My Personal Best: Reflections About the Game of Life

Updated on February 1, 2018

Random Thoughts About Life

I don’t know when that term, “personal best,” arrived on the sporting scene. To my recollection, it was first heard in track and field, but I may be wrong about that, and a brief search online gave me next to nothing with regards to its history.

I find it to be an interesting term.

I’m being only slightly sarcastic when I say it sounds like one of those gold stars elementary teachers give to all the kids so they can feel like they are noticed and appreciated.

Classmates didn't think I had much potential in high school
Classmates didn't think I had much potential in high school | Source

The Reality

I understand it in track and field events. There is only one “best,” right? There is only one best at a particular competition, only one “best” in a state, only one “best” in a country and, ultimately, only one “best” in the world, which basically leaves out the other 99.999999 percent who participate in those events. So in order to feel a sense of accomplishment, on an individual basis, athletes chase after personal bests . . . a personal best running the mile . . . a personal best throwing the discus . . . a personal best lifting weights . . . it gives goal-oriented people something to shoot for.

Up to a point!

At some point, in athletics, it is no longer possible to reach a personal best. Our bodies are only capable of doing so much. We will eventually reach the point of diminishing returns based on a number of physical and mental factors. I have no idea what my personal best is in running a mile. Let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that it was once six minutes. There is no way on earth that I will ever again run a six-minute mile . . . no way . . . no amount of optimism and positive thinking can push this sixty-nine year old body around a track, for a mile, in six minutes.

So once it becomes painfully obvious that a personal best is no longer attainable, what do athletes do?

And, for the sake of this article, what do the rest of us do?

I’m a Writer

I keep thinking of Harper Lee, the author of the classic “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Until recently it was believed she only wrote that one book . . . considered one of the finest in literature . . . her personal best for sure . . . and then she quit writing.

Do you suppose she knew at the time there was no way she was ever going to write that well again? She had attained her personal best so why go on? That’s a hell of a decision, don’t you think? I doubt I could do that, just quit writing, resting on my considerable laurels (if I had any).

Steinbeck, Hemingway, Shakespeare . . . when did they write their personal bests, and were they aware of it when they did?

I think about these things when I write. What if I’ve already achieved my personal best? What if, after I published “Resurrecting Tobias,” my best was behind me, and the rest of my writing career will be spent chasing the unattainable? My muse will whisper to me occasionally, telling me I’m wasting my time, suggesting to me I would be using my time more wisely if I just stuck with urban farming. What does one do with that realization? What if everything published in the future will be judged as “second best?”

And artists out there, and sculptors, and musicians . . . do you suppose Leonard Cohen realized he had reached his all-time personal best when he wrote “Hallelujah?” If so, what kind of disappointment did he feel for the rest of his life? What kind of frustration, still writing songs but knowing his personal best was twenty years in the rearview mirror?

Did Judy Garland know her personal best happened in the Wizard of Oz? I wonder how she felt about that?

Hell, extend that line of thinking to include practically everyone. Parents, did you experience your personal best in raising Child #1, and Child #2 and Child #3 just experienced your “less than best?” Pastor, was your personal best sermon five years ago, Christmas of 2013?

My personal best bowling game was a 279 back in 1966, but at the time I didn’t know it. My personal best report card was in 1970, but I had no clue at that time.

So how does one know, and what do you do with that knowledge once you have it?

Where my personal bests are delivered
Where my personal bests are delivered | Source

What Now?

So that’s the question, isn’t it?

What do you do, knowing your best is behind you, or even just suspecting that perhaps your best efforts and days and creations are behind you?

Elizabeth Gilbert, best-selling author of “Eat, Pray, Love” asks this same question in a TedTalks episode. The success of her book in 2006 caught her completely by surprise, and once she thought about it, this same question haunted her. What happens now? What does a writer do when THE BEST has happened? How do you follow that up? Your muse won’t shut up. The desire to write lives on . . . but the best is in the rearview mirror.

It seems to me, and this is just me, that if you are human, if you are a card-carrying member of the species called homo sapiens, you just keep trying because that’s what we do.

