The Uncle Bob Principal

Uncle Bob was (he died many years ago) my mothers brother and one whom she seemed to share a particularly close bond with. I first remember meeting him when we travelled by train from Perth to NSW – 3 days and then caught the bus to where uncle Bob lived – 6 hours – with his wife and 4 kids. We had a lovely holiday walking on the beach – I watched my mum in horror as Uncle Bob pried an oyster off the rocks and shucked it there and then for my Mum to eat. At dinner Uncle Bob would give us Bob’s blood to drink – a mix of lemonade and red wine – he was great. At the time I didnt really have a father as we didnt have much to do with my Dad so I quite liked Uncle Bob and his slightly quirky ways, ways in which my Mum was quirky too. I was around 12 on that trip.
A few years later when I was 14 or 15 I had a bit of a crisis in my life. I didnt have a male figure in my life. I didnt have some one to show me how to shave – I actually wanted to shave my legs but my Mum said no! Also I was broke. As a single parent family with no income, four kids and living on a pension and receiving no money from our dad we were pretty broke. I used to knock on the doors of the houses around where we lived and ask if there was any work I could do. It was okay, I would get milk and cookies and maybe 20 or 50 cents. But as a 15 year old I wanted a surfboard and there was no way I could afford that. So perhaps in desperation and seeking some support and advice and money I wrote to Uncle Bob and told him of my woes. Of how life was tough and how I didnt have enough money to buy a surfboard and that work was difficult etc. I guess I poured my 15 year old heart out to some extent. I wanted him to buy my surfboard for me but more than that I wanted him to save me.
I never got a reply.
Not getting a reply hurt me and disappointed me as I had hope and I identified with Uncle Bob. But it also galvanised me in that it made me realise I had to get up and do it for myself. No one was going to magically do it for me, it was up to me to make things happen to get up and get going. Six motnhs later I bought my surfboard – yes it was a slightly beaten up used one but I had worked for it and it was mine. (A year later I bought a brand new one).
I understand about doing things, making them happen, about having a dream and working towards it and for it. But I still seem to be looking for my Uncle Bob. I need help, I want support. I still feel like that 15 year old boy with a bunch of dreams and still all alone. Back then I had my Mum who was a great support and I could not have acheived what I have with out her love and support. Now I have my wife and family whom with out I would not have acheived that which I have over the years. But it frustrates me that at 44 I am still looking for my Uncle Bob to save me. I have a bunch of ideas that I am persuing but need Uncle Bob to take them and me to the next level, a level that will make them successful and profitable.
I need a business partner – someone who shares similar passions as I do and who is wanting to back my food and beer ideas with business accumen. I look around at people doing what I want to do and see that they have people around them, backing them supporting them driving them and exciting them.
For what ever reason I am all alone.
I wonder why I am doing that to myself?

17 Responses to “The Uncle Bob Principal”

  1. Evelyn says:

    the one observation I would like to make up front is this: you may FEEL alone and lonely in this, but you ARE NOT alone. Just look around yourself, see who is with you.
    Granted these may not be the Uncle Bobs you specifically desire to have in your life, but perhaps your image of Uncle Bob needs some adjusting, and perhaps not. Maybe Uncle Bob isn’t ready to appear just yet and there may be a good reason for it that you aren’t aware of at this point in time.
    The anxiety, anger and frustration that I sense in your post I get, but in my experience waiting for the really good thing pays off in the end so much more, then trying to force a mediocre thing to happen because I’m tired of waiting and struggling.
    If you can, keep your hope up and visualize the wonderful partnership you seek, instead of focusing on the lack and seeing what others have.
    It may just come to you when you least expect it and totally knock you off your feet and throw you off balance etc. It happened to me yesterday, kind of slowly had it coming for the last 12 years, perhaps even longer … not that I’m saying that I hope it takes that long for you to achieve your goals.
    Here’s a big hug for you, Paul.

