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In Life, Things Suffer More From Disuse Than From Overuse

Published: January 3, 2023

When I was child, we had this old, red pickup truck parked behind the house. My dad never used it, except for on occasion when he had to move wood from a felled tree or something to that effect. I remember once, when I got in the truck with him, he accidentally turned on the wipers and the rubber strip on one of the blades ripped right off. In bewilderment, I asked him how it could possibly break when we hardly ever use the truck – in my young experience, thing broke when we used them too much. He looked at me and said:

A pull quote from Bruce Nadel: In life, things suffer more from disuse than from overuse.

In life, things suffer more from disuse than from overuse. – Bruce Nadel

I mostly remember my father as a “doer” – a man in constant motion: building things, cleaning things, doing paperwork, changing filters, running to the hardware store. He wasn’t someone who could just sit down and watch a movie. In fact, just being around him was, at times, exhausting.

But, as I get older and I reflect less on what he did and more on what he said, I am delighted to find a man who thought deeply about life and love and relationships. And this statement about the destructive power of neglect has stuck with me through the decades.

In fact, it’s been top-of-mind for me as we enter the new year (2023). I have always loved learning about programming; but, for the last few years, I fear that I have been coasting along, stamping-out the same tired solutions for different problems. I don’t want to fall into the trap of doing “blog-driven development”; but, at the same time, the slower cadence of my writing is certainly a reflection of a stagnating mind.

This year, I want to try to step outside of my comfort zone, and worry more about learning and less about writing. This might mean that I write less, which is an emotional challenge for me. But, hopefully in that challenging mental space there is more growth and maturation.

I don’t know what I want to learn; and, I don’t know what I want to do; but, I grant myself permission to explore more in the coming year. Here’s wishing you all and myself a wonderful 2023!

I leave you all with this classic image of my father, Bruce “Papa Bear” Nadel, shoveling snow in his wizard robe and fireman boots whilst standing in front of his Range Rover. I am not sure there is an image that better represents the essence of this man who was both very successful and deeply grounded.