This I Believe

Matt - Spokane, Washington
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in the sage advice of Uncle Rico. That is Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico who said, “You might as well do something while you’re doing nothing.” I always had a clear schedule for my life. My life, however has had a different schedule for me. During the times of waiting for life to come around, I have found it helpful to remember Uncle Rico.

When I graduated from college I was eager to start the high school English teaching job I sought. Unfortunately, I had no luck in the saturated teaching market of my hometown. For two years I was stuck being a substitute teacher, doing nothing. While doing nothing, my wife and I scrapped together some money and bought a run-down house, and soon I was busy painting walls, laying tile, installing floors.

After two years, I finally got a job that was 75 miles away from the city where my wife worked, and we now owned a house. I took the job and drove back and forth 150 miles round trip, every day. While doing nothing on these long car-rides I listened to every book-on-tape that my library offered, from The History of the Constitution, to A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For two years I made this drive while looking for a teaching job closer to home.

When, at long last, I attained a job near my house, I knew that it was time for my wife and I to have kids. Life had other ideas. For years we tried, but were forced to wait, doing nothing. We decided to sell that house that we had fixed up, and buy another run down house. I have always dreamed of building my own little lake cabin, so we took the equity from the first home, along with a little savings, and bought a piece of property near a beautiful lake in North Idaho. And then I set about fixing up home number two. Just as we had the place looking like a home, my wife and I received the news that we were having twin baby girls.

My girls were born two years ago and I have been doing something ever since. I have been busy with hugs and kisses, diapers and baths, stories and games. It is a full and joyous life with little time to do nothing. Someday the girls will be more independent, and I again will be doing nothing. Then maybe I’ll do something, like build that little cabin by the lake.