This I Believe: This One’s on Me

bradley - Parker, Colorado
Entered on December 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure

I believe something is wrong with the American people today. For some reason that I am unaware of, there are too many Americans that feel like they must always be doing something to stay busy. On the other hand, perhaps it is the fact that these Americans are too afraid to be doing nothing. Either way, I see the same outcome; America is always in a hurry, always busy.

I have always had this thought for the most part, and up until lately I can say I have been one of these busy Americans. But I changed my ways because of last summer. During the summer I had two jobs, I worked as a server at a restaurant, and I worked for a HVAC company. My two jobs took up a lot of my time, but just not enough, so I decided to become assistant coach for a high school summer lacrosse team. There goes two mornings a week for workouts and two nights a week, one for practice and one for games. Now I was busy, but still not busy enough. This is when I decided to take on one more task, and it may have been the greatest decision I have made in a while. I decided to volunteer to coach a youth lacrosse team, third and fourth graders mostly, so I figured it would be just the basics and something I could handle.

Now my schedule was filled. Two jobs and two coaching positions, all of which I decided to do because I felt the need to do something, then something else, and then a little something more. However, as the summer went on I found myself continuously telling friends and family “I can’t.” There would be offers to go to the pool, go to the movies, go camping, but all I could ever muster out of my mouth was, “I can’t.”

Several practices into the season I realized something that I had never seen before. When it came time for practice, parents would drop their kids off early, leave, and return to pick them up after practice was over, and majority of the time be late. This was something that bothered me for a couple reasons. One, I am not a babysitter, I am your children’s coach and this is a time when they are going to be excited because of what they learn. You need to be a part of it. Two, the idea of having something better to do than watch your kid grow mentally and physically is ridiculous. And three, I remember playing youth sports, and my dad was always there. It seemed like that is just how it worked back then.

So at that point I realized something, I do not ever want to be as busy as I imagine these parents are. And I do not want to ruin the relationships that I feel like I am ruining. So my advice to America is this: sit down, relax, and have a drink, this one’s on me.