If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll know that about once a month, I make some attempt to be motivational and optimistic. The problem is, I don’t always heed my own advice.
I was in the middle of a long workday on Saturday when I got a text from my cousin. It read: “We got 2 extra Braves tickets.” The tickets were for the game vs. The Dodgers the next day. My first thought was, “I’m exhausted! I don’t want to have to get up early to drive to Atlanta then sit in the heat all day!” My Negative-Nancy game was strong that day.
But then I remembered that this is what I always do. I’ll be presented with an opportunity to enjoy something out of the ordinary, and I’ll come up with a half dozen reasons why I shouldn’t do it. Then, I’ll hop on my computer and write some column about why we should enjoy life more, not let work overtake everything else, enjoy life’s little adventures, etc. I busted myself actively being a hypocrite.
Going to Braves games as a kid, going to the mountains and other weekend vacations with my family, goofing off with my cousins and driving my parents crazy are some of my favorite memories. I’ve always wanted my kids to have similar experiences, and here I was denying that opportunity. So, after initially turning it down, I took my cousin up on his offer.
The next day, I was able to take my youngest son to his first ever major league baseball game. After a tumultuous summer, it was exactly what we both needed. I was able to watch my son take in what was an unforgettable experience for me as a child: Sitting with him and explaining the game of baseball and enjoying some ballpark food, which has changed a lot, by the way. I mean, bacon-ranch-barbecue fries?? It’s a far cry from peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and I’m not complaining one bit. He got to have fun with his cousins, and we “Chopped On.”
The Braves also surprised me by nearly shutting out the Dodgers. For a while, it looked like my son’s first Braves baseball experience was going to be highlighted by a no-hitter thrown by Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb. Ultimately, they Atlanta-sportsed the game and gave up the no-hitter with one strike left to go. They got the win, though.
On the way home, we talked, we laughed and got 18-wheelers to honk their horns. The day ended up being exactly what I’d hoped it be. I hope it means as much to him, and I hope he remembers it for a long time. And to think, it almost never happened because I wasn’t following my own advice. Y’know, I should listen to me more often.