Growing Old Awkwardly!

Sub title – Ballad in Plain A (for awful)!

A few nights ago I presented a talk entitled BRAVE NEW WORLD — or is it? to a NARI chapter which included 4 friendly faces, 5  counting the great Pella rep who invited me.  Therefore, I knew a scant 20% of the audience.

Although not quite a disaster, the 45 minute talk was condensed to a fast 30 minutes as we waited for the projector to arrive, the attendees were half what was anticipated as the evening was too beautiful to stay inside for even a moment, and because of time, I never properly introduced myself to indicate why in the world anyone should listen to what I had to say.

And then I delivered a brand new presentation on a subject I had researched for less than a month, although deeply and passionately researched – The Future in Remodeling.

Awful Indeed!

Since then I’ve ruminated on what would have changed the outcome and I realized this morning with blinding clarity the answer:

Do what you know, don’t try anything new or dangerous, stay put and stay safe!

I’ve fallen hard for this subject: the future came upon us as we were living in the present.  Is this the future we envisioned last year, the year before?  I doubt it.

Next year will come upon us based on what we do now …. so in fact the study of the future is as much a study of how effectively we act now on what we want to be then.

And I want to be challenged, I want to be excited about new ideas and prospects, I want to fall and fall awkwardly because I’ve tried something absolutely terrifyingly new.

But part of me wishes that those few days ago I had given a presentation I’d given many times before, on subjects I know inside and out …. and felt competent and graceful.

Or do I?  Can we really be alive and engaged if we only do what we always did?  Do we want to be a ‘one trick pony’, as Paul Simon sang, or do we want more?  If so, we have to be prepared to grow old not gracefully, but awkwardly.

In the meantime, I’ll be thinking it over, hiking on the verges of Mt. Tam, drinking beer on the beach and listening to The Felice Brothers.

You, have a good weekend too!

And if you’d like to read the entire presentation including lots of footnotes and an in-depth bibliography, download it from my website:  Go to ‘downloadable files’ and choose BRAVE NEW WORLD!


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