Royce Freeman, the University of Oregon’s star running back, did not play in last week’s Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State, as he prepares for the NFL draft. His non-performance inspired Kahle.
I’ve decided to sit this one out. There will be no column from me this week about current events, because the effort involved could lead to injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is always a risk. My medical advisors gave me a handwritten note, recommending less typing.
Typing may not seem painful or hazardous, but too much of anything can be bad. I once snagged my left hand on a blackberry bush, drawing blood on my ring finger. My productivity dropped 10 percent, but I still typed my column that week. I believe in playing hurt.
Thinking hard about relevant topics can also be stressful, especially when it’s mixed with a sense of powerlessness. As a wielder of words, what I wouldn’t give once in a while for a few sticks and stones! The pen may be mightier than the sword, but I know which one I’d bring to a knife fight.
Speaking of knife fights, don’t get me started about the trauma of being called names by online commenters. Those people think I can’t write, but do they really believe I also can’t read? I usually play through the pain, but not this week.
You’re thinking I’m a quitter. That I care more about myself than the good this page does for its readers. But that’s not true, and I’ll prove it, by watching from the sidelines with a knit cap, so my head won’t get cold. I’ll cheer on the others who are still competing this week. I will show them that I care, by not doing anything that could help.
The year-end holidays are a time when one has to think about what’s best for one. To cite just one example, if the innkeeper had made room for a certain pregnant couple, those wise men may never have found the baby they were looking for. Or they might have tracked mud on the inn’s hallway carpeting.
Looking out for No. 1 is a holiday tradition that goes all the way back.
If anyone asks, I’m training for a bigger project that will display the talents that I’m choosing not to display this week. Maybe there’s a book to be written, or an investigative report to be pursued. Not this week, though, because the team has plenty to celebrate and I want to be with my team — at least while they are celebrating.
I’ll still take my seat on the proverbial bus, filling a space that could be taken by a young up-and-comer, because this decision was not easy for me. I wrestled with all the pros and cons — which I’m happy to report involved no professionals, no convicts, and no actual wrestling.
There’s something to be said for sitting back and not exerting yourself — and who better than me to say it? I’ve been pondering this week that you can’t spell “team” without “tea.” Sitting back and sipping a morning beverage without a looming deadline or a critical editor sounds pretty good right about now.
This is the darkest week of the year. Many of us don’t notice details like that, because we’re too busy working. But that’s why it’s good that you have me here, in my usual space, doing none of the work I usually do.
Without doing the work, I’d still like to do may part. So I’ll use this spot on this page to cheer my colleagues with a hearty, “Go team! … No, seriously, go, team. Go on ahead without me. I’ll be here when you get back, with my knit cap and my cup of tea to keep me warm. I’m wishing you all the best, while doing nothing to help you accomplish it.”
Don Kahle (firstname.lastname@example.org) blogs at www.dksez.com.