Can’t remember how or why it came up but I remember saying this song isn’t a cover of The Everly Brothers and that people aren’t cookie cutter copies of others.
Thought about it while watching my daughter’s eyes widen as we walked into AT&T stadium to watch her high school team play a cross town rival in the playoffs.
Remembered the nine or ten year-old girl who asked me to explain a few things because some girls like football and there was a boy in school who needed to be educated about that.
It was pretty cool watching the game there but much cooler watching how much pleasure she got out of it.
We got a full education on what to expect and and the sorts of rituals her school invokes.
Some of it made me laugh because sometimes she forgets that once I too was in school and that I used to go to football games
I listen intently and smile as I listen to her talk about her future and recognize she is more driven in school than I ever was.
She wants the best grades she can achieve and works hard to get them whereas I didn’t. I knew the shortcuts and ways to cram and took advantage of those.
Were I to go back I might do things differently but then again I might not because I think grades are a useless indicator of future success.
But I won’t tell my girl that because her motivation to learn is useful and education/knowledge cannot be taken from you so why would I do anything that impedes her progress.
Early Saturday morning she finds me watching the Netflix special about Bill Gates and gets stuck listening to me opine about how impressed I am by him now.
“I didn’t like him years ago for a host of reasons, but now I very much do. I appreciate what he is doing and wish we had a 1000 more like him.”
She isn’t particularly interested and I get that because to her I am the old guy who has no hair on his head and more white in his beard each day.
“E, listen to how he approaches these problems. Watch how he tries to come up with solutions and think about how we can steal that. How do we take his approach and apply it?
How do we consume information and use it for education, innovation and improvement?”
Sometimes she really engages with me and I hope she hears and internalizes what I am saying.
I think she has finally begun to notice how much I read and how active my mind is.
“I am not trying to show off. There are lots of people who are smarter than I am, but that includes lots of people who are less successful.
It is not all luck. It is hard work and taking the time to use the gifts we are given. You use what you don’t use.”
I don’t tell her that I have realized two of my fears are losing my physical strength and losing my mental edge.
There have been a few times lately where I felt like I have lost a step so I have been pushing hard to change that.
Maybe it is stress, lack of sleep or something else that has made me feel like my brain slipped into neutral.
Those are the likely suspects and though I am not particularly worried that anything is wrong with the melon between my ears I focus a bit on things that show me it is a hiccup.
Mental power is more important than physical strength or ability, it is the tool that levels every playing field.
We watch a few plays and she provides an analysis of what is working and what isn’t.
It makes me smile again because I can’t help but provide real world application to this too.
She is assessing strengths and weaknesses of personnel, determining how to make a team more effective and figuring out ways to be more strategic.
That is real world stuff and so is the giggling I hear when she and a girlfriend talk about a boy thinking I don’t hear them.
Ten thousand words into a night of writing I recognize there was probably too much Scotch in the glass when I started.
It is why I got to this place last because whatever edges had been removed or softened with drink have mostly returned and filters are back in place.
There is temptation to revisit the other places and see if I ought to delete or edit but I probably won’t bother.
Got too much on my mind now, too many other thoughts and ideas to process.
It is an interesting place, I feel like some weights have been lifted and certain hurdles removed but others are still there.
I can see a boy in a cave well ahead of me and cannot prevent myself from flying into the cave to try and converse about things discussed many times.
Can’t figure out if the answers are different or the same which makes me wonder if this is a good use of my time.
It brings me back to football and a conversation with a girl who said she didn’t think her team would stop the one guy.
“Maybe you don’t try to stop him in a conventional way. Maybe you make him work really hard for the success he is certain will come. Maybe you trick him into thinking he can run through you every time knowing he will exhaust himself.
Maybe you need to figure out how to hold on long enough for exhaustion to hit and then come at him when he no longer can blow throw you..”