Slay your dragons

Sometimes it takes a lot of bravery to get out of bed and face the day. When problems pile up, they cast a long shadow and it can seem like the darkness surrounds you. Sometimes the darkness surrounds you. What then, is a dad to do?

For me the answer is simple. I psych myself up in the morning as if I were a dragon slaying warrior in a mystical land fighting the ultimate battle of good versus evil. “Today I will slay every dragon that stands before me!” I shout while shampooing my hair. “I stand alone to protect the realm from evil!” I exclaim while putting on my deodorant. And when I brush my teeth, I can’t talk but I mad dog myself in the mirror and perfect my warrior face.

My kids think I’m crazy. My wife thinks I’m an idiot. But I know the truth… I’m a god damned dragon slayer.

This is the dad grind. When life gets tough, dads get tougher. And to get tough, one must be in the right mindset. This is why the dragon slayer thing works for me. I gain perspective on my problems by viewing them as dragons that must be slain. I get so pumped to do battle that suddenly having to deal with Kenneth from accounting doesn’t fill me with dread. Kenneth from accounting is just a bitch ass dragon who’s about to feel my wrath. What’s that honey? Your mother is coming to stay with us for the weekend? Well I guess I’m going to have to slay this house cleaning before I prepare a delicious risotto from scratch.

Slay every dragon that stands in your way. Mostly our dragons are just the same dumb shit that everybody has to deal with but here’s the thing. If you don’t have the mindset to conquer those dragons when they come before you then it doesn’t take long before you’re surrounded. And what do you do then when a real dragon comes for you?

Try it just once, quietly if you must. Wait until you are alone in your car and then whisper gently into your rear view mirror, “I’m a dragon slayer.” Casually mention to the person taking your order at McDonalds that you are the protector of the realm. Tell yourself this story until you truly believe it. Then march into the world, feeling the rhythm of war drums beating in your chest. Go out into the world and slay your dragons.