Monday, April 4, 2016

Better at a Distance

I tend to overanalyze things, trivial things like passing comments, offhand gestures, text messages, overused phrases, even comic strips.  As I age, I find myself doing this more frequently. It’s annoying, even to me.  I think I’m borderline OCD. 
The other day I was on the internet and ran across a vintage Charles Schulz comic. It showed Linus, sitting with his thumb in his mouth, blanket held tight as a bubble thought above his head read, “I love mankind... It's people I can't stand.” The absurdity of a toddler having a complex, diametrically-opposed thought makes it funny. Here’s this child observing life around him and coming to the conclusion mankind is great, but only at a distance.  
As I continued to over-think the comic strip, it hit me that Linus and I have a lot in common. There are many things I admire from a distance. For example, I like documentaries about oceans. The vastness, the mystery, and the creatures beneath intrigue me. But get me on a boat and I’m losing my lunch before the pier is out of site. 
When I was considering careers during my college years, I loved the thought of being a doctor.  This was based on little more than having a high school friend whose father was a doctor. It looked like a good gig.  Unfortunately, physics, chemistry, and poor study habits got in my way. I ended up getting degrees in education and mathematics. Coaching basketball and teaching high school became my new goals, only to have unruly students, low pay, and long hours take the luster off that career.  I ended up in corporate America, selling computers for 31 years.
I guess taking a close look at anything can remove its allure. Many things are best admired from a distance.  I’m learning to step back, relax, and accept things at their face value.  Wait… did I just say that?  Accept things at their face value?  I hate it when anyone uses that phrase. What a moron I must be.  Geeze! 
By the way, do you know how many dust mites there are in a five-year-old mattress? 

1 comment:

  1. Well, it took me a while, but I finally got back to reading my favorite blogs, and I'm cracking up at your thoughts. My husband keeps telling me that he just keeps getting weirder as he ages, and I agree . . . mostly because I think I'm getting weirder myself. Maybe it's because we don't take anything for what it appears anymore. I love your analysis of the "closer look." So many things that seem great at a distance are not nearly as enticing up close, are they? My extended family, for example is pretty terrific at a distance. :)