Life is Frivolous

Junichi Tazawa photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission.

What with the interactions between Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy (how funny of Don to be kidding the RemDawg about dyeing his hair?) and the fact that the Red Sox beat the Yankees, I have to say watching last night’s game gave me a lot of joy.

I’m a complete hypocrite, you understand, since I blow off the losses during Spring Training as if they never happened.  But a victory over the Yankees?  Even if half of them are players we won’t see again unless we go to a minor league game this year?  Freakin’ sweet.

Ultimately, the best part of last night was NESN showing the Japanese Red Sox players, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Itsuki Shoda and Junichi Tazawa greeting fans at the gates and collecting money for earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan.  They collected over $4500 last night from fans attending the game.

These people did something that some other folks think you can’t do.  They enjoyed a baseball game while also taking a moment to acknowledge that there are people in the world right now who couldn’t care less about baseball and who need some help.

I have lost count of the people online, though, who follow sports online and have been criticizing folks for caring about things like the NFL lockout when the people of Japan have things so horribly right  now.  I don’t get this.  I don’t get this at all.

There is no arguing that things are horrible in Japan and I’ll admit that the time I’m not spending writing the blog or watching (or listening) to a baseball game have, lately, been spent glued to the television watching things unfold.  It’s horrifying and I pray every day that things will start to improve instead of continuing to get worse.  I’ve sent my donations, I pay attention to the news….but none of that means I can’t care that Daisuke pitched five innings today and only gave up four hits and no runs while striking out five batters.  I DO care.  I care greatly about unimportant things like how well Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches today.  There’s also room in my heart to care about the people suffering in Japan.

I don’t deal much in guilt.  It’s wasted energy, in my opinion.  You make your decisions and you live with them.  But I know there are plenty of people out there, folks I’ve spoken to about just this subject, who feel guilty that they’re so happy Jacoby Ellsbury is having a good spring or who feel guilty about being excited to get to watch Spring Training games on NESN to help get their mind off of the real world.  Making yourself feel good when you aren’t hurting anyone in the process is nothing to feel guilty about.

Life goes on.  You know, usually I want to kick the person who says that to me because they are usually saying it at a time when I’m feeling my worst about something, but it’s true.  No matter what we do, the people in Japan are suffering and will be for a while.  We can help by supporting them in whatever ways work for us be it a prayer or a donation or sending out messages of hope over the Internet.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our lives.  Hell, if anything I think it means we should enjoy them MORE because who knows when something terrible is going to happen?

Now I’m not advocating quitting your job and hitting the road with your children’s inheritances and living like you only have hours to do so (although that sounds like a heck of a lot of fun…).  I’m just saying if you want to spend some time focusing on baseball or football or knitting or whatever makes you happy…DO IT.  Don’t feel guilty because there are people in the world who can’t focus on the frivolous right now.  While what happened (and is happening) in Japan is definitely a unique situation, there are always people in the world struggling.  I’m a multi-tasker…I can mourn for them and try to help while living my life the way I want to live it.

I’ll get off my soapbox right now so I can go read about how today’s game showed us how frustrating Daisuke is going to be all season.

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