When you have a conversation with most people in this world, you ask how the job is going. How’s the family? Did you get the boat fixed? Did the kitchen finally get renovated?
Then there are those few people with whom you dive a little bit deeper. Are you following your dreams? Are you happy? Are you spending your finite time each day doing that which you most enjoy?
If you put a gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you what my childhood friend Josh does for a living, other than that he is in the United States Navy, even though we talked for upwards of four hours in the upstairs of my coastal Mississippi house last Saturday night. Maybe I’m a terrible listener. Or maybe it never came up.
When you used to see and talk to someone every single day for the better part of fifteen years, even if it has been a solid decade plus since you last spent any considerable amount of time together, you just dive right in. Hell, when my son asked me who Uncle Josh was, I told him that he was the guy in my childhood neighborhood who had the Nintendo. What I didn’t tell him was how one day another friend and I wanted to play that Nintendo and didn’t want to wait for Josh to get home. So we climbed through a window, set up shop, and got to it. I’m pretty sure Coach Lowery was shocked when he walked in and we were plopped down comfortably on the couch, without his son, like it was our second home. (Which it was.)
Over the 48 hour period that Josh was in town, nothing was off limits. He was curious about the abk lifestyle. I was curious about the military lifestyle. We discussed our successes and fears, missed opportunities and future opportunities. (I still have no clue what he does for a living.)
And we played golf. Lots of golf. (The golf journey has reconnected us.). The old adage used to be that business deals get done on the course. In my experience, the golf course helps cleanse the soul. We played sunset golf. We played middle of the day blistering hot golf. We played just the two of us. We played with two other members. He gave me some advice on some of my life concerns. I helped him straighten out his driver, which is ironic coming from me.
Interestingly, he barely made our day two tee time after Christy and the kids persuaded him to spend the morning out on the islands. Usually, lateness is a pet peeve of mine, but in this instance I just giggled to myself as I waited. The abk was rubbing off. Josh had 48 hours, and he wanted to experience everything.
I don’t know why, but it seems that every modern day parent wrestles with the screen time vs playing outside dilemma. Though the conversation doesn’t interest me that much, on this occasion it turned out to be a banger.
On the pro side for playing outside, Josh reminded me of this great story from our childhood. We had this fort out in the woods in our neighborhood where we played all of the time. One hot day as we were playing, we heard the ice cream truck coming through. We hurried out of the woods to catch it, and for whatever reason, we bought an entire box of ice cream bars instead of just one for each of us. By the end of that day, we didn’t want to see ice cream for months.
Josh’s point was that if we didn’t play outside all of the time, stories like that would not exist. At that point, I was quick to remind him that, per my earlier note, it was I who had broken into his house over twenty years ago to play Nintendo.
Over twenty years ago. To play Nintendo.
Have a great week.-Benj
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