I’ve been reading Gregg Easterbrook’s football season online column Tuesday Morning Quarterback for at least twenty years now, which in itself is pretty amazing. Every year he concludes with a few poignant thoughts on how best to spend the seven long football-less months ahead of us.
This year he wrote:
Use the offseason for spiritual and intellectual growth. Take long walks. Appreciate the beauty of nature and the glory of the night sky. Eat more plants and more fresh food, no matter how annoying all that chopping is. Have a hearty breakfast but a modest supper. Set aside five classic books you’ve always meant to read, and five contemporary books of merit. Complete them before you watch another minute of the drivel on cable news.
Make a list of specific tangible goals you can accomplish in the next six months. Count your blessings—your grandmother was right about this—and also count your problems. Compare them.
Do these things and you will feel justified in racing back to the couch, the remote, and the microbrews when the football artificial universe resumes in the fall.
Bear in mind that when the knock on your life’s door sounds, which may be in decades or may be tonight — “If the house-owner had known the hour the thief would come, he would have kept watch,” Jesus said — you will not regret your financials or your professional status. You may regret time not spent with the people who love you.