I slept for nine straight hours last night. Nine. Straight. Hours. If you're a single guy, or have grown children and you don't own a business, than nine hours equals nine hours. I have two sons under the age of four. To me, nine hours is the rough equivalent of a weekend. And did I do to celebrate? I went to work. I met the Mrs. to pick out cabinetry for our new kitchen. I came home. And then, I set goals. My goals tonight were to A) take a photo, B) post here, C) read a little in my book and a late addition was D) find a pinochle computer game to download for my mother-in-law. I elected to start these tasks sometime around 8:15. I'm as certain as anything that I won't be getting nine hours tonight. While I've knocked out the photo and part of a post, I'm still short a computer game and a few chapters in The Book of Basketball. It's nearly 11:00.
On some level I think I'm trying to squeeze out every last drop of my 20's like you would try to squeeze out the last bit of toothpaste from a crowbar. I'm trying to fill every minute. And I think that's a good thing from time to time, but I'm not sure I can keep up the pace. Now and then you need to call a time-out and re-think strategy. So a week before I turn 30, I'm going to comprise a list of things I will try not to do as a 30+ year old. Here are a few highlights:
Multitask whilst Holding a Child
I catch a lot of flack for this one at home. And rightly so. My son will lie curled up on my shoulder drooling like Gollum while I check my e-mail, Blazer scores, upload photos, and sync my iPhone. My mind wanders and when you've held an 18 lb. kid for any more than 35 minutes, your shoulder starts to feel like you just pitched seven innings. I've included this on the list because it's a lay-up. I don't see too many years of me holding babies for extended periods, but no one is ruling anything out.
I love movies. I've seen hundreds. I can recite Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, E.T. and Diner from end to end. But I'm done with the opening night thing, particularly if it involves midnight, aliens, orcs, or superheroes. I'm not against seeing these films movies, I'm just not going to brave the crowds of kids in costumes. Though I did see this the other day. And it would make a damn fine Halloween costume. This guy has either A) no girlfriend and wrenches on this costume in his Mom's basement all day, or B) his girlfriend/wife is as into Iron Man as he is. (Yes I know it's a War Machine costume). Judging from the photos, she might be.
"Honey! When I'm through in the garage, do you wanna watch Iron Man for the 83rd time?"
Bring a Ball Glove to a Baseball Game
There's a time in your life when catching a foul ball or home run becomes more of a serendipitous event and less an entitlement. I have kids who will do this. I'm at Safeco to watch Ichiro round first at 28 miles per hour. I'm there to enjoy garlic fries. I'm there to keep score. I'm there to teach my sons the infield fly rule. And I don't think I'll ever wear another professional jersey with an athlete's name on the back. (This does not apply to retired legends though: Koufax, E. Martinez, Drexler, Bird, and Yastrzemski are exceptions. These jerseys would never be worn though. Just hung handsomely in a yet-to-be-built office, and would make an exceptional 40th birthday gift. I'm just saying.)
What I've noticed lately is how valuable my few minutes of downtime are every day. Making the most of these minutes is paramount to me. As much as I used to love throwing in The Shawshank Redemption on a Monday night around 11:00, I end up asking myself if that's really what I want to be doing for the next three hours. Isn't there something more I'd rather be doing? Creating? Exploring? It sounds old. And when I say 'old' I mean responsible and sensible. And I think there's a real temptation to turn out the lights at 9:30 and hit the sack. But I keep thinking of all the chips I'm leaving on the table. There's albums I haven't listened to. There's photos I haven't taken. There's books I've never read (just one or two). There's a game I've never seen. There's cabinets and drawers to Google.
Check these out!
Have you ever seen anything as cool as that? Ok. There IS this:
But really. Those drawers are pretty sweet. Prepare yourself for a year of me gushing over the simplest in home-improvement amenities. We have a fireplace in our home. It's not for ambiance. It's for survival. I may burst into flames when I go shopping for a thermostat. And a dishwasher? Get outta here.
Forty minutes ago I started writing this. That doesn't leave a lot of time to read, but I'm going to make the most of it. Tomorrow is another day. And it's almost here.