Between the Iowa caucuses, the State of the Union address, and the Super Bowl halftime show, I am damn tired of opinions this week. Aren’t you? I’m tired of reading other people’s opinions, listening to them, considering them, arguing with them. I’m even tired of my own opinions, God help me. It’s certainly a predicament for an opinion columnist to find herself in.
What I propose is that we all sit down and make a list instead: a list of distractions that will save us from our own rotten opinions. We need some things to talk about other than J-Lo’s chances of winning Iowa and Pete Buttiegieg’s Super Bowl outfit … I mean …. Strike that. Reverse it. Yikes.
There are plenty of good and wholesome things going on in the world, things to look forward to. I’ll start my list, and you can add to it. Pin it to your fridge and look at it every time you’re tempted to have an opinion. Opinions are canceled until spring. Go do something productive instead.
• There are only 22 more days until spring.
• Spring training baseball starts at the end of the month. The Cardinals play the Mets on Feb. 22, and the Royals start against the Indians on Feb. 23.
• Seed catalogs are here. I have at least five of them, including a new one called Strictly Medicinal, which is surprisingly above board and not at all about marijuana. I think I will buy a patchouli plant though, man.
• Look closely. The witch hazel trees will have yellow blooms soon.
• The robins are back. The poor birds must have had a heck of a week with the Wednesday snow, but they’re back. So are the geese. If they think spring is on its way, then it must be true.
• Spring turkey season starts on April 20, and the youth hunt starts on April 4.
• Go Chiefs! Missouri has dominated the sports landscape in the past year. Take that, you coastal types. Flyover state, my toe.
• The sun doesn’t set until quarter to six now.
• St. Valentine’s Day is next week. I refuse to acknowledge the commercial holiday full of crappy cards and half-dead roses. I’m going to drink liquor and make myself a cherry cheesecake.
• Speaking of liquor, the Lions Club Pub Crawl is coming up again on March 14. I never go because it’s my son’s birthday that weekend, but you should! Go buy tickets.
• Soon it will be time to hunt mushrooms once again. With as wet a winter as we have had, I predict a good year.
• Did I mention there are only 22 more days until spring?
• Easter is about two months away, and Lent is coming right up. Great spiritual practice — you should consider giving up opinions.
Ok, so it was hard getting a list together. But how sad is that? We are addicted to our opinions, glued to national events and petty arguments and political tiffs. While we argue and whine, the world is waking up around us. Animals are stirring, plants are growing, community milestones come and go. But we sit and fret and grump and miss all of it. It’s long past time to rip ourselves away, somehow. Next week, I will have to get back to having opinions. It’s my job, after all. But you don’t. Forget about them for a while, and go play. They’ll be there anytime you want to pick them back up again. But life won’t.