2013-06-05 / Editorials

Other Voices

Adding ‘fun’ to my ‘to-do’ list
Len Robbins

For an hour and a half, I had fun.

Or as much fun as I could have coaching little league baseball, which can be a lot if your players do as you say. Or more likely, don’t do as you say, and still do well.

Then, when the game ended, it all came back to me... dang, I have stuff to do. I have to go back to work and finish this week’s paper. I have to call about that hotel reservation for next week. Did I miss the deadline? I have to sit down and figure out what bills to pay. Did I pay the power bill? When’s it due? I have to do something about fixing the roof. I have to take my daughter to softball practice tomorrow morning, or is it tomorrow afternoon? I have to make sure I wash my clothes. I have to take the cat to the vet. I have to watch the new season of “Arrested Development” on Netflix. I have to brush my teeth... and the list of responsibilities and duties goes on and on.

Those precious hours where I can forget about what “I have to do” seem to be getting fewer and fewer, and I find myself needing them more and more.

Sure, I still get to sleep 8-to-14 hours a night, and there are few responsibilities involved with that. But even in my dreams, I find the stress of daily living seeping in. Last night, I had a dream that an enormous Rottweiler – actually, more like a black bear – was in the back seat of my car and I was scared to stop, or turn around. I have no idea what that was about, or what that has to do with the stress of daily living, or why Vinnie from “Doogie Howser M.D.” was also in the backseat. But it wasn’t the carefree, pleasant dream I prefer, like when I’m the backup punter for the Atlanta Falcons, or fishing on a mountain lake with Sam Elliott (as “The Stranger” in “Big Lebowski”) while eating chocolate chip mint ice cream. I find those dreams much more relaxing.

Back to my point, of which I’m not sure about yet. “Fun,” to me now, is anything where I am totally in the moment and forget about everything else. It could be coaching a little league baseball game, or watching a good, or bad, movie, or fishing with my kids, or just sitting down for dinner with my wife (where we’re not talking about everything we have to do the next 24 hours).

Don’t get me wrong – I love my life. And I’m a very laid-back person, not prone to worrying about things I can’t control. But I also love those quieter moments where I am not concerned about “what’s next.” I also find that what’s on my “to-do” list are things I can control, and I just have a hard time finding the time, or remembering, to do them. Just ask my wife, or my co-workers, or the fine folks at the power company, or... well, you get the point.

Bottom line: I need to add more ‘fun’ to my ‘todo’ list. We probably all do.

I believe it was former Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn who said, “90 percent of all problems go away if you do nothing.” Or maybe it was Homer Simpson who said that. Either way, I think I’ll give it a whirl. Sounds like fun.

© Len Robbins 2013

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