Quitting is not an option!

I write because I love to write. I farm because I love to farm. I continue to be a parent, a husband, and a friend because I love being those things. I continue to build things, and try new things, and experience all there is for me to experience, because that’s what we humans do. This is how I’m hard-wired.

And I continue to attempt to do my best, even though I know, most likely, my best is behind me, because that is how I was raised.

And I suspect the same can be said for most of you who are reading this.

What next on the road of life?
What next on the road of life? | Source

High School Most Likely to . . .

Remember in the high school yearbooks, there is always a section of “students most likely?” One student is named “Most Likely To Become Famous,” and one “Most Likely To Be A Sports Star,” and so on and so on. In my high school yearbook I’m not mentioned at all. Evidently I was “Most Likely To Accomplish Absolutely Nothing” because none of my classmates considered me noteworthy. Such is the fate of an introvert.

I laugh at the silliness of it all.

I may not be rich. I may not be famous. I never made it to the Major Leagues in baseball. My businesses were never listed on the Fortune 500. I will never grace the cover of Time Magazine.

But I’ve done all right for myself, and I continue to try because damn, folks, I love this life of mine! I love what I do. I create stories with words. I touch peoples’ hearts with letters of the alphabet. I make friendships with people I’ll never meet. Every single day, for me, is a personal best.

And I’ll tell you one more thing and then let you go: my personal bests may be behind me, but there’s more to come!

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Questions & Answers

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      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Tough word, GlenR...I really don't know if you spelled that correctly or not. lol thank you for your kind words!

      • Glenis Rix profile image

        GlenR 

        2 months ago from UK

        Love your positive attitude, Bill. Way to go! Everybody loves a trier (did I spell that correctly? Where is grammarly when I need it?)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        4 months ago from Olympia, WA

        All true, Lawrence. It's a great ride, my friend, and it just keeps getting better. Thanks for being a part of it.

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        4 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        Bill

        I started reading this about an hour ago, I had to go do some jobs, but it also gave me time to think.

        I think it was Hemingway who was asked: "what's your best novel?"

        His reply was "The next one!"

        Aint that the truth, keep striving for better, that way, you'll reach your 'best' eventually, but not everyone's going to agree which one it is, and so what? You'll enjoy the journey.

        Blessings

        Lawrence

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Ann, safe travels to you, dear friend. The snow will embrace you, I'm sure. :) Nicely stated. Thank you as always for your thoughts.

        Happy Monday to you, Ann!

        bill

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        5 months ago from SW England

        I don't think it matters whether or not one's personal best is already done. If we don't keep trying then how can we know? There might be a bolt from the blue and a star is born! Alternatively, that bolt might just kick us off the planet. Eternal optimist, me, so I'll just keep on going for it, with the proviso, as you say, that I know I'll never be a Wimbledon champion! There are limits even to my optimism.

        Preparing to go home and will be meeting the cold and snow of Bristol on Tuesday morning.

        Happy Monday, bill!

        Ann

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        5 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I hope that is true, Dee! Thank you my friend.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        5 months ago

        The best is yet to come, Bill. Thanks for reminding us of our potential.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you very much, Nikki! Your kind words are appreciated.

      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 

        6 months ago from London

        Wow,,,just awesome Bill,,your personal best is this hub too.It just gives every reader a new determination to get his or her personal best if not yet.And it gives a hope for best future to get the personal best out of it.

        Bravo to you my friend.God bless you.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Kathy, I appreciate you very much. Thank you!

      • KatWin profile image

        Kathy Burton 

        6 months ago from Florida

        Love the line-I touch peoples’ heart with letters of the alphabet. Maybe you seen your best in something’s but they say writing you only get better with trying. I suspect more personal best in writing for you. At any rate, keep writing forward says this loyal reader.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        And to you, Audrey! Thank you!

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        6 months ago from California

        Writers only gt better as time unfolds--here's to you Bill!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Larry! I'm hoping my apex is many years in the future.

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        6 months ago from Oklahoma

        The ability to achieve your personal best is dictated by age in many things, but not all.

