There was a camping trip this weekend for my son’s Cub Scout Pack. We didn’t go. There was baseball practice yesterday. He didn’t go. There’s so much commitment to structured activities. When does one learn to fix something, to cook something, to rest?
The camping trip sounded nice enough, but I was lined up to get on an airplane today and had much to do before leaving. If he had gone camping it would have been brief. I picked up my kids from after school care on Friday. I got there at 5:10pm, baseball was at 5:30. My son was a pool of sweat from playing basketball and the kids were at each other something fierce.
Instead, we went to dinner. Sat and re-energized over hamburgers and talked about the day. While it’s important to keep commitments, it’s important not to overdo it too. Baseball was missed only by time. He still had his Kung Fu class, which he much prefers. Instead of camping out, which would have been fun, we fixed the livingroom tv. It had a problem with turning on, taking multiple attempts to stay on. It was a bank of capacitors (which I teach to be temporary batteries) that needed to be replaced. So the kids learned how to solder and by 11 this morning we had the tv back on the wall and working perfectly.
We shot baskets and worked in the yard. We had each other, and my daughter, for company. So yes activities were missed, but experiences were gained.
I’m starting to think we overdo it. Activities are abundant and there’s life and experience and learning to be had in that, but is it really quality if we’re always on the run. Is it really worthwhile when the pursuit of fun is insatiable. I think we need to learn to create our own sense of doing, our own sense of how to spend time without a signup sheet and an ambitious schedule. It teaches us how to live in the mundane and be content, to take care of our stuff and to be bored gracefully and perhaps contentedly.
For me it’s about finding peace and staying centered. It helps when we do have deadlines and schedules to keep. It helps me be ZenJoe when my girlfriend are a little rushed to catch our flight to San Francisco and will help us to unwind over the course of the week. First downtown and then in Sonoma valley, but there will be more on that I’m sure.