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The New Relativity Theory- The TAO of Larry

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When I hear my father’s voice coming from my mouth, I know I’m an old fogey… let’s face it, merely using the words “old fogey” qualifies me in the Old Fogey Hall of Fame.

It gets worse.

Old fogeys are angry and cantankerous, opinionated and gassy, poorly dressed and often foul-mouthed. I don’t want any of that. I reject old-fogey’dom (even if I share some traits!)!

My Dad often prefaced his sentences with, “In the good ole days….”, or, “In the olden days…

To a kid like me, those 4 or 5 words were the very earliest and best noise-cancelling headphones ever… my ears automatically hit MUTE when I heard them uttered.

More and more as we grow older, we live less and less in the present. The past is our reality.

We begin comparing peoples’ manners, prices, architecture, movies, songs, and, well, you name it, to the way things felt, looked, tasted, and smelled in our younger years… yup, in the good ole days.

It’s all about our personal reference point.

Our reference point for the history of the world begins the day and year we are born.

There is life Before Larry (BL), Early Larry (EL), and finally, After Larry (AL) (substitute your name for Larry).

Everything I learned in school was in the BL times and is truly meaningless, at least to a hapless tween.

BL history is a rehash of the dumb things that occurred in science and the universe in bygone days, which has absolutely no relevance to anyone between the ages of 5 and 15. I grew up believing that Columbus was a hero…. YAY… you discovered North America… huh says every First Nations’ person???

EL covers the time territory between about 15 and 55 years. This is when all things important and memorable occurred. The entire relevant and consequential history of the earth (in our view) takes place in this time frame.

Finally, and the stage I find myself in now is the AL period. This is the time when most of life’s major events have already happened and now all things get compared to those “good old days” of EL

EL is the way things were meant to be, according to the TAO of Larry (once again, substitute your name here). Nothing that happened before or after this era should ever change.

  • Old fogeys slip into grousing about the younger generation and their use of computers and cellphones and games.
  • Old fogeys protest the need for “apps” to do stuff.
  • Old fogeys lament the loss of courtesy.
  • Old fogeys say ALL politicians are liars and all people are heterosexual.
  • Old fogeys say that their music was better and more melodic/more danceable/more XYZ.

Old fogeys think that everything was better in years past because that was their norm, their reference point from which to judge the world.

Funny but true? The world changes. Always has. Always will.

Some things will be better. Some things will be worse. Most things will be neither except in the subjective eye of the beholder.

The universe is expanding and so should we.

Perhaps the best way to go about life, regardless of whether it’s from the reference point of BL, EL or AL is to remember the wise words of Desiderata…

…”And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Attitude and The Ten Year Boomerang Effect

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LAR GORD HOCKEY TIFF (1)

Me (with newspaper shinpads beneath my pants) dropping the puck for my brother Gord… STARS!!

 

I was a baby athletic star when I was 7 or 8.

Here’s how my mother described me in a letter to my older brother…

Larry is making quite a name for himself at hockey this winter. So far his team has 27 goals and Larry scored 13 of them and about 9 assists… The coach says he doesn’t get in and get himself banged up, and he’s good at fooling the goalie too.”

On the downside, I had attitude which is never good. SKY HIGH ATTITUDE.

Then at 13 I transformed into a chubby tween with acne and glasses (athletic still but my star status plummeted). I felt awkward and ugly. My “attitude” plummeted from altitude which IS a good thing. LOW ALTITUDE ATTITUDE.

Then at 17 I morphed back to a slender recreationally-athletic young man with a guitar and an old Rambler car that was mine. GOLDILOCKS JUST RIGHT ATTITUDE.

It was a case of the Ten Year Boomerang effect. COOL … UNCOOL… half COOL.

Each 10 year period of my life has run along similar lines.. some bright, exultant convex points followed by lower stages, degrees of concave. Harry Chapin sang about this in his poignant song Story Of A Life:

I can see myself it’s a golden sunrise
Young boy open up your eyes
It’s supposed to be your day
Now off you go horizon bound
And you won’t stop until you’ve found
Your own kind of way
And the wind will whip your tousled hair
The sun, the rain, the sweet despair
Great tales of love and strife
And somewhere on your path to glory
You will write your story of a life

 

Chances are pretty good you’ve experienced something similar but with different details. Your attitude may have been a problem, but how would I know?!

Life has its own wavelength… some periods where our star rises and we feel the peak excitement (Lady Gaga nervously hits the stage as a promising new singer-songwriter in A Star Is Born).

wavelength

 

And some periods where the skies are so dark and foreboding that the stars are nowhere to be seen… (Bradley Cooper urinates in his pants on stage at the Grammy Awards in A Star Is Born).

Our attitude and our place in the stars rise and fall throughout our lives.

Have you ever watched the TV show THIS IS US? Every character on the show goes through a full cycle of boom and bust in every episode.

It’s exhausting.

I get boomerang whiplash watching for one hour. I need a shower to wash away the sweat and filth that builds up with all the tension and cathartic release.

I don’t know how famous (or once famous) actors, artists, politicians and musicians cope with the massive fluctuations in their popularity and fame.

The 10 year boomerang effect that I’ve experienced through my years is compressed into a much shorter time span for those in the public eye. For most of us, ten years is sufficient to adjust, to learn to bend with the positive and negative winds that inevitably blow.

It doesn’t surprise me that so many of the famous succumb to drugs and alcohol and suicide. The throngs of sycophants that surround them kissing their chilly butt cheeks one minute and then turn around the next to spit in their face or worse still, ignore them totally…

… it takes a monumental strength to withstand the ups downs twists turns… the bashing of the boomerang in your face.

My once-burgeoning hockey career has long ago melted into the ether… my old Rambler has rusted away in the scrapyard… but … thankfully… the guitar I strummed at 17 still lives and my fingers retain the strength to play a song or two …

I’m know I’m living the GOLDILOCKS life – and the boomerang that is my attitude? … well … I try to keep it in sight and close to the ground.

What about you… where does your star sit in the sky  and… is your boomerang under control?

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