Not enough time to do all the nothing

A favorite quote that hits close: “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”

Bill Watterson is the genius behind the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. Growing up, these comics had an inordinate amount of influence on me. I liked most comic strips out of the paper, but Calvin and Hobbes stood out as being relatable, hilarious, and deep. Also, I constantly had to ask my parents what many of the words meant, and I now have a decent enough vocabulary to beat most children at Scrabble.

“Deep” is a word that would not often be associated with a three or four block comic strip. Through the eyes of Calvin and his imaginary friend/stuffed tiger Hobbes, Watterson turned simple situations into philosophical conundrums, quips, and reflective moments.

One of my favorite quotes came from a strip in which Calvin and his pal were reflecting on the end of summer. “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do” could be my daily Twitter update.

I don’t own this image. Don’t sue me plz.

I’m not looking to get philosophical here myself, or even complain about the lack of time in the day. I just relate to this line; it is a small window into who I am. I like to do nothing. Not sit on the couch and glaze over watching the wall – I mean watch a movie, play video games, window shop with my family, drive around, walk in the woods, read, and so on.

Accomplishing things is great, I do it quite a bit. Most of the time even. Luckily, the stay-at-home parent thing lends itself well to this. Playing with toys, telling made-up stories, and chasing my son around the house feels like goofing off, but it is definitely accomplishing something.

That’s why I feel like this transition has been easy on me. Little kids “work” by playing, exploring, and experiencing. These are a few of my favorite things! To have a tiny partner to do nothing with brings out the kid in me. Even though we have our tough moments like every parent and child, everyday still feels like summer vacation, which is definitely good for my soul.

There is never enough time to do all the nothing because I am writing during naps instead of watching a movie. I’m doing dishes and laundry instead of playing video games. I’m trying to feed my kid broccoli for and hour instead of reading. So yeah, you could say there isn’t enough time, but who actually has that much time that isn’t also headed for the Dr. Phil show because they won’t leave their parent’s basement?

Moral to this story, I have it made. Anyone can put a positive spin on their daily life if they really try, but I believe I am genuinely in a great fit for how I am built as a person.

Everyday we go to the park to swing, stroll, and climb (or bonk our head on) the jungle gym. It doesn’t get better than that. I look around the park and see moms frustrated with kids over little things, which helps me put in perspective what my day looks like. Your kid tried to eat a worm because you’re at the park at 2:00pm on a Tuesday, Sharon, soak it up.

There will never be quite enough time, but we make SO much time to do nothing and I couldn’t be more pleased. Life is good.

You can’t just be a “fun dad”

When envisioning fatherhood, it isn’t a stretch to say that guys like to imagine being a fun dad.

In public, you come across many different kinds of parents. Some of the seemingly happiest are the ones that are carefree, playful, and forgiving. Everyone is different, but I would imagine that when many young men imagine fatherhood for themselves, they do so by envisioning tossing their baby in the air, playing catch out back, and razzing their kids about girls/boys.

As it often is, reality is a bit different than what you may see out and about or imagine in your mind. Renown philosopher and boxer, Mike Tyson once said something along the lines of “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” In parenting, the punch in the face is more like: getting vomited on, being up all night, and foregoing fun activities.

You can’t just be a “fun dad” 24/7 – that just isn’t realistic. You will need to get your hands dirty, dive in on chores and blown-out diapers, console worn-out kids and/or their mom, and (in my experience) sweat at all hours of the day. So much sweat. All the sweat.

Photo of a sick boyo, moments before aforementioned vomiting. RIP, loveseat.

So being just the fun dad at all times is probably just not going to happen. Every literal second won’t always be fun.

What a downer right? Don’t worry, I’ve found that as a dad, there is so much silver lining lying around that you could probably use it all to make a good 25 to 30 swords. Those may not be useful in this day and age, but would still be pretty dope.

The good (great, actually) news is that though there are so many ways to remain a fun dad in all situations, even if every single moment is a stretch. The biggest key is to smile. Happiness and humor are applicable in almost all situations. Humor less-so, as sometimes s*** can get pretty real/devastating, but you know what I’m getting at.

