Utilizationismology

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I’m always thinking about life. Like, all the time. I don’t know how many hours in a week I spend just in silence staring at nothing in particular. I’m thinking about my health, God, success, my lack of fashion sense, my marriage, the future of my two sons, past issues and hundreds of other things. As a hyper-thinker, I can have all those things race through my mind in one sitting, and, in a matter of minutes, overwhelm myself into an anxiety attack. The irony is I think so hard on life to the point that I’m not actually living it. I sometimes lose sleep because I let my mind run away with what ifs and how tos hours after I had already laid down. And no, this isn’t all the time. I believe I’m a pretty productive dude, but it’s odd, right? Yet I think it might be common as well. Like with wanting to be successful, for example. Thinking so much about what you want to do, how you might do it, imagining a big house, a nice car, yada yada yada, but not taking a step towards any of it. Just dreaming and wishing. Or fearing and worrying, but that’s another thing in itself. 

Anyway, with that said, what I mostly think about (like most athletes who are smart, nearing the end of their careers, or both) is what I might do after I’m done playing ball. Then that thought turns into “what am I good at”, which turns into “what do I like to do”, which usually ends in frustration. The problem is, I like to do a lot of things, I think I do a lot of things exceptionally well, but none of it really jumps out at me as “that thing”. And none of it’s enough for anyone to say “Yo, he’s pretty good at that thing”. It’s frustrating. I sometimes wish I was someone excellent at just one particular thing so it’d be a no-brainer what direction I’d go in once basketball takes a backseat. Like, why couldn’t I have been a genius at computer programming, a master chef, a singer/dancer, a teacher, a mechanic, or something that says “Hey, you have expertise in this field of blah blah”? Instead, I learned how to do bunch of things mediocrely, those of which I like to call “glorified hobbies”.

I think the same about my career in ball, actually. Sometimes I wish I was absolutely great at one thing so there’s no confusion what my role is or should be. Kel the three-point shooter, the rebound guy, or a pure defensive stopper, finger guns and all. Instead, I’ve had some positive results in a lot of the facets of both offense and defense. That’s what’s makes the game fun for me. So when I was able to utilize my attributes fully, I flourished. When I was forced to focus on one aspect of the game (what I call “being tossed in the box”), I was frustrated and usually performed subpar. 

Oh, woe is me, right?! Blah. I’m certain there’s others out there that face the same frustration, and more. Maybe it’s a gift and curse. Maybe it’s a lack of focus or the result of poor decision making during the wonder years. Maybe I should’ve tried to be more like Paul instead of going cuckoo over Winnie Cooper. Whatever it is, I’m believing “that thing” will eventually reveal its beautiful, long-awaited self through the tumult of everyday life. And I can’t wait. Until then, I’ll continue to tinker with my toys, do what I do when I can do it, find joy in it and thank God for the opportunities that may come my way.

Keep plugging away, my friend.

Love,

The utility guy

Posted on November 30, 2014 .