I was reminded of the series The Legends of Hockey (kind of like the Baseball series, but with Hockey). I learned a profound lesson from that series. Here it is.
One of the legends (I think it was Gordie Howe, but don’t quote me) talked about how he and his brothers and his friends felt about hockey as kids. Let me paraphrase:
We went out on the ice and played hockey before school. We played hockey after school. My mother would call us in for dinner and put newspaper down on the floor so we could walk in with our skates still on, eat dinner and get back on the ice.
They loved hockey so much, they would eat dinner with their skates still on, to save time, so they wouldn’t have to put their skates back on after dinner.
Their parents didn’t have to nag them to practice. They didn’t need to be nagged. They wanted to do it. Lived to do it. Couldn’t stop doing it.
As a person with an artistic bent it’s a good reminder. What are the things that I love doing so much that I would keep my skates on at the dinner table? And why do I stop myself from doing them so much? I continuously tell myself I can’t do that thing until I do this other tedious thing. If I let myself do the creative stuff, I’m taking the time, not giving myself the time. Granted, some tedious things must be done, but what are the skates still strapped to my feet while I’m doing that tedious thing?
And as a parent, what are the things that my kids love doing that much? Maybe my job is more introducing them around to a bunch of stuff until they find that thing, rather than nagging them to do a bunch of stuff they don’t want to do. Because as I’ve observed before, it is much easier to parent when your kid wants to do something. The trick is in getting to the wanting.
And as a regular person it’s a good reminder that suffering and have-to’s are not the way to live well, because well, it’s just so hard to sustain a regime of have-to’s. If I want to eat the food in front of me I will. So, why not make an effort to make healthy food that calls out to be eaten? Why not find the physical activity, I want to do rather than force myself to do push-ups?
What is your ‘wear my skates at the dinner table’ thing? Do you have more than one?