A Compulsive Analyst…….

It is a hot dry summer day in 1953; I’m stranded at home on top of a dusty hill in south Pott. County.  My bicycle is broke again, the same problem twice-in 3 days. You would think a used ten-dollar J.C. Higgins (Sears store brand) would give better service.

When it broke I didn’t get a new one, or take it to the repair shop, I fixed it.  My dad was an old “shade tree” mechanic, he didn’t believe in repair shops, and he didn’t work on bikes.  He did let me use his tools; I learned very quickly to put them back where I got them; dad was pretty easy going but you better not leave his tools laying around.

In order to fix it I had to figure out what was broke, or analyze the problem, if it broke again the same way I did a more in depth analysis to not only find what broke but why it broke.  Yeah I know I’m talking about a kid and a bicycle and the scene in the first paragraph is hypothetical, but very typical of my cycling days.

This break it, analyze it, fix it cycle continued as I graduated from bikes to cars, and dad would offer an occasional hand or at least some instruction with the cars. Because I did it doesn’t mean I was good at it, so don’t get the impression I am bragging about my mechanical or analytical skills.

I grew to enjoy the analysis phase more than the fix it phase, in fact over the years I have analyzed things that weren’t broken and wouldn’t have been my responsibility to fix if they were broken.  I did it just to kind of figure out or understand what made them work. I did it because I like to.  I guess you could say I became a compulsive analyst, I wasn’t happy unless I was figuring out how some mechanical or electronic device worked.

For much of my working career analyzing and resolving problems was a big part of my job so I guess it is good that I enjoy that sort of thing.  For a few years my official job title was “Logistics Analyst”, that made me happy.  I will brag a little, when I was getting paid to analyze I probably wasn’t the best at what I did but I was pretty good.

In addition to the devices I also spent a lot (probably too much) time analyzing people; I didn’t get paid to do this and I have no idea if I was good at it; I probably wasn’t.  I just enjoyed trying to figure out what made them tick.  I don’t do this with close friends or family I usually kind of know what makes them tick.  I would pick out someone in a social setting or more likely someone in a business meeting and study the way they dressed their speech and overall mannerisms and form an opinion as to what made them go around.  There was absolutely no tangible benefit but it was fun and helped me through a lot of dull meetings.

The three years after retirement I didn’t realize it at the time but I fed my analysis habit trying to understand this vicious thing called cancer.  I won’t revisit that I will just say I still don’t understand it and I’m sorry I couldn’t fix it.  I Love you babe and miss you every day.

The past six months I haven’t been in any business meetings, I don’t have a bicycle and the cars are much more reliable than those in my past.  I have spent a lot of time home alone about the only thing here that I don’t understand is the guy that looks back at me when I look in the mirror.  I have spent a lot of time analyzing that guy and the life he lives.  Through that in depth analysis I have decided I need to quit analyzing his life and just let him go live it.  That will be difficult for a lifelong compulsive analyst but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Please continue to remember me in prayer.

Good Night and God Bless.


4 thoughts on “A Compulsive Analyst…….

  1. Dave,

    I have always been a “bicylce” repair kind of guy out of necessity also. Went through the same thing with cars, and have continued on in much in the same vane you have in your life. I could never “fix” my Mother’s leukemia, but I know, as you do, life goes on, and as Kenny said, “Keep On Keeping On” !

    I hope to see you in Norman in the next few weeks for the lunch we have been talking about.


  2. I’m too busy and too hyper to analyze ….. I don’t care how it works…but it irritates me if it doesn’t work….. I want cars that go from point A to point B…… what they look like, what the type is , is fairly immaterial…. which was good since I never could afford the latest……but my green huffy bike….. now that was a winner and sturdy… I rode it on Anderson roads……

    Like you….. I can’t “cure” and that’s a real frustration for a nurse…but we can “care” and we do…… and we love….. and we help where we can…. and you never lose that, even in retirement.
    Prayers are always with you……Pat

  3. I may have suggested this before but check out Jon Katz at http://www.bedlamfarm.com/ .
    You may not agree with his politics but his plan on how to live his life is pretty good and he swears by the love of a pretty good women. It is hard for me to not get overwhelmed in the details of life and set out each day giving thanks, but I am working on it. I appreciate your writing. It helps me get by.
    God Bless,

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