February 1st was the Superbowl and the end of another NFL season. Quite what relevance does this have to a blog on fatherhood and music you may well ask? For one thing, the game kicks off at around 11.30pm here in the UK, finishing some time after 3 in the morning. I stay up and watch it live every year, but I thought this year might be an exception. With Frida making almost every night a struggle for sleep it seemed wilfully stupid to actually choose to stay up until that time. But in the end I decided to anyway. Social media and the Internet make it surprisingly difficult to avoid the results of sporting events if you don’t watch them live, and knowing the score takes away most of the excitement. Frida of course decided that the ideal time to wake up for an hour would be immediately after the game as soon as I got into bed, but I only have myself to blame for my next day tiredness on this occasion.
The close of the NFL season also frees up more of what little leisure time I have for listening to music. It’s not that sports are an invalid use of my time, as I enjoy them a great deal (although one of my friends, who is very much not a sports fan once asked me why I enjoyed American Football and I found it hard to explain why). I think one thing I enjoy about sports is that they give me an opportunity to switch off my brain and avoid thinking about the real world for a little while. We all need that, in one form or another, but I do sometimes find myself alarmed at just what proportion of my free time I spend watching, reading or thinking about sports, and consequently have my brain switched off.
Music however, nourishes my brain and soul in a way that sports cannot. It can be a way of connecting to and understanding the world, as well as a way of escaping from it (during my raving days especially, I did find music a useful escape from reality). The more time I spend listening to music, the better I feel about myself and the world in general. I find it hard to resist the temptation to watch sports, but there is always the nagging feeling that the time could be spent better doing something else, such as listening to music or even writing this blog. There is room in my life for all these things of course, but music will always be my greater love.