My pondering this month has a lot to do with having a long attention span… or not.
So, if you have a very short attention span and relish that behavior you can stop reading right now and move on to your next curiosity.
I have always had a very long attention span to the point where it can be highly annoying to other people… like, you can’t get me to move on. It has, however, served me well for the activities that I am drawn to. Or, was I drawn to those activities because they worked well for my long attention span?
For example, as an engineer, I was able to picture in my head a large schematic diagram of some electronic circuitry and then work on it in my head for hours on end.
Not surprisingly, I am totally at odds with the millennial culture of non-stop cellphone activity. For some reason, the media classifies the millennial generation as the one with the biggest problem… not Gen Z or Gen X. I can go with that since I like picking on millennials.
This morning I read yet another story about the brewing crisis we have because of a generation of workers trained (by the use of cellphones) to expect immediate gratification. And, if they don’t get immediate gratification, they just quit working. With this thesis banging around in my head, I set out on my morning walk.
It’s about this time of year that people realize we are finally done (almost) with winter and the days are getting longer. Now, with longer days and melted snow, we can indulge in longer hikes and longer bike rides. My thoughts drift off to the days of my solitary 100-mile bike rides… like from Evergreen to Vail. That’s a long, long time to be alone with your thoughts.
How would a millennial handle this kind of solitude? They would probably say, “This sucks.” And call for a ride home. The only other way for someone with a short attention span to endure such an experience would be to bring their cellphone and ear buds and chit chat the whole way instead of enjoying the divine calm and intellectual clarity that comes with solitude. Yikes! Did I just plagiarize Frosty Wooldridge?
Sure did. What really got me going on this pondering is Frosty’s feature story on page 30 entitled, “Solitude For Spiritual Bliss.”
He nailed it. Frosty spoke to solitude with words and phrase that I could never in my wildest dreams create myself. He is the master.
But, he got me to thinking that I picture enjoying, or benefiting from, solitude as the exclusive province of those of us with a long attention span. Is it possible that I could be wrong? God forbid! Can a millennial switch tracks, put their phones down, calm their brains down, and enjoy the solitude of which Frosty and I speak?
It seems I am getting curmudgeonly in my old age. LOL
I’ll ponder that one on tomorrow’s walk.