Several years ago I was watching one of those news magazine shows and the story was about the the explosive popularity of eBay. A very busy business man was interviewed who used eBay almost daily for routine purchase.
They asked him why he liked eBay so much. He paused for a moment and answered, “I work constantly on multiple business deals during the day and when I take a few minutes break I want a diversion that truly takes me away somehow. So I go the eBay on my laptop and check things I’m bidding on. It is a sort of release. Even if it’s only 5 minutes at a time 8-10 times a day. It helps center and refresh me.” Those aren’t the exact words, but they convey the idea of what he said.
And at some point in my mid 40’s something happened to me. I was in a restaurant in Frankfort with several friends and someone at the table pointed out another table with a group of energetic young people. Normally when I’d see a table like that, I’d avoid them but I turned slowly to my (younger) friend and smiled broadly and said, “I can’t explain it, but I don’t really want to meet those young people—but I do have this overwhelming desire to mentor them. It’s bizarre. I just want to put my hand on their shoulder and offer advice. What the heck? Am I going through male menopause? Am I molting or something? What is happening to me? Oh, and by the way, I want to talk to you about your relationship with your father and how that is hindering you in your personal and professional life.”
OK, That’s not verbatim….but it’s in the ball park.
My friend didn’t want my advice. And the young people at the table didn’t either.
So I opened a Facebook account where I can write these random, disjointed, goofy but sometimes marginally (or accidentally) insightful thoughts that pop into my head. For fun and for free. Besides, I don’t have any other hobbies to take up my time.
And it is cathartic.
Oh, and the other thing that happened at about this same time, I decided it was better to be real and connect with people as you are than to be admired and never really connect with people as yourself. Which means, well, you just don’t care as much anymore what others think. What you think becomes more important to you. At least it did for me. Appropriate but real. Respectful but open.