As we age in life, we pick up baggage. Baggage such as things that make us happy that we would not necessarily share with everyone. For example, if you like polkas, and I’ve not met anyone who does <smile>, would you admit it publicly. Most of us understand that there are social hot points that polite people stay away from; topics covering politics, religion, and sexual proclivities usually do and should remain off the table for discussion. So we talk about safe topics like music, TV, work, and family. We do this so much that we become boring and predictable. I talk a lot about music, cameras, bikes, and such. If those areas of concentration don’t interest you, then you probably won’t be reading this because I chased you away the one time you did peek.
Time changes our perspective too. In high school being a band geek was not cool, by any stretch of the imagination. Being a football jock or a cheerleader was. Now in my fifties, being in a band is way cool and football and other sports, not so much. Playing chess was never mentioned in polite conversation at high school and now really impresses the grandkids who want to learn to play that game. I have a picture of me in a high school marching band uniform that I’m not too proud of. But what if we didn’t worry so much about what people thought of us and were more public with our not so public secrets? I’m guessing some of us would become Sarah Palin’s or some such. But most of us wouldn’t pass the ‘so what?’ test for the rest of the world.
As we become older, more successful at work, more established in our friendships and partnerships, we really don’t care what others think. And it doesn’t hurt that as you pass 50 years of age, you start to become invisible to the rest of the world. We over 50 types are just one of those ‘old people’. With the advent of social media sites like facebook, myspace, and LinkedIn we old folks are finding it easier to discover some of our best acquaintances from our youth. But even more surprising to me is that we can find new people who are as passionate about our hobbies as we are. For me this has been true in spade for my love of Big Band and Sax Quartet music. And here’s the kicker, many of these people are professionals who luv to share their expertise. If I have a weakness, they may have been there. We can share pictures, videos, and have long conversations about methods, practicing, and favorite gigs. We can even complain about the people in our bands who drive us batty. :O)
My question is, can I accept the risk associated with hooking up with some my fav blasts from the past or new super-pros? Is the risk acceptable considering the gain. Will this person embarrass me or even worse, steal from me in the future? Can I really publicly admit that I have been relapsing into the habit of using my icky vibrato? How embarrassing that would be! But just being willing (but careful) to share a video of my performance can have great benefits. Someone called my vibrato ‘Johnny Hodges’ inspired. It made my day.
You know, just have this social media dilemma to consider makes my life more interesting. And so far, I am enriched beyond measure by the people I meet and interact with. This is just one man’s impressions… so far.