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Enough already! How to make whatever wears you down feel fresh again

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an NFL game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. The Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will play Feb. 5 in the Super Bowl. But Nancy Napier already has had enough football for one season.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an NFL game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. The Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will play Feb. 5 in the Super Bowl. But Nancy Napier already has had enough football for one season. AP

Enough. It just keeps coming, never ending. Over and over. How do we get out from under the deluge, the repetition of dealing with this? Week after week. Will it never end?

Though I try to keep a good attitude about something that seems never-ending, I’m reaching a tipping point. I’m ready to be finished, to move onto spring.

You think I mean snow? Think again.

It’s heresy in America to say this, but I’m fed up with football.

I do my part and rally during the fall season. I cheer for a few teams. I try to get excited once the tournaments include teams I’ve got no connection to. But goodness, every weekend it seems like there is yet another game, or more. If I’m right, there’s still another one coming.

Just like snow, which is also becoming overdone, football goes on longer than I expect it to, every year.

When something seems to continue relentlessly, without much change or freshness, how do you manage?

I decided to turn these two “OK, I’m ready to be done” experiences of this winter into a personal challenge and reframe them.

I think the issue is how to envision them in new, fresh ways. So that’s what I’m trying to do – with snow, football or anything else that seems to be wearing me down.

Here are two ideas for how to make something that’s getting old feel fresh again:

Just watch, don’t judge. Rather than ranting again about the snow when I saw it coming down in great chunks Monday in the Treasure Valley, my first reaction was to laugh. Once more, the predicted amount of snowfall was incorrect. Once more we found ourselves under inches of the white powder. Once more we’re stuck with it. It happens, we deal with it. So I just watched it falling and tried not to gripe.

Interestingly, this time schools remained open, which makes me think we’re getting tougher, or just worn out.

Look at it as an outsider. Last year about this time, I was in Japan for several days and spent a good five hours watching sumo wrestling on TV (that’s another story). With no background, real interest or understanding of it, I was able to watch with very fresh eyes. After a while, I saw rituals, traditions, and ability to leverage speed and nimbleness over sheer weight and bulk. I saw the impacts of global competition (the Japanese no longer dominate the sport and haven’t for years) and saw ways to attend a sports event that are far from what we do (e.g., I saw ladies in pearls and kimonos). In the end, I came home with ideas for watching our sports in a new way. Though I doubt a kimono would work at a basketball game, at least not yet.

The snow and the eternal football games are a good way to remind myself to find those new eyes and generate curiosity, not weariness.

Nancy Napier is distinguished professor, Boise State University, nnapier@boisestate.edu.

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