(Written on Martin Luther King Day, 2014)
There’s a very compelling commercial for skiing in Park City, Utah on TV. The gist is to identify where you came from so the ad can reinforce how quickly you can get there and start skiing. There are happy skiers from Indiana, from New York, from Minneapolis, and everyone in the ad who started their day in one place is now happily skiing in another. The tag is “Where were you this morning?”
I was in the Bronx.
And I didn’t go to Park City, Utah for the following reasons:
- I don’t ski. I went to a ski lodge in Colorado once and sat by the fireplace sipping hot chocolate all day while my friends were out on the slopes. It was a colossal bore.
- I figured everyone else would travel on a day off like today – it’s a holiday – so I never considered leaving town.
- Today was my debut volunteering with the All Stars Project in Manhattan. They do good – I wanted to help them.
- As beautiful as Utah seems from these ads, I think if I wanted the mountains and the breathtaking views, since I am not a skier, I might probably go to Montana. I looked into that once. Or Spain.
- There’s a real serious snowstorm on its way East and, with my luck, I’d get to Utah and not be able to get back to the Bronx.
But here’s the bigger question: when you consider where you were this morning, assuming you didn’t go to Utah either, did you get anywhere today?
That’s my question right now. These days I want to establish where I am in the morning so that by nightfall, I can also establish where I have been. Not the simple geography of the route I traveled, but the more substantive stuff. I need to know I got someplace.
So the answer today is yes, I started out in the Bronx, and yes, I ended up in the Bronx, but I greeted some very nice people today at my volunteer job and I really felt like I contributed something to my fellow New Yorkers. We are a really hearty bunch, all in all, but there are lots of folks who need something I might be able to offer them.
I don’t miss my not getting to Utah today. Utah can wait. And hey, you never know, I just might try skiing. Some days you end up where you start out but, in fact, you are really just a little farther ahead.
Today was one of those days.