Thursday, July 16, 2009


These are just some random things I've realized about myself lately.

I fold my underwear and I can't figure out why. Every time I start to fold a load I think "there's no point in this" and then I continue to do it anyway. The entire time I'm doing it, well, it sort of bugs me. Every time I take a pair out of the stack it sort of bugs me. At no point do I ever think "man, I sure am glad this stuff is folded." Is this new? No, I've lived in this paradox for years now.

I am waking up earlier and earlier. These days "sleeping in" only goes past 9am in strange and dire circumstances. Most of the time 8:30 is sleeping in, in fact. I used to be able to sleep until noon if I didn't have a reason to get up earlier and would do it quite often. But it did screw up my sleep habits a lot when I did that, so I'm actually starting to appreciate getting up earlier. Well, that's a lie. I want to appreciate it because I want it to make me go to sleep better, but in reality it doesn't. I seem to have chronic insomnia, though it's mild enough that it's hardly worth doing anything about. At least not yet.

I never played soccer as a kid in ANY fashion and thus grew up with a deep disdain for it. I enjoy basketball, then football, then baseball, and I think the order is like that because of scoring. I like sports where you score more. Soccer is generally a pretty long game with a pretty low score. But as soon as your kid goes out on that soccer field and does well...'nuff said.

I know I've been blessed and I try to enjoy what I have, but it only takes one evening at someone elses house to realize that all we really need is a charcoal grill and a yard and good company. You got that, you got it made. Everything else is gravy, and you ought to enjoy it while you can.

Eating good is hard. Eating bad is easy. Eating good means you live longer. Eating bad means you don't. Hard is worth it.

I like who I am, but I know I can be a much better me. I think it's important for your own mental health to always be improving yourself somehow. Not for pride or for the improvement itself, but for the sense of accomplishment. Sure, it feels good to get a chore done, but it feels way better to know you just handled a situation in a way so much better than you might have a year ago. Or ten. Or even the day before.

I'm a better basketball player today than I ever was. No, my legs won't do what they used to. Yes, I'm 40 pounds heavier than when I was 18 and in my athletic prime. But the simple fact of the matter is if I could play my 18 year old self, I'd crush that guy. Like a bug. I really like that. Sure, it only means that I wasn't very good then because I'm still not very good, but it's the improvement that matters. I'm not going to the NBA or anything, but the game has a different meaning to me now. Things happen slower because my body is slower, but things happen WAY slower in my head, which is why I've improved so much. I still have a lot of room to grow as a player and it seems to be happening faster and faster now, which I really like.

I like teaching. I'm terrible at it mostly for lack of patience. I'm getting a lot better at it, though, especially the patience part. Coach 5-6 year olds in ANYTHING and you'll acquire more patience than you thought possible (or get arrested!). I don't take as many opportunities to teach my kids as I should, and I'm working on that. This week Mom was gone and while we did a lot of really fun things and had a lot of "firsts", what I enjoyed the most was the fact that I think they learned a lot and grew as young men. I need to do more of that while they're still sponges.

I'll end this sappy pile of steaming dung with a nugget that my friend Matt and I came up with a couple years ago: Life is a rut, might as well dig it! Yeah, we need to get that on a t-shirt or a spare tire cover with a cartoon of a Jeep making a big rut in the mud and sell it. Could make millions I'm sure!


jeepmama said...

ok... so the kids part nearly made me cry. I may have to give you a bigger hug than normal next time I see you.

And, in the spirit of not ending sappy...we get half of the royalties for the t-shirts, right?

love ya, mean it!

Donnie Barnes said...

Oh yeah, you'll get half the royalties! You might not notice it, but you'll get it!

Lis said...

That's some good self-analysis there. I find folding anything incredibly soothing, but I don't actually care that it's folded later.

Jane Elizabeth said...

So Alan folds is underwear, in a nice, neat little square. I sometimes end up folding his underwear and for some reason unbeknownst(?) to me, it's the only thing I don't absolutely HATE folding.

The sleep thing, well, you're just getting older. Trust me, I have experience. (And we are ALL happier about it too :)