August 17, 2010

Your Way, My Way and The Hard Way

I can't remember where I first heard someone say that there are three ways to do things: Your Way, My Way and The Hard Way. Not sure that it matters much other than I can't provide proper attribution. So, Mr or Mrs. Shmatashack my apologies for the inadvertent diss.

Now that we have gotten the pleasantries out of the way let's talk for a moment about why that phrase has stuck with me and why the father in me is concerned. People like to say that we are all good at something and apparently I am good at doing things my way. It wouldn't be much of a concern other than my way often seems to involve doing it the hard way.

So you might ask, "Jack, if you know that you have a habit of doing things the hard way why not change it?" Well I am ever so glad that you asked because it has never occurred to me that instead of going left I could go right. Or maybe that is exactly why I never lived in cleveland. I may be a glutton for punishment, but I am not stupid. Ok, maybe a little bit but I'll save that for a different post.

My neighbor tells me that I can attribute this lovely trait to being a Taurus and that even though I may choose to do things the hard way I always get them done. I look at her, the 83 year-old lady who drives a Corvette and says who am I to argue with that. It is not completely without merit or untrue, but that doesn't mean that I want to continue like this.

As a parent I am exceptionally aware of what traits/characteristics my children have picked up from me. And this seems to be one of them, although it appears to be more prevalent in my son than my daughter. Not so long ago I tried to give him a practical demonstration of how and why it is worth looking for a better way.

We used a bunch of weights for this. The idea was simple, it is easier to carry light weights than heavy. If you have to make an extra trip or two it is not such a big deal. Unless you are of my blood that is. That kid did exactly what I would do and used brute strength to move the weights. But I anticipated that he might and set things up so that it wouldn't be possible to do that every time.

And I'll be damned, he followed in my footsteps again and told me that he needed a moment before he "took the test." A moment later he was "testing" himself to see how much he could lift. That is so very like his old man. About once a week I take a few minutes at the gym to see how much I can lift- guess there is still a lot of little boy left in me.

Still, that kid made his dad proud by coming up with a couple of whiz bang solutions. Makes me happy to say that they are both smarter than I am. Can't help but smile at it. But damn, I hope that they have more common sense than I do. If they insist on doing things their own way make it easy.

And that is all I have for you today, lailah tov from Los Angeles- I am  out of here.

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