Patrick is Getting Particular (about some things)

The hell you say! Hasn’t he been particular for a long time? Like – maybe since birth? You know:

  • Coffee snob: Roasts his own coffee, buys green coffee beans, won’t drink coffee at most public places  because it doesn’t meet his standards.
  • Beer snob: Makes his own beer. Makes jokes about the popular brands, using words like “water”, “lite”, and “better off lighting a couple of dollars on fire”.
  • Scotch snob: Is in a scotch club. ‘Nuff said.
  • Music snob: Out of tune and off pitch is certainly not acceptable.

(okay – on over to first person, singular)

And that’s not all – there’s more. If we’ve worked together, you’ve probably noticed that I’m particular about the how – how things are written, how things are accomplished, how steps are followed.  How a scope of work is created, and what is included. What to tell a customer, a co-worker, a boss.

And if we’ve travelled together, shared a house, or been in a band, you’ll remember that I like things tidy, organized, neat. I have low tolerance for messy (even though I can certainly be a mess, don’t get me wrong). I like to show up early for important things that really have a fixed start time (like weddings, gigs, baseball games).

And if we’ve played music together, you’ll know that pitch matters. Knowing your gear matters. Memorizing your lyrics matter. Understanding how the freaking sound system works matters. Understanding how the lights work matters. Tempo matters. And helping load and unload the gear really matters.

(That all sounds terribly rigid, and in many circumstances  – it is. Pick up after yourself, okay? Don’t show up without the tools you need for the job. Don’t over-promise. Practice. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for mistakes, mind you. God knows – I’m a champ at mistake making – if they gave out medals for that, I’d have gold. But you get what I mean here, right? Making a mistake is different than not caring, than showing up un-prepared, than not caring to learn).

And yet – I’m also starting to become LESS particular about a lot of things, too. It’s almost like I’ve spent the first half of my life becoming particular, and in the 2nd half – shedding some of those things. (If the actuaries are right – I’m just past the middle – they think I’ll make it to 77.4, but I think I’ll beat that. Please don’t tell my life insurance company – I plan on them having to pay out in spades!)

For instance – my sense of faith and spirituality was quite particular. I grew up Catholic, and in an era and area largely devoid of some of the crappy things the Catholic church had to offer.

But in the last bunch of years – I’ve become much less particular about faith, religion, spirituality – (even if I discount the exceptionally bad behavior of the Catholic church in the last decade).

You may know what I mean – I used to love to play music at church, to understand the various theological jumping off points for this and that – and now – not so much. My metric has changed to a pretty simple one: Whatever your sense of spirituality, or your faith community – as long as it includes rather than excludes – live and be well. The rest no longer matters to me.

And I’m feeling less particular about people, too. Want to put ice in your single malt scotch? Water down your coffee? Guzzle a PBR? Get right to it – I may choose other things – but you certainly don’t have to.

And ditto for politics (at least in general). Provided you’re willing to start with details, are willing to look at more than a single data source – I don’t give a flip if you are conservative, liberal, or something else. I do care that we can have a conversation, that we can learn from each other, that we can disagree politely (but only after we’ve agreed to the facts, mind you. And we CAN agree to the facts. It might take some research and we might have to change our minds – but that’s a good thing).

S0 – we’ll see. Will I become more particular, or less? I can’t say for sure, but it will be fun finding out!


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