Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Crowin' to Joe

Liam's biggest win to date - last Summer in Dilsen, Belgium
                                                             HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Remember the days of the old holiday newsletters? It was Facebook before there was a Facebook.  We would receive holiday cards filled with a review of the year from one particular family or another --- little Jenny’s graduation from the second grade, Eddy’s acceptance to Santa Rosa Junior College, a summer vacation to Florida.  These letters covered the highlights of the past year with a few photographs that put the family’s best foot forward.  I really enjoyed those letters… they came in the mail (remember that?). Slowly, over the years, those types of holiday letters came less and less.  At any time now when I wonder, “what happened to the Smiths?” I can click on Facebook and see that little Jenny is in her final year at Harvard, and Eddy is a staffer in the new Trump administration.  It’s not the same as getting the information through that newsletter, though.  The newsletter, once a year seemed like the appropriate dose.  It was refreshing.  Everyone’s opportunity to showcase their accomplishments for the year. Back in the day we had our family holiday letter, which we sadly don’t do anymore. I do try to keep up the tradition by email, but even that no longer seems to pack the punch it used to.

These days, at any time, we can broadcast our accomplishments on Facebook, blog about them, or tweet them into cyberspace --- out into the void... seeking likes, kudos and comments for all our hard work.  Now, instead of once a year, however, its 24/7.  The news updates start to lose a little bit of their importance and significance by getting lost in the chorus --- a cacophony of crows.

I’m guilty of crowing from time to time, especially when it comes to the boys' accomplishments. There is always an uncle Joe out in Kansas somewhere, that you want to impress.  Joe might be a relative or a good friend, or even an acquaintance; but you hope that he would read your letter (now email, FB post, or occasional blog) over breakfast with a nod and a slight smile of approval.  This validation is not trivial, although in the world of social media sometimes it can seem that way.  We all look for an acknowledgment of a job well done. It is part of being a social human --- it's motivating.

Over the years, we have met several individuals out on the road who have filled the role of Joe.  They are the people who motivate you to make that little extra effort to be on the podium, or put in the extra hour of training after a long day out in the saddle.  Liam doesn't like to brag about his accomplishments, but he has certainly been motivated by those subtle nods of approval.  Thanks! We’re starting another year of putting in the work over the winter, so that hopefully there is something to crow about come Spring / Summer!


Bill and Liam