Discipline is admittedly something with which I have little experience, as my son only just turned one. Those times aren’t “fun dad” times, but teaching opportunities, which are much more important. Being an ally for your child is a better goal than being their friend. I mean, you can still be their friend too. I’m just saying. Priorities.

Positivity is important, because your kids are always looking at you and learning. Even when things aren’t fun, be positive, encouraging, and understanding.

Those parents that always seem upbeat, laid-back, and fun are having tough times too that you don’t always see. Kids are hard, but also rewarding, and yes, a ton of fun. A fun dad that is also a good dad is being positive and energetic with his kids, but also helpful, constructive, and serious when need be.

If you are a good dad, then you are already interacting in positive ways with your kids daily, so you will be a fun dad too. So, don’t focus on being carefree and fun; focus on being the involved, well-rounded good dad that your kids need.

Good luck with that, the vomit, and the sweating. So much sweating.

Star Wars fatigue

There has been a lot of online talk recently about Star Wars fatigue with all the movies coming out. Do I have it?

Let’s preface this by saying: there is a lot of online talk about everything. Most of the “voices” involved in such things are haters. Why the internet is such a hateful, negative place is a question for another time.

Star Wars fatigue is a legitimate issue though (as legitimate an “issue” as something like this can be anyway (first-world problems)). The same questions arise in other places too, like the Marvel movies, Call of Duty, and other things that keep churning out like clockwork.

So is Star Wars fatigue real? Yes. Have I experienced it?

If you can’t view media or listen to the above video: I said no. No, I have not experienced Star Wars fatigue.

Honestly, it is understandable that some individuals may be getting a bit tired of Star Wars. A movie per year, video games, books, toys – Disney is really milking this multi-billion dollar purchase. Wouldn’t you if you made a multi-billion dollar purchase?

Why was the franchise so expensive to buy in the first place? People love it. Millions of people love it.

So, many will get fatigued by the influx of new stuff. Particularly old heads that think there hasn’t been a good Star Wars movie since 1983. These sour people are unfortunately blinded by nostalgia and cannot be convinced otherwise. You still know they’re shelling out to go see each movie, even if only to complain about it later in some comment section somewhere.

These are the same people that will say Michael Jordan is the unquestioned greatest even if LeBron averages 60 points this year.

Disney has even reportedly nixed some new movie ideas or at least put them off because of less-than-ideal receptions to The Last Jedi and Solo. A crying shame I say.

For me, there will never be enough Star Wars. I was first exposed to the originals, grew up with the prequels, and was thrilled when the sequels started coming out recently. The spin-offs and side-stories like Rogue One and Solo are just what the doctor ordered as well.

Even with The Last Jedi, which took things in some odd directions, I was able to compartmentalize and appreciate any fan-service, lightsaber action, and Chewbacca sightings I could get.

Expectations shouldn’t be for each movie to be better than the last, but for there to be dramatic conflicts, fantastic locals, droids aplenty, and some magic via the force.

I am confident in each movie delivering that, so I say bring it on. A movie each year, more books than I could ever read, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes on my phone, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Xbox later this year… I’m soaking it up as every fan should be.

Get on board nerds! It is going to be a long ride, so please enjoy it with me!

A real spectacle

I’ve only been a dad for 10 months or so, but I’m afraid I already have the look.

I wasn’t sure what fatherhood would look like for me, but that’s probably because I needed glasses. Yes, after 27 years of seeing scenic Missouri and beyond unaided by a lens, I now have specs.

It turns out I am near-sighted – something I have been slowly realizing over the past six months or so. After struggling to see street signs while trying to Uber people back to their homes, I realized that it was time to get checked out.

The “aha” moment had already happened when I tried on a near-sighted friend’s pair of glasses and could suddenly read the digital clock on the microwave. The true final straw was getting tucked in a corner table at Buffalo Wild Wings and not being able to read the score of an NBA playoff game.

As a basic white boy, no one messes with my beer/wings/sports trifecta at BWWs; not even my own eyes.

I opted to forgo the frames and lenses at the optomostrist’s office and was glad I did, nabbing a pair for a third the price at Sam’s Club. I’m still getting used to them, but it is certainly a marked quality of life improvement.

The dad look

Glasses are really just the icing on the cake as I continue to round out my classic dad look. My dad bod is in full form, with a beer belly that hangs over the waist of my pants and a tan line that screams “I mow and grill, but that’s about it.”

