Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 1423

The return of nice weather meant it was time to take care of some things I'd been postponing. I removed falling leaves and standing water from the roof. I got a big bucket of soapy water and washed the car. I gathered up all the trash and took it out to the curb. I went to the grocery store and finally made it back to the gym.

In between these activities,  I found time to update several websites as well, but it was definitely a day where my body got more of a workout than my mind. As I grow older, I'm finding that the physical side of my day is growing, while the mental side is shrinking. One reason for this is that I'm slower than I used to be. It takes me longer to do simple things like mow the grass, make the bed, and walk the dogs.

A more fundamental reason for the decline in brain strain is that people seldom ask me to do mentally challenging things anymore. In the early years of my creative career, I would frequently be asked to do amazing and impossible things. Things that required imagination routinely came my way, because people just assumed that creative people handled all the imagination stuff. Now that's all changed. After several generations of teachers telling their students that they are all special and unique, everybody thinks they genuinely are creative. Perhaps they are. It's not for me to judge. All I know is that I'm not the Wizard of Oz anymore. People don't send me to exotic locations to edit commercials, or pay me exorbitant sums of money to write a headline. If there's something cool to do, most  people tend to want to do it themselves these days. Hey, I don't blame them. I've always wanted to save the best stuff for myself.

What passes for work today is usually stuff that other people don't want to do. They all think they could do these things just as well themselves if they had more time, so they don't really value anything new that I might bring to the party. What they want instead is for me to execute their idea. Advertising has always been like this to a certain degree, but at least there used to be an illusion of glamor. Now, I'm just an idea monkey. Writing ads and sweeping the water off the roof get all mixed up in my head, because one thing seems no more intrinsically valuable than the other.

Maybe that's why physical days like today seem more honest to me. I can actually feel my muscles getting stronger. Hey, maybe I'll live a few days or a few months longer as a result. Physical activity is something tangible I can understand. I'm not so sure what completing other people's ideas brings me. Mostly it's just a lot of frustration.

Chase is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day