I’m sitting in front of my mother’s computer at the moment feeling a bit depressed… I’m also feeling pretty silly. I’m depressed because I am an Arsenal supporter and I’ve just learned from the BBC Sports website that the Gunners lost the Carling Cup final because of a very late defensive mix-up and some brilliant play by the Birmingham City goalkeeper. I’m feeling silly because, well, because I’ve let a football result get me down while I’m visiting my mother and my sisters and brother in New Jersey.
It just seems so stupid; lots of good things have been happening in my life – I was able to fly across the Atlantic Ocean so we could surprise my sister on her 50th birthday, my daughters were feeling secure enough to stay at home on their own while I’m away, my sisters have been serving up a wide variety of high quality food and drink, I’ve heard lots of new jokes, although none I can repeat here, and I’ve just spent the morning out on my brother’s boat – so I really should be quite happy, but for some reason my mind wants to dwell on the English football result.
Does this kind of thing happen to you? Nine out of ten things go well and you let the one thing that went wrong dictate your mood even if it is quite trivial and completely outside your control. I mean professional sports are just a form of entertainment and this game wasn’t even important enough here in the United States to be televised live.
Right, I’m feeling a bit better now. Thinking about this situation so that I could get it down on paper has helped me see that I don’t want to waste any of the time I have left on this visit to enjoy the company of people I love… and that, pretty much, is the point I want to make; sometimes it takes a conscious effort to keep things in perspective. Unfortunately, I think fewer and fewer people are making that effort.
I think that’s because not many people these days are interested in taking any down time – you know, time when they just stop and think. It used to be that we didn’t have any choice, but now many of us do. TVs, radios, MP3s, cell phones, electronic books, laptops; everyone seems to be hooked up to one of them most of the time. But do we really need to be constantly entertained?
There were loads of potentially interesting people from all over the world on the planes and in the airports I passed through last week but very few looked to be interested in what was going on outside their electronic communication and entertainment devices, and I’m afraid they could have had pretty much the same experience sitting at home.
I realize I’m not exactly in step with modern living and that many people get a great deal of pleasure from their electronic gadgets, and I really do think that is okay as long as they also take a little time each day to just be with themselves so they can decide if what they are thinking and feeling are valid.
Of course I could be wrong, but all the same I do believe it is something we should think about.