COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — I’m going to do my best with this one, considering I’m running on maybe three hours’ sleep since we all woke up before dawn yesterday to hop on a non-stop to Denver.
That’s right, Lukas, we ended up traveling this weekend, which I’m certain you’ve figured out after you wailed and screamed your way through last night, giving your Mom and me fits.
Not the way to end a long day, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Our best guess on this bleary-eyed morning is that your night of extreme discomfort was some combination of the 6,000-foot altitude, the über-dry Colorado winter air, the three-and-a-half-hour flight, the two-hour time zone change, meeting our friends and their two little energetic boys, shooting kiddie hoops until your eyes crossed, and sleeping in a Pack-‘N’-Play instead of your crib.
And I can’t help but feel it’s all my fault.
Let’s take it back to the start of the week. I had it in the back of my mind that maybe the three of us could do a little work-fun getaway when the Robert Morris University men’s hockey team took on Air Force this weekend.
But then, I was late getting back from last week’s scheduled work trip to Buffalo, to say nothing of how you passed a nasty stomach bug to your Mom, who then handed it to me by Monday evening. The week was off kilter from the start, but I insisted we go ahead with the ‘vacation,’ because life’s short, right?
To pile on, my inability to eat anything of significance for about a 72-hour span put the brakes on this week’s Scaring Matt hot-pepper challenge.
So, yeah, exactly nothing went according to plan this week, including this morning, which was supposed to be mostly a study session of the Air Force roster ahead of my game broadcast tonight. Instead, I’m trying to piece together enough words to justify why I didn’t eat peppers this week, because I know we teased the bejeezus out of it.
Why do I keep overpromising and underdelivering? I mean, besides this week’s loose-boweled worship of the porcelain throne.
There’s no denying that it’s a constant theme in my life: Trying to stuff 10 pounds of shit in an eight-pound sack, as your Grandma Gajtka might say. (Not to hammer the scatalogical theme too hard.)
You’re more than two years old, Bud. By now, I’m supposed to have learned all these lessons about not trying to be all things to all people, about focusing on doing a few things really well, about making concessions to the rigors of parenthood.
Instead, I keep falling into the old traps.
What happened this week was unavoidable in some ways, with my stomach not in any condition to take on any undue challenges, at least not until yesterday. But if I don’t insist — in rather Griswoldian fashion — on a family excursion, you sleep like the baby you are and I buy myself extra time to take on Señors Poblano, Serrano and Habanero in the comforts of home.
Part of my conundrum is this: I still want to work in sports and I’m still chasing the dream of being a top-level play-by-play broadcaster. To get there, I feel like I need to go above and beyond at every opportunity, because if I don’t, someone else will.
Is this any way to live, though? There was no expectation from my bosses that I make this trip, and I could’ve adequately covered the games in written form from Pittsburgh.
I think, on balance, I’ve always made it clear that I’m committed to doing a little extra, but that doesn’t mean I have to give 110 percent all the time.
Maybe if it were just your Mom and I at home, I could get away with stretching myself like that rubber gecko toy you seem to enjoy torturing. I think I’m close to ending up with the same sad fate as that little green guy, complete with a couple limb amputations.
Almost 26 months after you arrived, I still haven’t fully accepted that Great Compromise of parenting. Try as I might, I can’t admit that something’s gotta give. By accepting the role of Dad, I’ve conceded my right to pursue as many goals as I used to. Period.
Because of that, I’ve got to be more honest — with myself and others — on what I’m actually capable of. I used to think that trying to do too much was noble. Now I think it’s just plain naïve, especially for a person in my position. And life’s too short for that.
So, uh, yeah. Scaring Matt reaches its first crescendo next week. We move on.
In love and frustration,
Your strung-out Dada
Calories burned (active): 689
Minutes exercised: 29
Hours stood: 15
Steps taken: 8,429
Physical activity: Four miles of walking around PIT and DEN