Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Sunday musings…9/20/2020

1 Split. Driving home yesterday I watched a couple of young men splitting logs the old-fashioned way, with sledge hammer and wedge. Brought back crazy memories of my childhood home in RI. My Dad decided that my brother and I would split the logs created when the land was cleared for our house. My Dad was a master. Never missed a strike. My brother and I? Not so much.

To this day I can still see the look of utter disgust on his face as we handed him broken handles from our mishits.

2 Open. Today I will watch the final round of the 2020 U.S. Open Golf Championship. Note that this is the first Open held in the fall since 1913 when Francis Ouimet one his first. Beth and Sasha will keep me company, but like the memory of my Dad and our poorly done chore, my living room will be filled with memories of Dad and golf. Even in the years long after I’d left home we would find ourselves on the phone for a bit as we watched the carnage that was the back nine of a U.S. Open.

I’m hoping to hear from my brother later on. It won’t be quite the same of course, and we will each feel that difference. Still, Dad’s spirit will be with us.

3 Expert. “Be and expert in a small subject so that you can make a difference.” –Barbara Judge.

In may ways Ms. Judge states the obvious: it is easier to be a factor if you attempt to move the needle in a very small venue or subject. Still, it is interesting to see how many people spread themselves far afield from whatever area in which they make their first mark. It’s one thing to move sequentially from one small subject on to a next; what is striking is how often it seems “experts” begin to seek to apply their expertise on ever larger subjects upon ever larger stages.

It’s as if eminence is as addictive as power.

In my professional life I find myself doing more and more of less and less. Interestingly, at least outside of the office, the narrowing of my expertise as far as subject goes actually allows me to apply that knowledge more widely across that professional world. An interesting phenomenon that comes from the fact that my “subject” is more process driven than idea specific.

While I didn’t choose my particular professional subject with external impact in mind, as I enter the last few innings of the most active part of my career I am hopeful that Ms. Judge is correct. It would be nice to look back some day and be able to say I did make a difference, however small it might have been.

4 Balance. Last evening I discovered that my life is woefully out of balance. Not the classic work/life balance thing; Lovely Daughter and I are convinced that there is no such thing. Life includes work so that there is no way to balance an element that cannot be meaningfully separated from the whole. One seeks harmony among all of the elements that make up a life, including work.

But I digress. There is, indeed, a significant imbalance in my life. I noticed it last night as Beth and I began to prepare dinner. Per usual one of my tasks was to choose an aperitif. As I got my ingredients together and we mulled over our options I stumbled upon a heretofore undetected imbalance in my life:

My lemon/lime ratio is totally skewed; I do not make enough cocktails in which lemons are the primary fruit.

I know, I know, it’s not much of a big deal. Or shouldn’t be, anyway. But I’m the guy who survived the Great Pandemic Lockdown by “Drinking with John Starr”, going 17 consecutive “5:00 somewheres” without repeating a cocktail. Heck, I have a book outlined about that adventure (wonder if John will let me use that as my title?). My refrigerator is chockablock filled with lemons, and if I have a yen for a lime-based elixir it will have to be one in which just a whiff is all I need.

How could such a thing happen? We don’t drink exactly the same drinks so I have a chance to expand my repertoire even if I’m not the one to enjoy the effort. And yet, there they are. 20 lemons surrounding 6 lonely limes. They’ve been there for a bit, too. No one I know has maintained their inner Hemingway or Faulkner-like pace since we were released from our bar seats-in-place.

My friends, I am at a loss. I am turning to you to help me regain balance in this most important part of life. Help me to realign my citrus priorities by sending me your favorite lemon-based cocktails. Send me a comment on the blog or reply on FB. Do look above your response and check to see if someone beat you to a favorite. Who knows? Maybe we will come up with enough stuff for another book Idea.

“A Life in Balance: when the world gives you lemons AND limes.”

I’ll see you next week…

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