  2. Sally C. says:

    If you believe it, it will happen.
    Sally C.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi paul,
    here is B

  4. Melody says:

    Paul–it’s funny that you should write this on this day. (It’s still the 1st of July here in the States.)
    Twenty-five years ago, I lost my father on this day. As I grew up, I was closest to my father and had a tougher relationship with my mother from time to time.
    However, when I got into my teens, the relationship with my dad really got side-swiped, and it took over 20 years for me to come to terms with it, even to grieve his passing.
    Anyway, I grew up somewhat “alone” despite my family, many extended cousins, and local friends. It sometimes feels that we are completely alone, but your reaching out shows that you know deep inside you’re not.
    When you think about it, your Uncle Bob didn’t come to your rescue when your wrote him, maybe because he knew all along what you had in yourself to make it work. It’s like when I asked my mother why she was always so concerned about my sister, but hardly ever about me–she said she always knew I could take care of myself.
    I think Evelyn’s response said it well. Put it out to the universe–but know that you don’t want just anyone to partner you. We can’t achieve a lift in dance unless we have the right partnership that gives complete faith in one another. I’m sure you want that for your businesses as well.
    A hug and good thoughts that the right person (or people) come your way and you’ll achieve the success your efforts deserve.

  5. Beata says:

    Hi Everyone, Hi Paul,
    I have read your story and I have thought

  6. Sarah says:

    Paul, the title of your post more than got my attention. My friend has an Uncle Bob, and he usually sends her witty jokes and such by emails. Somehow I wasn’t expecting a witty post from you, and its nice to see you didn’t disappoint.
    I do my best to be a positive person, and that part of me says that you will find the business partner(s) you need to for your business to thrive. It may not be tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year – but it will happen.
    Beata, the book sounds interesting but right now I have more than enough reading material. I wonder if our teensy library has a copy of it…
    I’m actually considering my own business venture, but I have a lot to look into before I decide if it can be done. *I* think its a good idea, as do several people I’ve spoken to about it, but research is necessary. (As will be a “partner” – eep!)

  7. Maria Horos says:

    Oi paul, I am its Brazilian fan, I would like that you he was very happy and he carried through all its dreams. Kisses Maria Horos

  8. abeth says:

    PAUL-I’d be happy to be a business partner but I don’t think our spouses would be real supportive!! HA, HA, HA!
    That being said-I married my “uncle bob” but his name is Michael. I never had a paternal influence in my life. The only two were an physically and emotionally abusive step father and a sexually abusing brother-imagine how I felt about the men in general. But, my husband came along and fixed alot of that for me. My mother’s husband (not the abusive one) gave me away at my wedding. While he may not be a “daddy”, he believes in me.
    Like you, I earned everything that I had and have. I grew up poor but I will never and have never forgotten where I came from. It’s the roots that make us appreciate the present and future.
    You have the chance to be Uncle Bob to your three lovely young ladies. Whatever Uncle Bob’s reason for not acknowledging your thoughts at such a tender age-he should appreciate the man you’ve become. I get where you’re coming from-it’s a void that’s never quite full enough.

  9. Cindy says:

    You know, its funny. The more we ‘want’ the less we are satisfied with what we have. My advice? Give. Be the “uncle Bob” you always wanted to a fatherless boy just starting out his life. I have found, in many instances in my life as a single mother with no family, that when I feel lost, frustrated or dare I say self-pitying, that the answers I seek have been inside me all along. The way I let them out is to help someone else. If I take the focus off of my problems for a moment and focus on helping to solve someone else’s problem, all of the sudden, the answers to my own are right in front of me. Another way to look at it: too often we have tunnel vision when we want something — and we miss countless opportunities to help others, who will in turn help someone and so on and so on….til one day soon, the answer to all of your hopes and dreams is knocking on your door and telling you that he heard great things about you and how about letting him help make some of your dreams come true. Don’t think I think you’re selfish and self-centered. That’s not what I am saying. Just focus on something/someone else for a little while and see what develops. It’s worth a shot. I know everything will work out the way you want it to.

