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Carol Perkins: Participation keeps one keeping on

The author loves activities with other people - participating. She examines reasons why not all others enjoy it as much as she, and why encouraging participation in others may not be the right thing to do.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Send me off

By Carol Perkins

I am an advocate of participation. If a person doesn't participate in something, whether it is clubs or church activities or playing cards on Saturday night, she (or he) can grow indifferent about getting up in the morning. We all need something to do. At least this is my assessment.

Not only do I want something to do, I want those around me to be doing something. This drives Guy insane.


His idea of "doing" something is watching RDF TV and Fox News on the weekends and mostly working behind a desk the rest of the time. He does travel three days a week but sitting in a car is also not getting any exercise. "Can't you just sit down for awhile?" he'll ask as I'm flitting through the house, blocking the TV screen.

Just sitting, watching is making a worthless me

Honestly, I have been sitting more lately and this sitting is creating a worthless me. For instance, I got up this morning and sat in my chair, drinking coffee, and watched two hours of nothing until I told myself to get up and get busy. There is always something to do.

My Texas grandchildren are busy all the time with one activity after another. They may actually have too much to do. My Tennessee grandson is not running from one activity to another. He gave up football when he broke a finger; he gave up soccer when he broke his leg (not playing but now he fears he will break it again). He was here last weekend so I asked him what he wanted to do this summer. "Well, I'm going to church camp for four days and then I'm going to play."

Thinking of things to suggest and knowing his cousin near his age was doing this, I said, "How would you like to take drum lessons?" We have a set of drums in the basement that he took a part last year. "No, I'm just going to work on my humming."

Then he started to hum as he was putting together yet another Lego set. "Don't you want to do some summer activities?"

"Cici, I swim and we walk the dog and I have my friend Liam over and we play Star Wars and I play video games and put together Legos" he said with the attitude of "I HAVE summer activities."

He may be the one with the right idea

Of the four, he may be the one with the right idea. Although I want him to do what other kids do because that is what we think is the right thing, he wants to do what he wants to do. At nine does he really know what he wants to do?

I can't fault him, however, for wanting to do what he wants to do because I want to do what I want to do, too. So, the lesson here is for me to leave Guy alone and not harass him about sitting for two days in the same spot only to get up to eat and go to the bathroom. He is old enough to do what he wants to do. I just wish he wanted to work on my flowerbeds. This is not among his summer activities. I just hope he doesn't start humming


This story was posted on 2015-06-18 04:09:44
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