I feel like I still look college age, though that gets thrown in my face often when I see college-age adults. They look like wee babies.

My wife and I have a guilty pleasure of watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette every Monday. The participants usually cap in age around their low 30’s. The ones my age look like old people and the ones that are younger than me look like they aren’t ready for marriage.

Most of the viewership of that show probably say things like: “UGH I hate her – she is SO skinny.” In my case, it is: “How TF does he still have so much hair?? Screw that guy.”

Aging happens to everyone and I acknowledge that I am super lucky that I got 27 glasses-free years under my belt. Still, it is an interesting thing changing into a full-fledged adult and father. Now all I need are some nice white New Balances to mow that yard in. Then I can completely become a fatherly spectacle.

I do not like the Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors – I do not like them here or there, I do not like them anywhere.

Could I root for them in a house? Could I root for them if I was a louse? Maybe. A louse seems like it could really relate to Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.

There was a time when I was absolutely rooting for Golden State. Stephen Curry was finally consistently healthy and pairing nicely with fellow sharpshooter, Klay Thompson. The Warriors built that team through the draft, including Draymond Green, who had not yet blossomed into such an obvious buffoon.

The threes, the ball movement, the impossible-made-possible by Steph Curry – it made for one of the most exciting basketball teams in the NBA. I am a big fan of parity in the association, so for this organic squad to rise to the top in the absence of Kobe Bryant and the Big-3 era Celtics was a blast for me.

With the addition of Andre Iguodala and a solid supporting cast, they transformed into one of the greatest teams in history. During the 2015-16 season, they won a record 73 games, but somehow proved mortal, falling into a 3-1 hole against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. They still managed to claw back, but did lose to LeBron James and his over-performing Cleveland Cavaliers.

Then, something terrible happened.

After losing those Finals, Draymond Green immediately text the best scorer in the NBA, OKC Thunder forward, Kevin Durant in an attempt to recruit him. What do you do if you’re KD? The Thunder were one game from beating the top team in regular season history and advancing to the Finals with the team that drafted you, playing for a city that completely embraced you.

Well, if you can’t beat ’em… or even if you could beat ’em but just blew it, apparently, you join ’em. From a competitive standpoint: what an a-hole.

I love the NBA as a whole more than I love any individual team. That said, I would claim the OKC Thunder as my favorite if you were making me choose. You would think that would make me biased, but the consensus of basketball fandom seems to agree that this was a cowardly move by Durant.

Wil Harrington could have joined Golden State instead of Durant and won a title that following season. That’s how meaningless his championship ring is. The cowardliness of joining the team that beat his will forever outweigh any accomplishments he has with them once it’s said and done.

As for the rest of the team, my issue is fatigue. Like I mentioned, I appreciate parity, so for one team to be on top so long has worn on me.

Draymond Green is a groin-kicking pissy-pants that is just in the right situation on a great team. Klay Thompson is an incredible shooter, but he is so wooden that when he celebrates or pretends to be fired-up it is just awkward for everyone.

I still love Steph Curry, but all the shoulder-shimmying and cutsie stuff isn’t as likeable when you are such a front runner. At that point, it is just showboating. Keep your mouth-guard in your mouth, Steph. Oh, and his Under Armour shoe line looks like it would be purchased only by old men that would pronounce his name “Steven.”

DeMarcus Cousins mostly speaks for himself. He is a hot-head superstar that left a decent situation to sign for minimum money to get a ring. When healthy, he may be a top-3 center in the NBA. He has been hurt most of the year and hasn’t had time to mesh well anyway.

Sounds like a bunch of sour grapes right? Yup. I won’t argue that I am a complaining complainer who complains when it comes to these guys. I’m not usually one to so staunchly root against a team, but things are different with this squad.

I was bummed to see Kevin Durant’s achilles injury. I was hoping he could be on the floor AND lose to the Toronto Raptors in these Finals. Though I like the Warriors more without him, I’ll still be rooting for their downfall as the current series concludes.

Hopefully they blow up over the offseason and I can start rooting for a few of these guys again. Not you though, Draymond. Go Raptors! #WeTheNorth

 

Need blog or social media posts for your site? Willing to hire a handsome stranger?

