I used to watch ‘Meet the Press’ every Sunday without fail. A political junkie, I relished my weekly immersion into U.S. politics.
I used to watch Sunday night baseball on ESPN. The Yankees and Red Sox. The Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants. Every game was an opportunity to relax, and a reminder of my childhood. When all that mattered was baseball.
I never watch Meet the Press anymore. The closest I get to it is the fading coffee mug my wife bought me years ago.
Baseball comes in snippets. Five or ten minutes at most.
Life changes when children come. That’s normal and to be expected.
However, most dads aren’t 45 when they have their first child. I had four and a half decades of mostly living for myself. Doing what I wanted when I wanted.
That’s not easy to give up. I have an innate selfishness. I like to get what I want when I want it.
There’s a reason this blog is titled, ‘Reader, Writer, Runner,’ and not “Political Junkie and Baseball Fan.’ When life required me to prioritize, politics and baseball went out the window.
Reading, writing, and running sustain me. They nourish the essence of me. My aging essence.
Every day I’m conscious of my age in a way that I wasn’t in my thirties and forties. There’s a starkness to being in my fifties that doesn’t go away. I’m reading a book about an ultramarathoner who ran a 50 miler in 2001, weeks after September 11th. The runner had just turned 60. Which means, he’s over 80 now, if he’s still alive.
Twenty years doesn’t seem very long ago. Maybe because September 11th is seared into our collective consciousness. Twenty years is sobering. Twenty years from now I’ll be in my early seventies.
Twenty years from now my daughter will be twenty-six years old. An adult. Forging her own path, with the confidence and vibrancy of youth.
Now though, she’s still just a little girl. Instead of watching Meet the Press on Sunday mornings, I watch ‘Come Play with Me,’ a YouTube show about dolls.
Instead of watching baseball, I’m in the park, playing with my daughter. If there is anything better in the world, I don’t know what it is.
One of my favourite podcasters, Martin Yelling, talks about the seasons of life. I love the analogy. It helps me accept being a slower runner, and a reader who is helpless without his reading glasses. Time takes a natural toll on speed and eyesight.
Time offers gifts too. It was a gift that I became a father late in the seasons of my life. I’m a fifty-one-year-old dad who bought his daughter a book about fairies a couple of days ago. When I gave it to her, she squealed with absolute and pure joy.
This morning instead of Meet the Press,we may play croquet on our back lawn. Tonight, instead of the Yankees versus the Red Sox, we’ll be at the park.
There isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.