I am Like Tim Taylor: Redux

With this post, From the Brainpan officially reaches 1,000 published posts. To me, this is a significant achievement. It represents a lot of time and energy poured into this blog, and it shows me that I have been able to put real effort into this blog over the past 5 years. It may not equal out to a post every day (at one point I really wanted to post with that kind of frequency), but an average of about 200 posts each year is still a lot to share. So to commemorate this milestone, I decided to revisit my first real post (and one of my favorite posts), I am Like Tim Taylor.

Home Improvement is one of my absolute favorite TV shows. The text and e-mail notification tones on my phone are grunts from Tim Taylor (a great conversation starter when my phone goes off with someone who has never heard my phone before). I taught my 2-year-old son how to grunt like Tim. Home Improvement was the first series I collected in its entirety on DVD. I go back through and watch the episodes with great frequency. In fact, just tonight as I was painting our basement bathroom I had my laptop set up in the doorway, watching (well, listening, anyway) a mini-marathon of Home Improvement episodes. There is a lot I take away from the show, especially when it comes to parenting and being a husband. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not my first source of guidance when it comes to marriage and family. But a lot of the time my values line up with what the show presented, and sometimes I simply get good ideas. Other times I just laugh out loud.

Anyway, 1,000 posts ago I wrote about one of the similarities I saw between myself and Tim Allen’s character, Tim Taylor. I spoke about how Tim sets out with great intentions, yet makes mistakes because he tends to overdo everything he puts his mind to. Tim screws up a lot, and so do I. (You can read that rather brief post here). Today, after a lot more viewing of Home Improvement episodes over the past 5 years, and a few more years wiser, I still see many similarities between Tim and myself.

Tim places a great value on his family, and especially on his wife. Though he often forgets that she (and his sons) are his first priority, he always remembers by the end of the episode what is most important in his life (It truly was a different type of TV back then, wasn’t it?). Tim is fiercely loyal to his friends, even when they are annoying to him (as Al and Benny often are). He strives to exude masculinity in everything that he does, celebrating his identity as a man. Tim enjoys his job, and often takes his home with him, finding new ways to make the show he hosts (Tool Time) better. He is passionate about life, and is always striving to find ways to milk more enjoyment out of it (usually by giving things more power than they are built to handle). But perhaps the most interesting thing I see in Tim is that he tends to be incredibly confident in his identity. Sure there are episodes where he struggles with that identity (or at least parts of it), but he always winds up sure of who he is. And he learns from (some of) his mistakes.

I see these things in my own life. Of course, my first priority in life is to my God (family is a very close second), and I find that I lapse in my commitment more often that I would care to admit (same with my family, unfortunately). I go to bat for my friends no matter what (and a few times have opened my mouth before my brain fully engaged, something else Tim often does). I find that I do seek to celebrate Biblical masculinity, and encourage others to do the same. I love my job, take it home and am constantly trying to find ways to make my ministry better. I am finally at a point in my life where my identity feels solid. My first instinct when confronted with problems in my life, family or work is not to question who I am or if I am really supposed to be where I am. And though I do not always remember, I do learn from my mistakes.

Tim makes tons of mistakes, as do I. Other people are sometimes quick to point out those mistakes, and sometimes it does indeed hurt. But these mistakes are a part of life. It is one of the ways that God allows me to learn. Sure I could listen and learn without pain (most of the time), God uses those mistakes I make to shape me and grow me. He also uses them to humble me. Not a favorite outcome of mine, but one that is necessary more often than I would care to admit.

So there you have it. I am still like Tim Taylor, perhaps even more so than I was 5 years ago.

And I am okay with that.

Check out The Man’s Bedroom. Not the most popular of the “man’s rooms” segments, but still great.