If you or someone you know is in need of concise, engaging content, look no further! (Well, keep reading at least)

This site has been a fun way for me to practice writing while establishing myself as a freelance writer. Through added experience with Grown Gaming and Thunderous Intentions, my practice and growth has paid off. I have now gained footing as a freelancer and social media manager.

Propelled by my passion for sports, I have been able to grow in the world of online content creation through The Basketball Movement and Yanders Law. I have authored over 200 blog posts, taken the reigns of Facebook and Twitter for both organizations, interviewed athletes from local schools to the pro level, and sprinkled in some email marketing as well.

As much as I love basketball and sports in general, it should also be noted that I do not intend to limit myself to this lane of content creation.

But enough about me!

Actually, wait a second… Here is a bit more about me.

My degree in general business and background in financial analysis aid in my ability to write for organizations or brands in any field. I would love to provide sample blog or social media posts to demonstrate the positive light I can shine on your business or brand!

Being a remote independent contractor, I can work with anyone. I still love that the organizations I currently work with are native to Southwest Missouri. I have a community-centered mentality in all of my work. Whether online-only or locally, I enjoy building relationships with clients from all walks of life.

My work is primarily conducted remotely, though I can be available to travel for interviews, events, or anything else you would like me to write about. I think you will find me wildly pleasant in person. Fingers crossed.

If you or someone you know has a business of any size that could use a more engaging website or dynamic social presence, email me at 237wil@wilharrington.com and we can discuss the benefits I could provide.

Side hustling my way to stay-at-home parenthood

After a couple years’ worth of grinding, I am finally able to stay home with my son full-time.

Many people know my Father to be an excellent banker. He started his own bank and has grown it in impressive fashion. It was because of him that I wanted to give banking an honest shot.

Though I admire by my Dad’s success and passion for his career, that wasn’t enough to inspire me to follow the same path. What has always truly inspired me is the relationship I have with him. I knew that if nothing else, I wanted to be a dad so that I could always cherish an incredible bond like the one I have with my Father.

That was a path I could follow. That was an example I could mold myself after.

Though my son, Luke is only eight months old, I have been working towards staying home with him for almost two years now. The journey really began a couple years ago while I was with my wife at a business conference in Atlanta. She was attending workshops and seminars while I just read in the hotel room, close coffee shops, or parks.

It was in those parks that I learned not to open my wallet in front of people asking for money. Sometimes you don’t have small bills and will wind up being more generous than you mean to be. Completely unrelated, but a good lesson.

Anyway, my wife, Emily is pretty easily inspired and is always setting new goals for herself, so she was eating up this conference. She was thrilled to be soaking up new info that will be helping her in the field that she enjoys. I was just happy to have an excuse to take a few days of vacation time away from spreadsheets and number crunching.

Leading up to the trip, we had been discussing my future on and off. I had plenty of reasons to get a business degree and give finance a shot, which I did. However, I was discovering that most positions in the financial world would not necessarily align with my strengths.

More creative avenues are unfortunately rare where I am. There aren’t many realistic options to make a living doing comedy, acting, entertaining, or whatever my skill set would lend itself to in Southwest Missouri. So, before the trip, we had discussed writing as a possibility.

I took a book with me (Halo: The Fall of Reach) on our Atlanta trip because I knew you are supposed to read constantly to improve as a writer. I hadn’t read a book since college, so I started with something easy to get into. So, I’d spend my day reading (often in apparently shady areas) and then the evenings discussing with my wife about everything she had learned that day.

Much of what she learned about was developing people and getting the most out of them by playing to their strengths and insulating areas that weren’t as strong. To explain everything, she used me as an example for most of what she was telling me, and we both quickly realized that it was time for a change.

I decided to pursue writing as my path to a more creative career. I knew the change would be a lengthy process, but though my job wasn’t for me, I was always surrounded by great people. I don’t regret my degree or time spent working in finance. I’ve had great experiences that will apply to everything I do with my life.

In becoming a writer, I finally had a goal. Knowing that my priority was to enter a flexible, creative space that would allow me to focus on my family was so refreshing. Even before I had a child, I knew I was on my way to something that suited me at last.