        For example one's physical skill in an athletic event reaches an apex very early, but also in some mental ventures, as well.

        Chess is a good example of this. Most the best chess players actually reach their potential relatively young, because chess requires being able to hold a ton of scenarios in your head at once and find the best one relatively quickly.

        But with writing, as long as you have your faculties, age doesn't matter. Yes, you might produce more at an apex age, but you never know when you'll produce your best work.

        Great read:-)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I'm happy to hear that, Leonie!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        LOL...I wouldn't go that far, Frank!

      • Leonie Manguilin profile image

        Leonie Manguilin 

        6 months ago from Belgium.

        Thank you so much, you really had enlightened my mind.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I am very happy to hear that, Leonie! Best wishes to you on that project.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 months ago from Shelton

        The strongest survives... LOL your reflection is tops.. so does that mean you are ahead of the 9999999% you have a dutiful attitude and you share it selflessly.. bravo

      • Leonie Manguilin profile image

        Leonie Manguilin 

        6 months ago from Belgium.

        Quitting is not an option! I am speechless because of I'm about to quit writing my project but then I come reading your article. My point of view has just changed. Thank you so much for sharing these encouraging thoughts with you.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        6 months ago from The Caribbean

        Love your attitude, Bill. You have attained more "bests" than you know: best in different areas. More personal bests, going forward!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Yes you are, Mary! Thank you for the very kind words.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Bill! I have to squeeze a lot of living into the time I have left.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I guess we're going to find out, Zulma, because I'm going to keep writing until I can't sit at this desk any longer. :) Thanks for your thoughts, my friend.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        If you measure success by how many people you have helped, you'll be there at the top. I think each day is a challenge to be our best. I don't think I have it yet but I'm getting there.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        "Quitting is not an option!" Love it, Bill. It's so nice to see such a positive approach to life. I happen to love my life, too. Thanks for sharing this one, my friend.

      • phoenix2327 profile image

        Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

        6 months ago from United Kingdom

        I suppose when it comes to sporting endeavours, the human body can be pushed only so far. But creative endeavours, I'm not sure. How would you know if your last creation was your best if you don't keep on doing your best? The next work may not be better than the last, but next one might be. Or maybe the one after that. Or the one after that.

        Maybe 'personal best' shouldn't apply to creative or intellectual pursuits. The mind is an amazing thing and I think it can stand to be pushed beyond its supposed limitations.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        It is for sure, DDE! thank you for your thoughts.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Well I sure hope there is, Linda! I would hate to think it is coming to an end. Have a wonderful weekend!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Blessings, Michael my friend, and you are absolutely correct....when done with love, it will always be a personal best.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Manatita, thank you! I'm a spiritual being having a human experience, and as such I will always stumble. I just try to keep the stumbling to a minimum these days. Blessings to you always!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Rochelle! I'm very happy you found this to be encouraging.

      • profile image

        DDE 

        6 months ago

        Great writing from you. Anything one starts has to be completed at some point. It is a good accomplishment to practice what we preach.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This is an inspirational article, Bill. I love the idea that there's more to come!

      • profile image

        Michael Milec 

        6 months ago

        I have been following you my dear friend for a while by now , and whatever / wherever your hands touch I can see the traces of your work of love. To me all of it is increasingly your best .

        Be blessed and a blessing as you are.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Ya gotta let me win at something, Sis, or I'll take my ball and go home. :)

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        HA! and all this time, I thought you were just "letting: me win at arm wrestling. How come you always beat me in Scrabble, ya big bully!

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        6 months ago from london

        'there's more to come' is a better way of seeing it. As an athlete you may be right. As a patient, some talk about achieving a potential which is attainable for the individual in so far as each one is different and factors such as ill health, age, gender and so forth, come into play.

        We speak of 'progress' in the spiritual life. The only aim is progress. Life is a self-transcending journey and there is no such thing as perfection. One can always do more. Today's goal, is rather like tomorrow's starting point and indeed if we see the same old thing and no newness, then we will make no progress.

        I may not run a six minute mile now, but the progress is in the effort, the realisation of something new ... more Light... wisdom. Hope this all makes sense.

