Oh, Grind It Out Sports.
You remain the siren song that gently pulls me back to an empty Google Doc page when Stephen Curry goes supernova, or Aaron Rodgers throws a 60 yard Hail Mary to save the Packers season. Everyday I sit down in front of my extremely overpriced computer and think about getting some thoughts down, but daily grind of my current job is just enough of an excuse for me to be a lazy schlub in my free time. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year in which I started so many things that I didn’t finish. My apartment is strewn with half-read books, unopened games, and perhaps saddest of all, a basketball that sits next to my desk that has never felt the warm embrace of the hardwood.
In the past year I’ve worked really hard at a job I do not particularly like so I can become financially independent for the first time in my life. It’s really nice having enough money to buy big TV, new smartphones and tablets, a respectable collection of records, etc, etc, but it turns out that money does not (spoilers) buy happiness. Outside of meeting, and getting to better know the woman of my dreams, I would not call this a particular successful year for myself. Most of my days revolve around sleeping, laying around my apartment – with all of my fancy new stuff – and working at a job that is both mind numbingly monotonous while slowly destroying both of my knees to the point where I have to ice them like an aged NBA Vet just to get going some (read – today) mornings. It can be a chore for my girlfriend to get me out of the house on my days off, because most days the only thing that sounds good is laying on the couch and consuming as much hoops as I possibly can before I have to punch back in at the job that affords me with enough money to do pretty much whatever I want but, but does not afford the time to do little things like visit my family or friends more than once every six months.
And yes I know the general response to these sentiments would be, “welcome to adulthood buddy!” I completely get that. A lot of my personal problems can be attributed to me being lazy and not doing and not budgeting my time better. I know there are people out there who work longer hours than me and still do things like train for marathons while finding the time to raise multiple kids. I think you call these kinds of people superheroes. Like most people I have around five hours a day to play around with when I’m not at work. Of those five hours I have devoted absolutely zero time to exercise and writing in the past year and a half. It just so happens that exercising and writing are of my favorite things, and that void in my life has been hard to reckon with.
So here is what I’m getting at. It’s time to stop using work as an excuse for me not becoming the man I want to be. I want to stress (mostly for myself) that this is not going to be easy. The job I work at IS physically and mentally draining, and is littered with people who blame work for their divorce, DUIs, terrible physical condition, and general oneriness. Given an opportunity to work somewhere else that had anywhere close to the pay and benefits of my current provider without the long hours and generally unhealthy working conditions I would jump right on it, but I’m not there yet. I do know that there are things that I could be doing in the mean time to drastically improve the quality of my life. Here are a couple off the top of my head.
- Spend time with my better half
- Write something everyday
- Do something that can be somewhat deemed as exercise… everyday. (Sigh)
- Read something you big dummy
- Play a game of chess everyday
It’s a pretty self explanatory list, and even though we are in the holiday season with all of its distractions there’s no excuse for me not being able to do all of these things, everyday. This will probably mean getting rid of at least one of my two video game systems, of which I don’t use all that much anyway. I’ll also have to fight the urge to just lay around and do nothing, a current pastime that I know will be hard to part ways with. I’ve been able to do these things before, so there is no fear that I can’t achieve goals when I put my mind to them. If nothing else my current job has shown that I have a work ethic that I frankly never thought was inside of me. Now I have to find out if I can be something more.For the first time in my life I see a future with a wife and kids. Now I have to decide what kind of man I’m going to be for them.
You may be asking yourself, “that’s all well and good, but what the hell does this have to do with sports?”
When it comes to clearing my head, there is nothing that gets me to zero better than thinking about sports. It is just captivating enough, without having any kind of existential burden on me to make for a good writing subject. That last couple of posts of this site are NBA related, and that’s not a coincidence. If there has been a constant over the last couple of years in my life is has been basketball. I love it now more than ever. I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s destined to be the most popular sport in the world in the next 20 years. The league is in such a good place right now, with the Warriors playing a near perfect brand of basketball and the rest of the league abandoning old/bad paradigms that defined the post Jordan years. It’s an evolution that is leading to a new, more exciting version of the sport I love most and I want to be part of that. Even if it’s just writing about it from home in my spare time.
Im also fascinated with what’s going to happen to the NFL as it has entered its “Fall of Rome” stage. The way it has treated concussions and domestic abuse has been atrocious. It’s turned me into a casual fan. I feel a sharp tinge of shame everytime I watch a game and put money into the pockets of people like Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones. Football used to mean a huge deal to me, and that fall of prominence in my own life, and the lives of millions of others is – if nothing else – fascinating.
As far as the Yankees… Well, they’ve gone right on being the Yankees.
So there’s all that. The easy part is over. The hard part starts tomorrow when I get off work and feel like doing nothing. Will there be a new post on this site? Will I be able to live up to my own expectations? Let’s all find out together!