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I am a hold out.

I don’t go chasing after the newest, shiniest, or flashy gadget or software. But, I’m not a Luddite clinging to archaic methods either. It occurs to me that I developed this character trait about the age of seven.

Old Methods or New Techniques

I am old enough to remember when plastic yo-yos were introduced to the market. They were colorful see through plastic with embedded sparkles. Some had noise makers that whirred at a high pitch. Really high glitzy stuff for the time. The tv advertisements claimed that anyone, regardless of age or talent, could easily develop a vast repertoire of yo-yo tricks.

Around the World. Walk the Dog.

My yo-yo was wooden, half painted red the other black. Understated in fashion terms. Functional. No noises. I purchased my unit from the local Five and Dime and stored it with my other valuables in a shoe box under my bed.

Since I hadn’t fully determined my purpose in life, I decided that becoming a yo-yo master would suit. I had no clue how to do this but I just might make it to a tv commercial. Every day, I practiced my wrist action … learning the “feel” of the yo-yo.

And, then the day came. I had mastered the initial step to learning tricks, The Sleeper. This trick requires a pitch out of the yo-yo and the patience to allow the yo-yo to spin at the end of the string. Most important is the feel of the spinning yo-yo and to know when to retrieve it with a flick of the wrist.

I discovered the balance of the yo-yo and the spin rate by feel. Major development.

Day of Decision

I pressed on to more tricks. And then one day, a kid in the neighborhood offered to let me try her plastic yo-yo. At first, I hesitated. I had developed a bond with mine. We, the yo-yo and I, had logged some serious time together like dating for years. But I relented and installed the string on my finger and pitched it out.

To my amazement, the yo-yo careened off center, string grating on the internal side of the yo-yo core. What? I pitched out again with the same results. I attempted a few more times, but each time ended with disaster (in kid terms). Why?

I didn’t get the feel of the yo-yo. The weight of the plastic model was substantially lighter and my delivery too hard. I couldn’t get the yo-yo’s balance. Dejected, I handed it back to the kid.

That day I knew two things.

If I wanted to become a master, I’d have to learn plastic. And second, I’d have to let go of my wooden yo-yo. We had traveled far together but the future was plastic. I was crushed.

Known Entity Or Shiny New

Over time, I faced similar decisions. Beta or VHS format (I chose unwisely). iPhone or Android (I am happy with my choice). Greek yogurt or creamy style (I can go either way). MS Office or Google Docs (Mixed). AIX or NT based platforms (a very long story).

Each time I decided to move forward, I examined the environment for signs of sustainability, growth and quality. Sometimes the indicators aren’t clear and I need a leap of faith. Like I knew that plastic was the way to go.

But, these kind of decisions are not without some personal angst, possible regrets and loss.

It’s life.

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