I'll Have the #MakingExcuses With a Side Of #SabbaticalFail

My new motto?


A week of traveling and I'm back at it today. My trips to Indianapolis and Fort Worth were productive in many ways. I met new people. I picked up new ideas. I had great conversations. Oh, and the running was fantastic. I made a point of getting out every morning so that I could: 1) observe the local scenery; and 2) burn the surplus of calories gathered after each day of eating and eating and more eating.

Wanna know what I didn't make a point of doing? Writing. Not a word.


Even worse, while I did use some empty spaces to finish a few academicy tasks, I did not so much as read one relevant book or article on religion and sports. Why? I mean, it would have been slightly better had I just squeezed in one damn article on a plane trip or during a session break. But I didn't.

I guess time limitations played into this decision. I had 12 hour days in Indy, filled with NCAA *stuff*.  That left my brain swirling with talk of "compliance" and "waivers." In Fort Worth, there were more breaks in the day. But by that point, all of my bad habits were pretty well set. And picking up anything related to my book project just would have reminded me of everything that I'm not doing.

So on the drive home from the airport yesterday, I began to reflect on this. I also thought about my next blog post. Maybe a recap of the trip? A post full of lies about how I heroically sacrificed sleep for a word count? Or something that justifies my conclusion that "travel" is a good excuse for slacking off. All of these are problematic for different reasons, but that last one is particularly deceptive. I mean, I made time to run every day. Why couldn't I do the same with writing?

Truth be told (because I normally lie), I have always made running a priority--from my days as a young Marine to my life now as a middle-aged dad/professor. Carving out time for running has never been a problem.

And yet, when it comes to writing... I can always find an excuse. I do think that there is a difference between just spending time writing, and spending quality time writing. Ideally, two hours is a good block of time, where I can move something along. But I don't live an ideal life. I live a life that frequently delivers slivers of time, here and there, always interrupted by this little thing or that.

I am tempted here to finish this post with a rah rah, "I'll do better," punchy sign off. But really, would I mean it? No. I am certain that I will do the same thing again.

So how about this instead...

I'll just admit that I am really good at making excuses for myself. And that if this skill could be monetized, I could probably buy a minor league baseball team and pay someone to write a book about it.