What’s My Problem?


I was about six miles into my six and a half-mile walk this morning, and it looked like I was on pace to beat my time from last week by about 30 seconds.

It was then that I spotted the son of one of our neighbors in his driveway, apparently home for the weekend from New York City where he has lived for the past few years. I yelled ‘welcome home!’ and he replied with a friendly hello and said to tell my wife and son that he said hello.

Never once did I slow down and ask him how he is doing, how things are in New York, how long he was planning to visit. You know, the things normal people ask when they haven’t seen someone for a while.

But not me. I was too focused on wanting to beat my walking time. Why? I don’t have a good answer. It’s not like I’m training for the Olympics.

I realized what I had just done about 30 seconds after I had walked past his house. At that point, there was no way I could turn around and engage in a brief conversation. I already acted aloof, why add weird to it.

My only hope is that I’ll remember this moment the next time I have to choose between acting like a normal human being or a jerk…


66 thoughts on “What’s My Problem?

  1. #Covid19_lessons: Great that you realised that you should have interacted with the young man a little more warmly. We really need to revisit our priorities and re establish our connection with traditional human neighbourly bondings.

    Everyone has now started enjoying the beauty of their dwellings and surrounding neighbours, realising how important are the small pleasures of life, we pursue the big ones yet, happiness depends on health, exercise, nature, social interaction, care, respect. 24/7 work is not the purpose of our existence.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, the small pleasure of life are what make it so enjoyable. And I agree that working 24/7 is not good for anyone. thanks for your comment!


  2. Not a jerk .. just a willingly conditioned human. It’s something we all have to deal with. The good news Jim is that you noticed. Which makes you not a jerk. It’s the others who don’t see it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your photo makes me think of the Seinfeld episode where George knocks the older lady down because he thinks the building is on fire. At least you didn’t do anything like that. Now that’s a faux pax.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are probably being too hard on yourself. We all make small mistakes and it is easy to do when we are focused on something we deem important. Hopefully, his visit and your walking will coincide again and you will have the opportunity to react differently. That is the best anyone can hope for!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. at least you thought about it, and that means you understand people and care about their feelings. it wasn’t purposeful, you were focused, and i’m sure he moved on quickly, while you carried it all the way home. no harm, no foul. use it as a reminder lesson, and now you are aware, so all good.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can’t help you, Jim, because I would have done the same. Me and my goals are not easily parted. My sister came to visit my mom this morning and I only popped in to say hi because I was writing my new story for inclusion in a horror anthology.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I should take the time to enjoy more about my walk, but I really don’t. I count my how many steps I can go before I step on a crack; estimate how may steps from Point A to Point B; try and guess what time it is, etc. Not really looking around at nature at all…

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  7. I’m sure you will get another chance for chit chat. You may be harder on yourself whereas he may not have noticed. You could have been in a hurry for all he knew. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do stuff like this that I later regret all the time. Don’t beat yourself up about it- think of it as a learning experience. And maybe you can explain to him at some point and casually slip it into the conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Well, if you run that much, I guess you already are. Plus, if you use up all your words in idle chatter, how will you write this blog? I mean, men have fewer words, right? Nuff said!

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