Happily Even After
Football On The Home Field
by Josh Noem
October is my favorite month.
The baseball season is at its peak and college football is hitting its stride. It is a fantastic month for my two favorite sports.
My baseball teams spent the better part of the summer in the cellars of their respective divisions. My football team, however, emerged through the first month of the season without a loss. There is a long road ahead with tough opponents, but right now things are exciting.
I’ve noticed that it is easy for me to burn half an hour reading the online coverage of the team—who is injured, what the opposing team will likely do, analysis of last week’s game. It is a symptom of passion, this preoccupation with media coverage and any bits I can glean about what happens in the locker room.
The ancient Greek philosophers said that love leads to knowledge, and that is what is happening to me—I love the team and desire to know more about them.
This past week, I had a bit of a reality-check, however, and it felt like a quarterback getting blasted from the blind side. It came to me that I was spending more energy and attention on my football team than I was on household duties.
I think nearly any football fan will agree with me that following your team is more compelling than cleaning the bathroom. My problem, though, was not just the bathrooms—it was tracking communication and paperwork coming home from school with the kids, it was planning dinner, it was initiating conversation with my wife.
I wasn’t prioritizing these efforts in the same way I was prioritizing my football passion. I was letting details slip and I was being careless with follow-through. I was dropping the ball.
So, I’m hitting the home field with passion and pride this week—I’m sending the house on an inside blitz. Just today, I picked up the dry-cleaning, ran an errand to the bank and library, communicated with Simon’s teacher about his reading, inquired about school fundraising requirements, set up a playdate for Simon with a new friend, baked cookies for Oscar’s Lego team meeting tomorrow, practiced basketball with Oscar, hosted a service technician who fixed our internet connection, made plans for a family bowling night outing this weekend, dropped off the car for an oil change, listened to my wife debrief her day, and wrote this blog post, all on top of putting in some hours for my part-time job. And I made a kick-ass dinner.
Wooooooooo! I’m doin’ my quarterback-sack dance!
I’m still going to enjoy my team, hoping they ride this win streak into November, but I’m ready to play hard for all four quarters at home, too.
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