“If you have never met me, but read this and think that I am charmed with myself, you got it all wrong. I know countless humans who are better people than I. They are kinder, smarter, and harder working. I can’t sing nor dance, I learn slowly, and I can’t stand to hear my recorded voice nor see my image on film. If I was once handsome, all trace of it is gone along with my uncorrected eyesight. I can be a conversational bore, and I deeply wish I had given my parents more moments to be proud of me. At 50 I look back on my life with a very critical eye and stand on the far side of a very wide gulf from the heroes of my youth. Even our dog, impeccably honest and loyal as canines are, Loves Grace and only tolerates me.
Honest evaluation leads to harsh thoughts like this. I spend a lot of time alone and have long bouts of insomnia, which can lead to thinking about things excessively. But the secret I would like to share with anyone who at times feels the same way, is that I have a sanctuary where I am insulated from much of my self-criticism, and a have a front, where at 50, I am much better on than I thought possible in my youth. When I am building things with my hands in my shop, I rarely feel poor. Although I now need glasses to do any close work, and my hands have lost a lot of dexterity, I am a far better craftsman than I ever was in my youth. I am not a great craftsman, but over a very long time I have worked to develop these elements in my life, and I compete with no one except who I was last year. While all else fades, these things flourish. It is a gift I am most thankful for.”
Read the whole story at this link: New die spring landing gear on a Pietenpol, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Grace in our 601XL leaving Brodhead WI, headed to Oshkosh 2004.
2 Replies to “Thought for the Day: What are you thankful for?”
Hi, William– I feel your pain, brother. Reading glasses are a drag when you have had better than perfect vision (near and far vision) your whole life. I have to work hard to keep that bother in perspective — most folks would kill for the quality of vision I have now, let alone what I had as a younger man. Ditto on the dog — our Moochie loves Pat with all his little heart and soul. He will put up with me when Pat is gone, but only after a long period of bereavement. A shop is a wonderful place to find comfort and self-awareness in, for sure. Thank goodness for shops and the skills to function in one. You can fix, build or maintain more than things in a shop, you can do those things to your soul. Best wishes to you and Grace. Bob in NH
You’re 50?!? Funny; last time I saw you (@ CC 28) you didn’t look a day over 49!