I am a planner, a schemer, and a bit of a builder. I’l admit that not all of my plans and schemes come together. But that isn’t the fun part for me, the fun part is the planning. And the imagination that comes with it, imagining how each piece of the plan will work, and what the final piece will look like.
Well this is my favorite part of year for that reason. I can spend a lot of time planning, building foundations, thinking about how things will go together. So much of what happens the rest of the year comes from planning in January and building then.
In sports, specifically the NFL, this is the time of year that planning begins. The team is done, it is time to start figuring out how to shape next season. Hiring coaches, what sort of plan will the coaches take, figuring out what players to keep, which ones to let go, which ones to try and bring in. In some cases I almost prefer this time to the actual season, because of the old adage about no plan survives contact with the enemy, so many of those offseason plans fall apart when the games begin. So it is more interesting to me to spend the time contemplating the ‘what if’s?’ than ‘what is happening?’.
Also, right now is when I am beginning to execute my running plan. The runs are short and slow now, but I can feel the foundation bricks being laid. It is getting easier to get up early in the morning. The running itself is slowly coming around, getting easier and smoother.
To bring this back to ‘nerdy topics’ instead of athletics, I realized that this is one of the reasons I like Dungeons and Dragons and role playing in general, over the table top, at least to some extent. Because role playing is about building. You start with a beginning character, can’t do much, gets scared to face an Orc. But you can plan, and imagine, and as you keep playing your character gets stronger, can do more and more. To a large extent you just cannot do that with table top games, you have an army, and you can change what you bring to the next battle, but the figures don’t get better, their stat lines are static.
And last, this is one of the best parts of being a parent. You spend time with the kids as they grow, teaching them, comforting them, guiding them. And you get to watch that development, and enjoy it. I enjoy the way that Jimmy thinks, applies his brain to solve things (even if it is how to get out of things.) I like watching Danny gradually develop his own interests and learn new skills. And little Emily, who is rapidly learning to read and write, and the way she revels in the new skills is simply amazing.
Because in the end, it is about planning and my imagination for me. I love to play ‘what if?’ games in my head. And ponder what could happen, and then think about how that could happen. That is a lot of what I enjoy about life, less about ‘what is’ and more about ‘what if’, and how to get there.