Sunday afternoon I was in bye week hell. While most of you take the bye week as a reprieve from your sloppy football team, us Patriots fans are completely lost. The only remedy for not getting to watch the Patriots for a week was to go to a bar that was showing every single crap NFL team and just repeatedly thank God for making me a Patriots fan. I was nursing a beer and noshing on a burger that I know I’m going to regret eating when I’m dogging it at the gym later today. I was absorbing all the games on, and at one point, something miraculous happened.
Almost simultaneously, on two TVs in two separate games, the defenses got hit with a twelve men on the field penalty. (Bear with me, I have a point to this). If New England was pinged was a penalty like twelve men on the field – one that is essentially attributed to not paying attention – Bill Belichick would have been losing his mind. Going absolutely bananas on the sidelines. Throwing his tablet around and just looking really pissed off. But when the two games I was watching showed the two head coaches of the teams hit for the penalty – Jim Caldwell of the Lions and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers – they both had expressionless looks on their faces. Like, I throw a bigger fit when Starbs tells me they’re out of cold brew. And then it hit me: these guys just expect their shitty teams to screw up. It’s par for the course. They’re simply embracing mediocrity.
While Belichick spends 25 hours a day striving for greatness, you’ve got all these other head coaches getting all Zen, finding football nirvana, and just letting things slide.
And maybe that’s the key to happiness; just embrace mediocrity.
As soon as you realize you’re mediocre, you won’t worry and fret and stress about how you’re going to wind up in that McMansion, driving a Cayenne, and sending all three kids to camp for ten grand…each. You can enjoy just mailing it in, constantly toeing the line between lazy and semi-productive, and just settle for mediocrity. It’ll set you free.
You want the glitz and glam of fame, I get it. You want the life of the bougie elite, who doesn’t? But if you don’t have unlimited access to your hedge fund manager father’s credit card, you’re going to have to just kiss all your dreams good bye. Oh, sure, I mean, I guess you could put your nose to the grind, maybe work a little late every night. But what the fuck, you really can’t. Because there’s a happy hour. There’s your roommate’s girlfriend’s friend’s birthday dinner. You’re, like, so behind on Black Mirror and you just need to catch up.
And like, yeah, I mean I guess you could save some money. But you also can’t say no to that boozy brunch. Plus, your Insta has been lacking and you need to snap a filtered beauty of that ridiculous smorgasbord of a Bloody Mary that cost you $25, but it’s like so worth it because it’s essentially a cheat code to triple digit likes. Stackin’ likes over here while some nerd who’s staying in making his own breakfast in the building next to you stacks cash. But the joke’s really on him, because his last Instagram post – you know, the one from that Red Sox game – got only seven likes. SEVEN! Haha, what a NERD! News flash, Jimmy Neutron, all that money you’re saving won’t buy you likes. I think there was a Beatles song about that.
Nobody is going to hand you that big work promotion on a silver platter. That book in your brain isn’t going to write itself. That company you want to start? Nobody is going to hold your hand towards that illustrious IPO. And getting that promotion, writing that book, or starting that company just takes so much effort. And time. I mean, there’s only so many hours in the day, so it looks like all this shit is going to have to take a backseat for a hot second in lieu of your college football Saturday thirteen hour drink-a-thons. Besides, your roommate’s girlfriend’s friend, you know, the birthday girl from the party you were at last Wednesday night at that sushi place where the price for a fucking spicy tuna roll was an absurd $14 but the atmosphere was choice? Yeah, she’s gonna be there, and you might totally hit it off and get laid. I mean, you won’t, but who am I to crush your hope before you even drop triple digit coin on beer, wings, and nachos while you try and simultaneously flirt but also watch kids younger than you give themselves CTE on ESPN.
So let that try hard who always over dresses for work get the promotion. He can keep the lights on in the cubes tonight while you binge Netflix – you’re totally lost when people start talking about Stranger Things and you need to catch up. And let that girl who doesn’t even use Snapchat write that book; she has more free time than you do. And while you watch the Jim Caldwell’s and Mike Tomlin’s of the world feel generally apathetic towards their shitty football teams, you can let that nerd who doesn’t even go to the bars on Sunday to watch football start that billon dollar company. You’ll be stress free knowing that none of the burden of writing that book or starting that company have fallen on you. Let the lonely kid next door save his money; you’ll have more fun spending yours at twenty-five than he will at seventy-five.
Don’t be a Bill Belichick stressing over every twelve men on the field penalty. Be a Jim Caldwell. Embrace mediocrity..
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