Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Filtering by Category: Fatherhood

This one couch

When I was a teenager and collegian, the world was barely big enough for my dreams. I distinctly remember thinking a think where I aspired to be mentioned in a history book (in high school, no less - how arrogant). I wanted to be a global citizen. And I hoped that in my lifetime, our species would be travel to other planets, other stars...making my world, our world, bigger on the journey.

And then my world became one country and I wanted to be in DC. Then I graduated, and my world became one city, one state. I wanted to make a positive difference here, in the place where I was from.

And then somewhere along the line my world got much smaller. At our wedding, our whole world was in one room eating dinner and dancing. All I needed was there.

And then it got even smaller. My whole world fits under one roof when the whole family gets together (whether in Gwalior, Sanibel, Rochester, Novi, Birmingham, New York, or at one of several towns near London).

And now, smaller. My whole world is one couch.

And not just any couch, this one couch. The one I am sitting on now. The one where we brought Riley and Bo home to. The one Robyn and I bought together. The one where our friends and family gather around, play games on, conversate and relax on, drink beers around, and nap on. 

This is the couch I never realized I was dreaming of.

I've gone from the planet being my world, to this one couch. And that has been a blessing I never ever expected to be grateful for.

And I still have dreams for this neighborhood, city, state, country, world, and even this galaxy. But my world...my world is this couch.

The best words (of my life, so far)

 “Good morning.”

“I do.”

 ”Welcome.”

”I forgive you.” 

”I love you.” 

“Om, shanti, shanti, shanti...” 

”You are a very capable person (son).” 

“Sweet dreams.” 

”See you soon.” 

“We’re home.” 

”...amen.” 

 “You make me wanna roll my windows down, and cruise.”

”Kush raho.” 

And for the first time, as of yesterday, “Mum mum mumma.”

These have been some of the best words of my life, so far.  

The things I blame

This is a non-exhaustive list of people and things I've blamed - rightly or wrongly - for things like suffering, fear, anger, and failure:

  • My upbringing
  • "The system"
  • My boss or someone at work with a position in the hierarchy higher than me
  • The President of the United States
  • Other politicians
  • Bad luck
  • God (e.g., when my father passed)
  • The person on the other side (of the table, on the phone, of the cash register)
  • The referee
  • Myself
  • "The "economy"
  • The teacher
  • American culture
  • "Technology"
  • Circumstance
  • My DNA
  • Lack of sleep

I've realized because of a number of blogs / articles, but most recently this interview on the Knowledge Project podcast with poker player Annie Duke, that when I have a failure event I have a tendency to blame something. That was hard to admit.

What's worse, I've realized how cowardly I am if I blame others, even if that blame is accurate and deserved. Blame, regardless of whether it's placed rightly or wrongly, is a digression from taking responsibility to solve the problem or be better.

If our goal is to be better, rather than to be right, blame is a waste of time and a neglect of duty. What's interesting that this is true, even if we blame ourselves. Even if we are blaming ourselves, it is a diversion from taking responsibility.

I hope that by admitting that I do place blame - on myself and others - and naming those things specifically, that I'll stop doing it. I'd rather cut the bullshit and move straight to taking responsibility for making things better or being better myself.

Easier said than done, but it has to start somewhere. And to be honest, even writing this is a liberating moment because I'm feeling my deep-gutted "I'm the victim" muscle start to atrophy a little bit.