The Perpetual High School


With age comes less peer pressure; or at least it should. It doesn’t matter if everyone in your neighborhood has a pool, your desire to acquire one evaporates when you look at your self in the mirror wearing a bathing suit. At my age there is less emphasis placed on being hip. Besides I’m closer in age to hip replacement than hip anyway.

When Facebook first came out, it was all the rage. Everyone it seemed wanted to attach themselves to a medium that allowed you to attend (via computer) your high school reunion in your bathrobe. The craze got bigger. Soon we found ourselves bombarded with game requests, advertising, friend requests, selfies, and group invitations. The onslaught of more and more information made me long for a mountain cabin retreat off the grid.

As I logged in each day, I read posts from friends telling me everything and I mean everything. I’ve learned individuals bathroom habits, daily food intakes, dog maladies, and vacations I’ll never afford. My computer screen has become a modern wall of graffiti and half of it I don’t even understand. Despite being out of high school for thirty years, I recognize sadly that a handful of acquaintances still hold onto latent jealousies and insecurities I thought had been left in the sandbox of childhood. Besides for me, getting whacked by a little sandbox shovel and pail still smarts.

My life has been quite the journey. However one thing is sure, I am always going to choose to travel the happier route. I love this quote from an unknown source, “If it wasn’t for the optimist, the pessimist would never know how happy he wasn’t.”

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

The unknown author of this story never mentioned Facebook, so I assume he’d label it part of the small stuff. Because of this, I am retiring from Facebook and will follow his advice.

If you would like to remain in touch, please visit or follow me at my website: http://www.enthusiasmiscontagious.com
It will here that I will announce the completion of my long awaited book sometime later this the year.

God Bless you my friends and remember, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

About enthusiasmiscontagious

I am an individual who analyzes all facets of life in the hopes of squeezing out some of the humorous parts.
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3 Responses to The Perpetual High School

  1. Ed Fry says:

    John, glad you’re going to take some time to write a book! I’m sure it will be great! Remember, Facebook is simply a tool for communication, just like email, a website, or even your cell phone. You wouldn’t give up your cell phone because it’s becoming a distraction, would you? (OK, maybe you would!) I’ll miss hearing from you on FB but will understand you may return once you’re book is done! Ed

    • Ed, Despite it’s (FB) positives, I find that people with little lives can really make it hard on the rest of us who enjoy a full life. I’m tired of the carping, family feedback and nasty comments of people. I think it’s time to move into another direction. On another note, I have a friend who is a business manager who is looking for employment, I mentioned you. I believe he will be sending you a resume sometime soon. Have a great day my friend, John

  2. Tiffany says:

    Can’t WAIT to read your book:)

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