I haven’t given a crap about the things that usually ail me since Aug. 5, 2012. That’s when football made its annual return to my life.
I remember plopping down in my best sitting chair that evening to watch Arizona take on New Orleans in the Hall of Fame Game, which each year marks the start of the National Football League’s preseason. I’d started thinking about the game – mentally preparing myself by concocting numerous excuses to elude potential commitments at the time of the contest – about a week prior to kickoff. Feeling the plush arms of my favorite recliner embrace my love handles like someone cupping a baby bird in his or her hands, hearing the commentators’ pregame broadcast, listening for that Doppler sound of the crowd as the ball is kicked off with a trademark “pop,” I knew one of the few things in this world that really matters to me had come back.
And ever since, my world has been euphoric.
It’s not that I’ve become oblivious to my other passions or ignorant of current events. It isn’t that I no longer want to do better in life. What has happened is a simple matter of my priorities making a natural, comfortable and welcomed shift.
- It’s an election year. Normally, I’d have all kinds of things to spout off about it. With facebook being the platform for all kinds of misinformation and ill-informed persons sounding like experts on gas prices, foreign policy and economic reform, now is probably the best time ever to make my voice heard. But the research that involves would take too much away from researching for my fantasy football team.
- I could be doing more professionally to help the world. This was once a major priority in my life. It still is, actually. But I’ve got my hands full raising my daughter by myself and have decided it’s best to wait on this until she’s older. Now that football season is here, I don’t think I could care less about this goal.
- My yard is one football Sunday away from its demise. Yeah, I know. It’s funny that this is on here. But I love yard work a lot – so much, in fact, that I’ve been committed to a pretty rigorous mowing, wedding, edging, trimming and watering schedule since the spring. It’s so rigorous that I’ve actually cancelled/rescheduled medical appointments to get the job done. While I do something in the yard every day, Thursdays and Sundays have traditionally been days for mowing and edging. Today – Week 2 of the NFL season – is the first Sunday of the year that didn’t happen.
- Mom and Dad need my help. I’ll have to be careful how I put this because I know they both follow my blog, but a couple of weeks ago I posted this regarding their move to a new house. Well, after nearly a month in limbo, the two are finally about to begin moving their stuff from a storage unit into their new home and – shamefully – I haven’t contributed much help. Perhaps they should have done this before football season.
- Being single is preferred. The romantic relationship hurdle is one I’ve yet to clear. In fact, I don’t even see the hurdle ahead. I’m so far behind in this area of my life that it’s not even funny to my mom (just ask her – she’ll go on and on about it). While I’m certainly not empty and definitely not alone, finding someone to collect my life insurance when I die in a rodeo is an objective I need to keep in mind. But not during football season. It’s actually nice to be able to watch the games without a distraction or someone around who’d make me feel bad for swearing at the TV.
All of this reminds me of a conversation I had with an old friend about my state of mind at the end of last football season. This person was beginning to think I was avoiding him or her because I never wanted to do anything, so I explained I was depressed. “I get this way every year at the end of football season,” I explained, “but I should start to come around shortly after the NFL draft.”
I was correct. The draft felt like the death of last season, the birth of this season and the re-birth of me. Currently, I feel like a 16-year-old who’s just learned to drive a car … there are no limits. In another month, I’ll be in my mid-20s. If I can achieve my goal of being more of a football fan than usual this year as opposed to giving all of my attention, hopes and love to the Buffalo Bills, retirement won’t come until December followed by death in January. (Of course, if I put all I’ve got into the Bills alone, I’ll likely be depressed by November.)
For now, though, I’m enjoying the ride. Work isn’t so pointless. I go for cruises on the bike when I shouldn’t. A dry, crisp day has a tremendous effect on my psyche. I’m not interested in explaining to facebook friends that gas prices are high because of a hurricane.
I’m like the main character on “Office Space” after he gets hypnotized.
In a metaphorical sense, I am hypnotized.
It is wonderful.