I’ve been home for a week now. Well, I’ve been home for a week, was twenty minutes away from my house for the two weeks before that, and home for another week at the very beginning of the month. I’ve spent a lot of time in Virginia with satellite television, cars, central air, and no nightlife. The first week, I watched a lot of tennis with my mother. Wimbledon was happening, and she’s a big tennis fan and former player. Now, I played tennis when I was in middle school, and always liked it–but I have never, ever watched tennis, nor did I think I ever really would.
But after watching two or three or five tennis games, I found myself getting into it. What? Why? I don’t enjoy watching Pong games. But nevertheless, I cared about how people were serving, whether they were returning, how they were covering the court. The same thing happened to me while watching the Olympics. What? I don’t care about cycling races, rowing teams, men’s volleyball, beam routines, or swimming–okay, I still don’t care about swimming, seriously, who watches that–but the more I watched the 2012 games, the more I found myself caring, trying to pick out strategies, groaning at errors and cheering at victories.
I often think about how many, many things there are about which I know nothing and, more importantly, about which I couldn’t care. Sometimes I lament this; there are so many things in this world! But, if my experience with tennis and the Olympics has taught me anything, it’s this: if I spend enough time with something, I will inevitably begin to care about it.
This gives me a lot of hope for my life–for futures jobs I might have, future friends I might make, future relationships I might be in, etc. There are a lot of things to which I never bother to give time, but there are a lot of things to which I’d like to give more time, things about which I’d like to know more, skills I’d like to develop, histories I’d like to learn. All I have to do is pretend like there’s something parental guilt concerning how much time I spend with them wrapped up in my future endeavors, and I’ll apparently be able to get into anything.