When we got back from our trip, I bought a book about freelance writing and started this blog to establish a portfolio. I was constantly searching around online to find writing gigs, but had no luck. My lack of experience and a professional portfolio of work made it essentially impossible.

While filling this site in with occasional blog posts, I also attempted to increase my social media activity to grow my online presence (It wasn’t too hard – I was the kind of person who’s only Facebook activity was making sure their profile picture changed every three years). I had a few articles that I donated to a gaming site and eventually started as a (volunteer) Contributor for a fan-powered NBA website. After a full year of unpaid labor, I called it quits on the for-free stuff, as it had gotten me noticed elsewhere.

I started writing blog posts for The Basketball Movement and actually making money! Apparently pleased with my work, the basketball facility’s founder asked me to write for his four-state AAU program as well. Now, in addition to the blogs, I have taken the reigns of their Facebook and Twitter pages, do basic website maintenance, and even some email marketing. Now, it pays for our mortgage each month.

Now armed with a solid portfolio, I am looking to expand my freelance writing work (post on that coming soon). I have been Ubering as well to fill the cracks and am finally confident in my ability to continue to provide for my family while keeping my son out of daycare.

I have plans for additional business ventures as well and am not going to stop working hard for the three of us. I am proud of what I have accomplished to this point and am also incredibly thankful for another large part of what we are doing: my wife.

With a kid as excellent as ours, you would have to be crazy to not want to be around him 24/7. Emily would like to stay home as much as I would, but we agreed that it makes more sense for us to do things this way. It is not easy and still not quite a social norm, but for her to be such a successful, hard-working woman while still balancing her roles as mother and wife is nothing short of spectacular. I have no doubt that working full time or not, she can continue to mother with the best of ’em. She has already proven that multiple times over.

There is still plenty of work to be done. We have been prepping for months, but will need to continue to find ways to get by on a tighter budget. In the meantime, I will be seeking additional writing gigs, pursuing some remote business opportunities, and ride-sharing at night.

I am continuing to find my “voice” as it pertains to writing. I have been at it for a while, but am excited to continue to improve and allow my personality to come through in text. I managed to type all this without saying “butt” or “fart,” so I think I’m off to a good start.

Wait, do those count? Doesn’t matter. IN CONCLUSION:

This is a bit of a scary chapter in my story, but also the most exciting one yet. I like to think that it is big a win for our little family and I will do my best to make it last. Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for a post about the services I can offer soon!

Yanders Law

Great news! I am now the Blogger for Yanders Law – a 17 and under  AAU basketball program spread around the Midwest.

My work with The Basketball Movement as their blogger and occasional reporter/analyst has paid off nicely! Not only is it just fun to write about basketball, but I am now also doing similar stuff for Yanders Law, a grassroots basketball program for boys and girls from 17 down to 11 years old.

Aside from enjoying being around the sport of basketball, this is also another paying gig for me. Side-hustling is taking off and I am pretty excited!

Yanders Law has several boys and girls team in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I am currently helping them to establish their new site as I learn more about their players and teams.

While I was here, I noticed that I did not create a post in November. While that is a bit sad, it is a good things as well. Not only have I been busy getting paid to write, I have also been spending every other bit of free time soaking up my family.

Luke is almost four months old now and couldn’t be better. We are afraid to ever have a second kid because he/she will likely be a disappointing handful after our current angel. That is probably a post for another day.

As always, thanks for your continued support! See you (hopefully) soon!

Sportz stuff 10-2018

I spelled sports with a “z” at the end. I hope you liked that flashy attention grabber.

Now that you have read the title and sub-heading, you are likely thinking “I still don’t really know what this is going to be about.” That’s the fun of my personal blog, my friend; if I choose to throw search engine optimization out the window and have a title, header, and first paragraph with no nice keywords or even any real meaning, that’s my prerogative.

It is at this point that I would like to apologize. So… sorry. Let’s blame all this coffee. Damn you, coffee.

Actually, the title of this post was decently descriptive for what I plan on writing about. There are a lot of fun sports things happening right now in October of 2018. Basketball is fun, football is fun, and baseball is still on.

Baseball

I tried to get more into baseball this year, I really did. I joined a public fantasy league, vowed to watch more regular season Cardinals action, and kicked myself for missing what was apparently a great World Series last year. Baseball on TV just blows.

