It’s funny. Just now, typing that title, I got a suddenly contrary perspective to what I was planning to deliver. But enough about unconscious illuminations…
I considered a while back what it would be like for my writing to “sound 72.” Recently, I found at least a partial description of what “Writing ‘72’” characteristically included.
As you get older, I have noticed, you become more….
Hold on, I will get the word I am trying to think of in a second.
Which is another thing about “72”. You, at least momentarily, “blank” on the word you are attempting to access. I have a trick for retrieving elusive words and recollections. Who knows? It might work for you too. And then it will be not just a hopefully amicable exercise, this post will simultaneously be useful.
Wouldn’t that be excitingly “Win-win”?
What I do on such occasions – when I am unable to think of something – is that, instead of forcing myself to remember it, I counter-intuitively say – out loud or in my head – “I can’t think of it.” Then, more often than is reasonably imaginable, shortly thereafter,
My guess is, giving up diminishes the pressure to succeed, and my brain, grateful for the relief, rewards me with a recollectional cookie.
Okay, let’s see now…
“As you get older you become more…”
I still can’t think of it.
(For the moment.)
Anyway, what came to mind on a recent “Thursday Walk” – and by the way, although there is the palpable sensation of spring in the air, I saw leaves wafting lazily down from numerous trees.
Spring and autumn at the same time. Wacky, wacky California.
Anyway, a second time…
What popped to mind was an anecdote that…
“Reflective!” That’s the word I was looking for!
Alwright! The strategy works again!
(Okay, that was a “Simulation” (based on actual events.) But take a shot at that “surrendering” strategy. I find it surprisingly effective.)
Anyway, for a possibly record-breaking third time…
Feeling in an age-appropriate reflective frame of mind, what floated to mind was a story I once heard from (now) Senator Al Franken, related to him by comedian Chris Rock whom I once met – dropping two names superfluous to the story in one sentence, which is likely also a record.
Anyw… no, I can’t do that. Four “Anyways” is like, “finger down your throat.”
The story I heard concerned a major league ballplayer who had this detectable flaw that the entire league eventually caught on to and subsequently utilized against him.
It was observed that when that particular ballplayer got a base hit early in the game, satisfied that “I got my hit”, his “success rate” at the plate invariably dropped off as the ballgame progressed.
As a result of this noticeable proclivity, opposing pitchers allowed – as best as natural “competitive fire” will allow trained athletes to concede anything – the opposing pitchers allowed this easily satisfied ballplayer to get his hit during his initial “at bat”, believing – and statistics bore out their hypothesis – that, by delivering the ballplayer early success, they would neutralize his effectiveness for the remainder of the game.
That’s interesting, isn’t it? It was to me when I heard it. Becoming even more interesting in the habitual “reflective” posture accompanying my early eighth (“Holy Cow!”) decade on this earth.
The related anecdote led me to ponder whether I had engaged in a similar behavior.
Consider the evidence.
I had moved to California, trading my glacial surroundings for enveloping sunshine and palm trees. I’d had substantial early success, working on the most respected sitcoms of the day. (Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, Cheers.)
But then I arguably “took my foot off the pedal”, as it were, having, similar to the ballplayer, “gotten my hit.” Leaving my “career aspirations”, such as they were, comfortably satisfied.
It occurred to me that wondered that that ballplayer’s cautionary trajectory might apply equally applicable to me. Or, as came to mind at the top of this broadcast and in sync with an earlier post suggesting I might possibly be “normal”, that I did not require tons of success – just an acceptably sensible amount of it – and that I was actually – another concept I am generally not associated with…
… happily content.
I am honestly not certain which one it is.
Fortunately, I am old and have little to do beyond doctors’ appointments and avoiding imagining what they might find,
So I can think about it some more.