Saturday, August 30, 2008

Been There... Done That

I received a couple of posts from my friend Bob the other day. I’ve repeated them below, followed by my thoughts on his thoughts.


From: Bob
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:03 PM
To: Ed
Subject: Indifference

I think I've figured out at least one reason (out of many probably) why things I've been interested in, in the past, such as the Olympics or political conventions, don't interest me as much now.


As a grade-schooler and later as a teenager, we kids would sit before a radio, and later a TV, with the names of the presidential candidates written down and we'd write the vote totals down state-by-state for the candidates. And we'd be excited, particularly if some of us favored one, and the rest of us another. There were other things over the years such as King's "I Have A Dream Speech" which always moved me.

Today, I had MPR on and this hour they were to memorialize King and play his speech. I turned it off and felt immediately puzzled, then recognized the feeling - more of "been there, done that."

There are other factors too in each of these various things in life that we Americans watch, listen to, admire etc. But new things come along to become interested in and something else has to give way time-wise and major interest-wise.

But that's for the old geezers like me. We have to continue to educate our young in many, many aspects of our American life, serious and frivolous.


From: Bob
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:09 PM
To: Ed
Subject: Footnote...

To my boring introspective.

For many things these days, the outcome seems to matter more than the process. I'm quite interested in the outcome of the election, and although the process can be quite annoying at times, the outcome is more interesting. Liked to follow Phelps's results and root for him, but didn't want to watch particularly.

On the other hand, the process my grandson is undergoing week by week and month by month and year by year is incredibly interesting.



I thought these two e-mails of yours were pretty good analysis. I think you hit it on the head. I suffer(?) from much the same thing. New things come along to grab our interest. I believe in life as chapters, and a been-there-done-that feeling makes sense in that light.

I think even your example of results mattering more than process (I assume you mean to you) is largely a case of been-there-done-that. The fact that watching the process of Julian grow and mature is “incredibly interesting” to you is, I think, a case of NOT having been-there-done-that for quite a long time, 30+ years in your case. Thus it is new, and because he is your grandson, he is extremely important to you.

The high profile example of this in my own life is trout fishing. Ten years ago, I lamented that I could get out no more than 10 or 12 times a year. Now it’s 3 or 4 and I don’t miss it all that much. When I do go, I wonder why I don’t go more often, but away from the stream there seem to be too many other things that grab my interest or request / demand my time and attention, not the least of which is our current, ongoing attempt to grow a business, and the myriad of tasks and learning that go with it.