By Chet Yarbrough
Tom Grimes writes a memoir about life’s easy button. It is a story about mentor ship; it is a story of every man who grows to love what they do.This audio book enlightens young and old; a young person sees opportunity, an old person sees immortality.
A listener hears about an evolving life. He becomes part of the story because he has been in some of the places Tom Grimes takes him.This story is intimately personal. Grimes grows up. Grimes marries, divorces, and re-marries. Grimes struggles with insecurity. Grimes is inner and other directed; he knows where he wants to go but he needs some affirmation of his chosen direction. Parts of every life are in this story.
Grimes is obsessive. He tells about submitting one of his books to his mentor before a road trip from Iowa to Texas. He wants to know what his mentor thinks of his new book; within a week of having mailed it.
The conflict between Grimes’ inner and other-directedness is exemplified by his report of the trip. His inner-directedness is obsessiveness; his other-directedness is exhibited by a yearning for a mentor’s praise. He is on the road, with his companion, waiting for a call on his cell phone. His companion sleeps most of the way but reluctantly opens her eyes knowing an interrogation will begin, something like the following: Why has he not called? You just sent the book last week; he is busy. What do you think he will say? It is good. Is that all? I don’t know. Should I call him from that diner? No. Should I call him when we get home? No. She returns to sleep knowing that the interrogation will begin again when she awakes.
Everyone has reasons for making their lives difficult. Grimes reflects on an incident of skipping out on a lease in Cape Cod, moving back to New York, and many years later, dreaming of being arrested by the FBI and prosecuted for abandoning his Cape Cod lease. The recurring dream leads to manic depression. He plays basketball because it keeps him busy but he obsesses over the consequence of his abandonment. He is advised by a friendly attorney that he is not liable. Despite legal assurance, Grimes sees a psychiatrist for help. The doctor prescribes anti-depressants but Grimes worries about effects antidepressants may have on his writing. Every person has their story, their trouble, their coping mechanism, their resolution.
Mentors are in all disciplines of life. This is a story about a writer’s life but it is really a story about the meaning and value of mentor ship; a story about personal growth for any cog in the working world.
The complexity of a mentor’s role in one’s life is perfectly revealed in Tom Grimes’ memoir. Every person should have at least one mentor in life because it is like having an easy button for many of life’s afflictions.