The first signs of spring weather always remind me baseball season is right around the corner. And let me tell you, I love baseball.
I don’t typically watch on TV, because I think being in a ballpark is half of what’s to love about baseball. When I find myself sitting cozy in the cheap seats, with a Coca-Cola in one hand and a hotdog in the other, it somehow feels like time slows down. All the feelings of being rushed or thoughts about pending to-dos seem to float out of the top of the stadium.
But the majority of my life moves fast.
And seems to be picking up speed all the time.
A consistent finding in studies on new technology is that people buy into new technology hoping to save time on miscellaneous tasks, but then try to get more miscellaneous tasks done with the time they’ve saved and consequently create more full, fast-paced, busy, distracted lives than ever before.
So the reality has become this: Saving time is common. Spending it restfully is not.
We’re all saving time.
But often we’re just filling it with more busyness. Society seems to only be picking up pace, and not many of us know how or when to create space to slow down. And we’re exhausted.
Which brings me back to why I love baseball.
Whether you’ve grown up watching baseball or only caught a few minutes on TV (maybe on accident), there’s no hiding that it’s a slow game. Unlike most sports, players can go long stretches of time without even moving. It order to really enjoy it, the game requires patience and a devoted attention span.
It requires your presence and time.
For those few hours you’re in that stadium seat, you’re kept in a sort of sanctuary from a bustling, distracting world. Even as I’ve been typing this blog, I’ve been tempted to click over to other tabs at least 10 times, check Instagram, and answer a looming email. And that’s exactly how most of us have come to operate. We’ve clouded the beauty of giving things our undivided attention, and instead found ourselves at the mercy of imminent distractions. We know fast-paced well, and we are (I am) often too comfortable in it.
I’m not going to go into everything I love about baseball in this post (the childhood nostalgia, the traditions, the community, franchise players not being extinct, team ethic, being the happiest game ever, etc).
However, this piece is important.
Because I think lovers and haters of baseball can all relate to the need for a stadium “sanctuary” of sorts.
We all need activities that require our presence and time in order to enjoy them, that remind us we aren’t slaves to unanswered emails or texts, to remind us there’s something beautiful to be said about the moments we share in the absence of high action but in presence of good company.
The ability to be is a fading virtue, and I hope we’ll fight for it. I hope we’ll see a day at the ballpark, an afternoon on a lazy river with friends, or a night around the table not as wasted time, but as investments in the virtue of being.
Take me out to the ballgame.