Schlitterbahn, Parents, and Problems

A few things to get Monday started, and to clear my plate of blog-worthy items:


1. We went to Schlitterbahn for the first time this weekend.  It was very busy, but we had a great time standing in line and riding the rides.  The only truly miserable moment came when we reached the top of “America’s Favorite Water Ride.”  After waiting in line for about an hour and a half on the lower stories, we reached the very top story and the signs said: “60 minute wait from here.”  What?!  Sixty more minutes!?!  By this time the overcast morning had broken into a hot, sunny, humid south Texas afternoon, and we just melted on top of that ride for an additional 60 minutes for the 45 second thrill.  That was not cool.

The one thing I noticed about Schlitterbahn is that they don’t really have everything as fine tuned as other parks do.  They are a very easy going, laid back, country feel place (which is nice from the hyper-real hyper-fun that most other parks try to generate), but they just don’t have the same attention to every little detail, and aren’t trying to create any kind of ‘special’ or magical experience.  Which is OK too.  Sometimes when I go to Disneyland, all of the perpetually youthful employees feel just a little ‘stepford’ for my tastes.

2. I have some really great parents and in-laws.

My parents were here about a week and a half ago, and we really enjoyed my time together.  I think, most of all, I was really glad for their help in getting our front flower bed shaped up.  It was in desperate need of help, and they made it happen!  I know neither of my parents really know how to cut loose and enjoy themselves, but I think we came about as close as was possible that weekend.

We spent this last weekend with the in-laws, and it was also very enjoyable.  We loved the B&B, and really had a great time at Schlitterbahn (in spite of the lines and scary tattoos). Thanks so much for inviting us to come with you on your hill country getaway!

You know, speaking of parents, having in-laws is fun because you get intimate exposure to how someone else raised their kids.  Up until this point the only parenting I knew that intimately was that of my own parents, so it’s nice to see how different perspectives and personalities have worked over the years.  The bottom line: we all have our quirks, we all have our blind spots, and we all think we make ‘mistakes’ but which are really just life and other-people’s-agency beating us up.  But that sounds like topics for another blog… about which I’m probably still not qualified to write.

3. Last week, I spent a lot of time wasting effort, brain cells, and time on things that were not important and not urgent.  I was able to still clear out the urgent/important tasks later in the week, but probably should have put aside the non-urgent, non-important stuff much earlier in the week to create less urgency late in the week.

That leads me to the theme for this blog: sometimes we make up things as a distraction from the actual problems we have.  We are all given the same amount of time to live each day, so I suggest that maybe we need to work on the things we can actually fix in the near term rather than just adding needless complication into our lives for the sake of obfuscating the real problems at hand.

So the challenge this week:

  1. Remove the distractions, get to the core of the problems.
  2. Create innovative solutions, don’t just be an expertly rehearsed describer of the problem (aka complainer).
  3. Spend time working on the important stuff before it becomes urgent stuff.
  4. Put aside stuff that has no visible or workable solution in the near term.  Leave it for the universe to work out a little more first.
  5. Limit yourself to a small amount time to work on “pet” problems — you know, the ones you really want to think about but which you already know will bear no fruit and which you really can’t or shouldn’t be spending time on.

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