I stopped paying attention to my fantasy team as it is far too tedious. I never watched a regular season game because it is so boring. The World Series is currently underway and I just. Don’t. Care. If it isn’t postseason Cardinals baseball, I ain’t watching.

Basketball

The NBA is back baby. There have been seasons in the past in which I find myself slightly disinterested for this reason or that. This year – I am all-in.

I am pleased with my fantasy team as I was able to secure some players I genuinely enjoy watching as well as some promising breakout talent. My top three picks were Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Kyle Lowry. They were followed up closely by my favorite player, Blake Griffin, who just dropped 50 points in a OT thriller. MY MAN.

I am pumped about basketball this year and am going to try and follow more college hoops as well. Check out a couple quick NCAA hoops articles I wrote for The Basketball Movement over here.

Football

*insert tomahawk chop gif here* Three words: Kansas City Chiefs. Two more words: Patrick Mahomes. Many more words: The Chiefs are amazing this year and I am so excited.

Rookie QB Patrick Mahomes is a legitimate threat to take the MVP honor this year as the Chiefs offense blasts other teams out of the water. The defense isn’t great, but hey, it’s the Chiefs. It won’t all be perfect, but it is so much fun.

My two fantasy football teams are having very different years. One is good, one is bad, and both have several Chiefs players. I still stand by the idea that fantasy football is the fantasy sports king.

THAT’S IT. I genuinely can’t believe you made it to the bottom of this post. You must be my mother. If not, you are at least one of my closest friends. I love you. Talk to you soon!

Returning to the grind

I have been back at work for a while now, but hey, I don’t post very often if you hadn’t noticed.

I am so, so sorry. You are my most loyal reader (yes you) and I have deprived you of new content for almost a month and a half. You may already know this, but time slips away like crazy in the early weeks of becoming a parent. Which day of the week it is, if it’s morning or evening, and how long it’s been since you’ve blogged all begins to blur.

I took off three full weeks following the birth of my nugget of a human. That figure seemed to really surprise some people, which is a shame. Babies obviously need their mothers for various reasons. However, bonding during the earliest stages seems just as important for the father as much as the mother in my opinion.

I understand that not all dads desire that much time either, and that is perfectly alright. There is no set way to bond with or care for your child. To me, three weeks went by in the blink of an eye (ironically, a blink of an eye is how much sleep I got for the first week or so too). Work is good and being paid is fun, but being home helping my wife and son made for some of the most fulfilling time of my life to date.

I joke about sleep, but honestly, Luke has been a great sleeper. Newborns have to be fed so often that the sleepless nights are not even their fault (most of the time). We have almost always had to wake him to eat, not the other way around. Now, he sleeps in large blocks at night and is even more generous to Mom and Dad – nice fellow.

From the start, I have gotten up every time he is up at night. This isn’t entirely necessary of course as again, it’s his Mom that he needs. I just want to help my wife for one, but also being there for my son as much as possible just. feels. good.

Emily is still home with him – she is taking 12 weeks off, though it is not all paid. She is pretty big on soaking up time with Mr. Handsome as well, so we are willing to take the hit to stretch this time as much as possible.

What I’m up to

Working, changing diapers, and checking my fantasy team are still the names of the game. This personal blog has obviously slowed down, but I haven’t missed a beat writing for The Basketball Movement multiple times per week. Tonight, I am interviewing some top high school talent for them at their invitational camp. My write-up on that and more: here.

The writing I do for other outlets such as Thunderous Intentions is on a volunteer basis, so I am still on a “OMG I have a baby” hiatus for the time being. I will likely start that back up when the season begins. I am still squeezing in Uber trips here and there as well, which you are sure to hear more about eventually.

Aside from all the working and portfolio building, I am pumped that the NFL and K.C. Chiefs are back. I am in two fantasy leagues. One is going well, and one is not. The one that is going well is made up of members of my wife’s family – it is hilarious. Emily is having the most enjoyable string of bad luck already and it is a beautiful disaster.

Thanks for reading and catching up on my life. It is cute that you care and I love you for it. I have also been stepping up my Twitter game recently, so remember to follow me over there. UNTIL NEXT TIME.