May 14, 2008

Child's play

The track that I run at has a big grass field in the middle where local soccer leagues practice everyday. It’s one of the reasons I like running at this track. It’s always fun to watch the budding little soccer players kick the ball around while their proud parents watch from the sidelines and cheer them on. It’s also fun to see the younger brothers and sisters doing their homework in the grass before they are allowed to run around and play with the other kids. Seeing them fill in the blanks in their workbooks with their pencils, trying to concentrate just long enough to get the assignment done so they can play, really got me thinking.

Why is it that this sort of behavior is completely acceptable and incredibly normal when you’re a kid? In fact, if you weren’t hurrying through your homework, missing half the answers and scribbling words no one can read, people might actually wonder what’s wrong with you. The truth is, kids have way better things to do besides homework. They have friends to play with, forts to build, bikes to ride, feet to dirty and imaginary worlds to dream up. And we don’t just accept this kind of behavior from them, we encourage it.

But something changes when you graduate from college. Suddenly, we’re all expected to become ultra-serious, career-focused, money-making machines with Outlook calendars so packed full that we have to schedule time to breathe. It becomes normal to work more than you sleep, to see your coworkers more than your friends and to say things like “Let’s think outside the box” and mean them.

But honestly, these days, I’m having a problem with the way I’m “supposed” to be living. These days, I’m identifying more with those kids on the soccer field, scrambling to get through their homework, than my colleagues in the office, deliberating on conference calls until well after 7:00 pm. I don’t want to put in 12 hour days in the hopes of a promotion. All I really want to do is rush through my mandatory eight hours so I can go play.

What can I say, there are books to read, friends to call, songs to dance to, meals to share, bikes to ride, flowers to smell, blogs to write and cups of coffee to sip. And to me, these things will always be more important than building my stock portfolio or having some fancy title on the nameplate outside my cube.

Go ahead, call me unmotivated, irresponsible or lazy.

I’ll call you no fun. Then I’ll stick out my tongue, grab my long board and thank God that my five-year success plan involves ice cream cones and sleepovers. I wouldn’t want it any other way.


yx said...

I one up'd ya! I said "Homework is for nerds!" and proceeded to play ALL day.

Mr. Kale Iverson said...

Reese, in my opinion "jobs" can be put into two categories: Ones you love that are you career and your lifes work and passion, and ones that get you funding to do what you really like to do and want in life.

They both have their ups and down. Right now I am doing what I know is my calling, I'm supposed to be a teacher and I love it, and I get paid pretty good too. But, you know what? I really miss the mundane zen art of manual labor, being able to just go to work, do something pointless, take joy in little things like coffee breaks, lunch time, jokes, and music. I miss the routine and especially the bad ass work boots. That is why I'm now teaching to save up money so that I can start a little farm in the woods somewhere or something so that when I come home from my job I can do something I like to do and feed myself and my family (if I ever have one....signs pointing towards no)

I would suggest, that you either learn to look around your "job" and try to find the cool things that there are about it and try to spread some love to those around, or start plotting a course to do what you really want to do in life (think of it as your secret evil master plan...secret evil master plan of good :).

(Just be careful of the grass is greener bullsh*t too because no matter what your job is there is always a more attractive one).

I am pioneering this quote from an autistic girl I met because it is so amazing:

"Love where you're at and you'll get where you want to be."