Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Heartbreak Ridge

The Future's Nothing New - The Alternate Routes (mp3)
A Circus - Army Navy (mp3)

Last week, one of the founding members of our fantasy football league announced his intentions to retire. This announcement -- which in the world of rational and reasonable thought should be about as significant as him saying he got new glasses -- was significant on several levels.

First, this owner claimed it was just time, that he was getting too old for it, that the experience was played out. Why? What’s wrong with him? How dare he desert us in this, our time of desperate need?? Is this some kind of Fantasy Football Owner Lockout, and we didn’t get the memo? Here I thought we were all, like, Al Davis, that the only way you could take our team ownership away was from our cold, dead hands.

The second level was even more disconcerting. Was this merely the first defection? Was the entire league either doomed or irreparably altered?

My thoughts then drifted to this blog. Even as we approach 1,000 posts and soon after that the completion of our fourth year (if it survives to March), death is on my mind. How old is a 4-year-old blog? It’s gotta be like dog years, except more like goldfish years, right? How long do we go until this has become a hobby that merely keeps us from trying other ways of exorcising our creative demons?

Things. Must. Change.
(Psst. this will be a running theme, off and on for the remainder of the year, possibly for eternity. It started with “William 4.0” and even showed up in my Oasis post yesterday.)

Must. It is inevitable. It is fact. The challenge for the wise, it would seem, is not to cling desperately to everything in our lives in some nutty attempt to prevent or dodge change. The challenge is to identify what we most value, what we hold most precious, and to figure out whether honoring and protecting those things requires holding fast to them or finding ways to adapt and evolve them.

I cannot be a good parent if I insist on treating my 11-year-old daughter the same as when she was six. I can’t be a good employee if I’m still sending snow alerts to radio stations as our sole advisory.

Oh crap. Know what I just realized? Maybe schools can’t be very good schools if we’re still doing 95% of everything we did back when my mother was 12. Maybe we’re clinging a little bit too tightly to too much? Ya think?

So maybe fantasy football and blogs -- and office environments and job descriptions and schools -- aren’t in and of themselves what I fear losing. Maybe it’s not about Calvin Johnson and shoddy opinionating. The challenge is figuring out what I need from these outlets, why they mean something to me, why my soul aches a little at the thought of losing them, and what I need to do to hold onto what’s important about them. In all likelihood, with just a little contemplation, I can find other ways to feed those parts of me currently fed by those pursuits.

When the day comes to say goodbye to fantasy football, were I wise, I would already know what my next step would be. I would know what it is I love about the experience, and I would already have plans to funnel that energy into some new endeavor.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. These are the words of the new normal and the essential. They are the words of the wise. They are the future, and we will be.

(I just made a reference to Prince/Batman AND a Clint Eastwood movie in the same paragraph! WOOOT!)


Anonymous said...

Time for an AFL-NFL style merger with the faculty high-stakes league?


troutking said...

Wise words. That I don't want to hear.

Anonymous said...

What better way to welcome a new football coach than to welcome him into your Fantasy league?