
Now that’s a ride I don’t want to get on again.