      • rdsparrowriter profile image

        rdsparrowriter 

        6 months ago

        Personal best can be different to many people in different ways. Just doing what you love and being true to oneself is your effort of doing or being your personal best :) very encouraging message :) keep being a blessing :)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        It was strange, Janine, not having your name pop up first when I posted this. :) Thanks for being here. Stay safe and warm with the winter weather approaching.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I'm sorry, Sis, I hung this on you this morning. As your brother I know better than to do this before you've had your fifth cup of coffee. :)

        Of course I agree with you. I always agree with you, not only because you are my sibling, but also because you've always been able to beat me up.

        Daddy didn't raise a fool in this boy.

        Hugs

      • Janine Huldie profile image

        Janine Huldie 

        6 months ago from New York, New York

        Bill, I am not sure how I missed this yesterday. But still I am so glad I found it today as this was inspiring and uplifting to read as another week comes to a close. I am with you and not giving up anytime soon. Happy Friday and weekend ahead now, my friend :)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I believe it is, Pop, and I look forward to yours.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Well, Randi, I hope you make it back here, but if you don't, I at least have your friendship, and that's quite a lot.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you very much, Harish! I love your reflection as well.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you for those kind words, Mary! I love this line: "with anonymity comes freedom to fail and try again. Brilliant!

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        That is me, MizB! My goodness, that was just last week, wasn't it? LOL I understand Mitchell's thinking, but I could never just stop writing.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I hope that is true, Jackie! Thank you dear friend.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I really appreciate that, Chris! Thank you very much.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Nicely done, Clive! Your award certificate is in the mail.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Great point, Lori! A good reminder for all of us, each day, in every endeavor.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Great point, Bronwen! Thank you for that reflection.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Shannon! What choice do you have? None! Living is dreaming, my friend, so keep dreaming!

      • breakfastpop profile image

        breakfastpop 

        6 months ago

        I believe that happiness comes with doing what you love, If the best is yet to come, then my personal best is yet to come too.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        UGH! Thanks a heap, Bro! Barely 7:30 am & you've got my head reeling with thought and brimming with questions. Nothing like keeping the troops on our toes.

        OK, I'll go along with this morning exercise. I'd love to attempt to give my "personal best" comment, right here & now. Newsflash: That's not gonna happen.

        How do we know when we've accomplished our personal best, bro? Each of us have various personas. Does each unique person we are & ever will be, get to have a personal best in any number of categories? If so.....WOW! We can all walk around proud as peacocks with our long list of personal BEST achievements. Aren't we fabulous??

        Actually, who's to say which moment in time we've done our best....and in what ways? Is it up to us alone, to decide or can we consider a multitude of opinions?

        How many times after writing an awesome body of work, has at least one person commented, "You've outdone yourself, friend!" Well, shoot! Have I just created a NEW personal best?

        Have I caused enough of a ruckus now, bro? I'm just not happy unless I'm analyzing, creating discussion & encouraging investigations.

        Every minute we exist, love, laugh, cry, create, share & learn, is another opportunity to do it all better, more interesting & productive. IMHO, you have a long, clear path ahead to produce the best of the best. No limits, no deadlines. After all, bro....surely you've heard it a thousand times: "It ain't over til it's over." The direction is forward & up, buddy....Keep movin! I'll do my utmost to keep up with you. Love & hugs, Sis

      • btrbell profile image

        Randi Benlulu 

        6 months ago from Mesa, AZ

        Love this! What a great article to read when I have missed so many. Yesterday I was doing a puzzle. It has many different levels. Each one is my first time playing and at the end of each one, it throws a trophy next to my score that says Personal Best! I feel like I may never replay any of those because each one says I'm the best!By the way, I never got voted the mostly to anything in high school either.

        Thank you for your, as always, inspiring words. I keep trying to get myself back here....

      • Harishprasad profile image

        Harish Mamgain 

        6 months ago from New Delhi , India

        Bill, I love reading this article. Continuity of any activity is a must. It's a fact that everything fine is created after a great churning, be it a piece of architecture , writing, music, acting or dance. And, when such an accomplished thing /feat gets noticed, it has a wonderful effect on the mind of the audience , beholder and reader. I commend you beautiful and apt thoughts, my friend.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        6 months ago from Brazil

        I like to think my best is yet to come.

