Tennage redux

Zits 2Living life as a teenager is really cool especially when you’re over 50 and retired. Think about it…. I go to bed whenever I want. I get up whenever I want. I do whatever I want to do and I’m not responsible to or for anybody or anything. Hallelujah!! This is actually better than being a teenager, because I know what the alternative is like.

I always thought I knew how to do things better than others. Therefore, I needed to be in charge, which led to full-on responsibility. It was life as puppeteer. Pulling strings to get people to do what they were paid to do. Helping clients understand that what they needed isn’t what they wanted. Guiding and directing without letting folks know they were being guided and directed. Determining the big picture (vision) and getting others to buy-in to it.

Relationships were based upon the barter system. First one had to quickly determine “what’s in it for me”. If the answer is nothing, then one quickly moves on to the next person. In fact, receptions or other events geared toward “networking”, became a dance. Like the “if-then-else” of app code, I became adept at determining the potential value to a relationship within the first 30 to 60 seconds of conversation. If the answer was “none”, then I would extricate myself quickly and move on to someone with “some value”.

Now my relationship meter is more geared to my level of interest. For example, I met a guy who was an aspiring Cirque du Soleil gymnast while working as a medical technician. He and I had nothing in common, but his life was so much more interesting than mine. I was thoroughly engaged in our conversation. In another world, he would have quickly extricated himself from me, but he was stuck sitting next to me at a banquet table. So I had an opportunity to pepper him with questions so I could peek into another world. Just imagine how much I could have learned from all the others I have encountered over the years, if only I had not been so determined to ascertain their business value to me.

Except for the parental nagging, peer pressure, college decisions, and hormonal changes, teenage life is not so bad. They just don’t know it. Like Jeremy in Zits, I never want to grow up.

Stay tuned.

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