  10. MaryS says:

    Dear Paul,
    I have noticed that in life, the things that “break” us take many years to heal. It isn’t until you have gone far enough away from the break, that you are able to look at it in a different way and, only then, can you move on. Obviously, you are not there yet. Some day you will be. We never seem to be able to control how long it will take or why we have to go through it. It’s for a reason. You just are not there yet. I’m older than you by a few years and just recently am I getting there. I’m not there yet either, but getting there. There’s still hope. Don’t give up. Just the fact that you share such personal feelings with all of us here, is amazing. I think this is your journey to eventually moving on. You’re barfing up all the pain. Eventually, you will be emptied of it and will be open to filling yourself up with new feelings that will continue to help you grow. You may eventually find that your old goals have changed all together, with regard to your future. You may do a complete turn around and become a different person! Stay prepared and ready to accept this change. It’s good! This is the purging phase of your life. You’ll be o.k. I believe it. We all do.
    I’ve seen what you are going through in my own son. He was left without a father at the age of 7. It’s been a long tough road for him but he is getting there. It’s life. It’s hard. We suffer and are broken, but somehow, in the end, we heal and come through it.
    Be strong Paul!

  11. MaryS says:

    Grandma Millie, are you out there? Hope all is well!
    Paul, I hope after writing this post and hearing what some of us had to say, it brought some insight and hope. Please don’t wait too long to come back and tell us how you’re doing. We do worry about you and how you are so sullen sometimes. Like I said earlier, it’s a way of purging the bad stuff out of you, but then you need to stand up straight and face the world again. And when you do, we will always be waiting to share in your world, the good and the bad.

  12. Evelyn says:

    Mary S. I know your words were directed at Paul, but can I thank you anyway, as they are so right on for me too at the moment? Thanks!

  13. MaryS says:

    Thank you Evelyn.
    We can all certainly use a boost in life at times. I need one today myself. I was misjudged by a one of my own close family members just after being given such a wonderful boost from her. I know, or at least, sincerely hope, it was not intentional, but none the less, it crushed me and made me feel so abandoned. Like Paul always asks, why do these things happen? And like I always say, don’t ask why. It’s a lesson and we’re supposed to learn from it. It’s hard.

  14. Evelyn says:

    Mary S, here’s a big hug to you. Being misjudged by people. esp. those close to you is always hard and painful, but you will rise above it. I’m sure of it. Had that happen though too, when my Mum was here for a visit, lots of religious judgementalism … but I’m leaving this behind me. It sparked some intense thoughts in me to determine what my own beliefs are again, but I’m not happy about how she made me feel.
    Take care and do something fun to lift your spirit.

  15. MaryS says:

    Thank you again Evelyn! You’re such a great positive force this week! 🙂
    What this has done, other than break my heart, is re-enforce my beliefs in who I am and what I am not. That’s always a good thing. I am even stronger in my ethics now and I’ve always been very strict on my honesty, etc.
    So, like we always say here on the corner, is, out of the worst of sadness, hardships, unfair treatment,and pain, comes our true strength.
    It just sucks that it has to be this way. Why do we take the good things for granted?

  16. Becky H says:

    Dear Paul,
    I used to wonder what was the point of life, why struggle through all the mundane things, why go to work every day and eventually die? It all seemed a lot of work and turmoil for not much gain, and that only temporary. I wasn’t depressed, just wondering why bother? I was raised in a Christian home and hoped that God was real, but I didn’t know. However, my mother prayed for me every day since I was born, and when I was 19 I could tell the “Hound of Heaven” was after me.
    In college I was listening to “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and wincing every time the 39(?) lashes hit. I had not believed that Jesus had been a historical person until then. But I felt sorry for Him and the pain He must have felt. Then I listened to “Godspell” (you can probably tell I went to college in the 70’s!) and realized that Jesus was not only a man, but God. So I wrestled with Him for a bit because I wanted to do my own thing, but He wanted me to be more than that would allow. finally I gave into Him, and it hasn’t all been roses and light, because following Christ is HARD!! But He is definitely worth every struggle.
    It sounds to me as if you are being pursued by the Hound of Heaven. Give Him a try. You won’t be disappointed! And you won’t be alone any longer. Jesus is much more than Uncle Bob could ever be.