        When you think of people such as Michael Jackson and his Thriller album, the pressure to better that must be terrifying. The star-studded streets are filled with people who crashed and burned after shining brightly for a short time.

        With anonymity comes freedom to fail and try again.

        Through my articles, I know I have had an impact on people's lives in other countries. I've even had photos reprinted in an Asian textbook.

        I agree with Chris, you are like Johnny Appleseed. I know, without your encouragement, I wouldn't have continued writing. Your support has had a ripple effect across Hubpages which has spread around the world.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 

        6 months ago

        Bill, I guess every senior citizen looks back and reflects on what may be their personal best. It's a shame that our bodies wear out and we are put out to pasture just when we actually learned what we were doing and got really good at it.

        You mentioned Harper Lee. I read somewhere that Margaret Mitchell never followed up on "Gone with the Wind" because she didn't believe she could top it and didn't want to try. Then shamefully, an egotistical writer came along and wrote a pseudo followup that stunk! Good article, is that really a young you in the photo? Happy rest of week to you, my friend.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        6 months ago from The Beautiful South

        We strive to do the best we can. Whether we do great things or not, we give it our best shot, and hurt no one getting there.

        You give so much food for thought, Bill. Your writing has helped many I am sure of that.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 

        6 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Bill, this is you at your best. You say that you are a writer, an urban farmer? I say you are a Johnny Appleseed, planting seeds of challenge, hope, and love wherever you go.

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        6 months ago from Jamaica

        My Personal Best. Made a great tasting coffee in record time!

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        6 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        I feel like if I can touch or help one person through my artistic endeavors I've done well, maybe not my best, but well. That would also apply to anything in my life. Like through my adversities I can reach out to someone, or something I know or have done. Doing the best is most important.

      • BlossomSB profile image

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        6 months ago from Victoria, Australia

        It seems to be the way our Creator made us, doesn't it? We're continually striving to improve our personal best. But how much more important that is, than trying to be better than our neighbour. I can really relate to this article.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        6 months ago from Texas

        I love this motivational article, Bill. It goes along with something I keep debating with myself whether or not to publish - a statement of sorts addressing some things someone said to me back before the holidays. I was told that opportunity has passed me by and that I should just quit dreaming. It angered me, but coming from someone I cared about, it also made me stop and think long and hard. I came to the conclusion that this person never really understood me or ones me if it was thought I have my head in the clouds and think it'll comes to me on a platter or that by dreaming it will magically happen. No, to me, dreams are synonymous with hope. I dream of better days. I dream of making a positive difference. I dream of better opportunity. And sometimes I do feel as though all opportunity really has passed me by, right along with the "personal best" part of my life, but that's not necessarily so. So I keep going. What other choice do I have? I have to dream in order to go forward.

        And you, Sir, have many more personal bests to come.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Then I might retire like Harper Lee, Kari! :) Thank you!

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 

        6 months ago from Ohio

        Who knows, Bill, you could still be on the cover of Time Magazine. After you write that New York Times Bestseller. It will be a new personal best.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Too funny, Peg! I feel the same way when I play "Words with Friends"...good score until I notice what other people have done.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

        Interesting observations, Bill. I noticed when playing Spider on my Kindle the other night that at the end of winning a game a box came up that showed "my personal best." I had achieved an unremarkable score in just 11 minutes. Then, I noticed that the "All Time Best" showed a 30 second game with four times my score. I guess my best just ain't good enough. LOL. But I'll keep on keeping on. It's the best we can do.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Well by God, Mike, you're right, Lee can't say that. LOL Now I'm feeling superior to Harper Lee. How cool is that? :) thanks buddy

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Oh Denise, I'm sorry if you thought I felt doomed. Not at all...this was a positive piece saying the best is yet to come....I guess I missed the mark on that one. :) Thanks for reading.

