The older I get, the more that things bother me and the more opinionated I am about the things that bother me.
Since Friday, when I found out that one of the biggest youth running clubs in Albuquerque had “downsized”, it has bothered me (and will continue to bother me). The reason that the club went from 230 kids last spring to far, far fewer this year because it is by invitation only is that the head coach works two jobs and the other coaches couldn’t continue to help out because they were working two jobs or both spouses were working and they needed to spend more time with their families, etc. You know the reasons because we are all experiencing the same downsizing in our lives.
Not downsizing in terms of material things necessarily, since they seem to be the drug of choice to keep us happy these days, but more in terms of the little quality of life things which to me, matter so much more. For instance, I can’t step up and activate my running club again and fill in the void in youth running clubs because I am honestly functioning at 110% as far as output and just barely making ends meet. So many other people who would be volunteering in their child’s sports activities can’t either for the same reasons. Here’s another example. I am making a huge leap of faith that the economy will turn around and the mood of this country will improve as I continue to feed my family with high quality organic food. The future health and wellbeing of my children is at stake and I am not going to compromise their chance of leading healthy, productive lives. But there exists the lure for many people of cheaper choices and processed foods and even cheaper fast food, all of which have ramifications including weight gain and diminished energy production. Yet another example is a greater reliance on indoor activities to entertain our kids and ourselves. Our world was at one time the great outdoors and we would spend the bulk of our time working outdoors and engaged in outdoor activities and homes were shelters and a place to eat and sleep. As we created and moved to the cities and then the suburbs, planners provided parks and play areas and they were focal points in the community. We tamed wildernesses and made them accessible to accommodate our need to be outdoors. But times changed and parks became dangerous places and hiking presented greater risks from other humans than from wildlife. And so, we downsized our “range” and began limiting ourselves to activities within the security of our own homes.
Will our world one day be characterized by having nothing but professional sports and the athletes coming from just a few select clubs and teams? Will our “unnatural” diets leave us all overweight or obese and lethargic? Will economic hardships force so many people into crime that we will spend most of our lives indoors in the relative security of our homes and workplaces? I suppose that there are many futurists that would agree with some if not all of these scenarios, but I hope and pray that these are just the musings of a worrier because this is not the type of world that I want my children to grow up in…