Life Notes

Growing up I never liked the idea of PE in school. Don’t get me wrong; I see nothing wrong with being healthy and active. But something about being forced to change clothes with other people and then being made to sweat with them hit a sour note with me. Forced merriment has never been my thing. Which is why, so often, I would have my mother write notes excusing me from PE.

At the time I thought it was clever. I knew for certain that my mother genuinely thought I didn’t need to do PE because of a headache, a cough, a hurt ankle, you name it. If all the things that got me out of PE had actually happened to me, I would say it was a near miracle I made it out of grade school. I realize now that she knew the whole time. Kudos to mom for writing the notes anyway.

The impulse to “sit out” doesn’t seem to leave us just because we get older. Sure, there is no longer someone making us change clothes in front of other people in rooms where only a fool would walk around barefoot. But we still get the urge to cry injury every now and then just for the sake of catching our breath. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a parent’s note for a day of life?

I imagine it would say something like, “Dear , Please excuse from life today. She has a headache. Signed, A Parent.” At this point we now have free license to sit back and watch as everyone else continues to run laps. Round and round the gym they go while we sit back and cool it on the bleachers. It would be a temporary reprieve, as almost all gym notes were. But it would allow us to sit and gain perspective on things so that when we do rejoin our peers the next day we will realize that what we are doing (in most cases) is in fact running around in circles.

The problem here is that all good things will come to an end, and while most of us would use the privilege of the life note responsibly, there would be those that would take advantage and ruin it for everyone else. At some point life itself would start limiting excuses to doctors’ notes. At that point (I don’t know about you), I would rather run the laps.

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