      • mckbirdbks profile image

        mckbirdbks 

        6 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

        Surely you meant the six minute quarter-mile.

        What an optimistic piece of writing you have presented here. Now, Resurrecting Tobias, was a damn fine piece of writing, 'movie worthy', but that does not mean that what followed had to live up to the bar set by Tobias. You are prolific, Harper Lee cannot say that.

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        6 months ago from Fresno CA

        Oh Bill,

        I think it isn't quite right to compare intellectual skills with physical ones. As we age physical skills diminish, while intellectual skills are more acute because you've had time to hone them and mature them. Take painting art for instance; I feel my personal best is still ahead of me simply because each time I create I am building on the skills I've been honing up till now. When I was 20 I may have been at my physical best but my art was only raw talent and no real skill. I had to work long and hard to hone it to what it is today. Who knows why Harper Lee didn't continue writing. That is her mystery, but it doesn't have to mean that you are doomed to assume you have peaked and will never do as well again. Monet began loosing his eyesight in his 50's and painted even more Impressionistic (and some of his more famous lily pond paintings) than he did in his 30's when the Impressionists were in their infancy. Degas went blind and thought his life and art were over when his friend Mary Cassatt came in and told him to get over himself (we Americans can be blunt) and plopped some clay in front of him. His most famous sculptures were created after he went blind. Who know if your great opus is ahead of you or not. But I for one will be creating till they pull the paintbrush out of my cold dead fingers.

        Blessings,

        Denise

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I would think that kind of early fame would carry a curse with it, Flourish, and that kind of curse would be hard to live with for sure.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Love you attitude, Sha! Thanks for finding the time to stop by and share your personal wisdom.

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Very true, Linda, very true! Wouldn't it be lovely to be alive and see their entire lives unfold?

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        All true, Peggy! I certainly spend a fair amount of time in introspective pursuits. Thanks for reading, my friend.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        6 months ago from USA

        Imagine being an Olympian or child actor who peak so early then have the rest of their lives to think about it. At some point it’s true that each of us isn’t as good as we once were.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        6 months ago from Central Florida

        Think about it: if every tomorrow becomes today, then every today becomes yesterday and is behind us. Using that logic, it would be quite amazing to have our "personal best" behind us. Each day presents a new opportunity, so we have a lifetime of achieving possible "personal bests" that we can leave behind.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        6 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Bill, in the 6th decade of our lives, we probably HAVE already peaked...but there's always that chance (slim though it may be) that our "best" is still tucked away inside. There could still be that perfect combination of words.

        But if not, you know that we will live on in the lives of our children, and oh what wonderful things they still have to accomplish...that peak is still years away for them.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        6 months ago from Houston, Texas

        This was certainly an introspective look at this subject of which almost everyone should be able to relate. Those of us who have racked up a fair amount of birth dates have even more to ponder when looking back as that path is now longer than the one ahead of us. Perhaps that is why we become more philosophical as we age?

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Aww, thanks Emese! Great minds think alike, obviously. :)

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you whonu! I wish I could still chase flies in the outfield on a warm summer day. Now I'm afraid I draw flies and not chase them. lol Blessings to you, my friend.

      • Emese Fromm profile image

        Emese Fromm 

        6 months ago from The Desert

        I love this, Bill. Funny, I've been thinking about the same issue in the past few days, and more so earlier this morning, then I read this. I think we can all relate to it, on some level. I know I can. Great work, as always.

      • whonunuwho profile image

        whonunuwho 

        6 months ago from United States

        Nice work Bill. When I saw the photo of you I thought of me, too. My greatest time of my life, LOL, playing baseball. It meant the world to me then and brings back fond memories, made me more determined to succeed, too. Many blessings to you and family. whonu

      • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

        Bill Holland 

        6 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Thank you Eric! You're first this morning. Impressive! Who said old men weren't quick? lol Have a great Thursday my friend.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        What a great area of inquiry. Much to ponder. I will keep my eye on the ball to see if I can reach my personal best in trying.

        I remember here on HB I thought those first articles were my best --- boy was I wrong.

        Thanks Bill for framing the issues so well.

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