BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

A Childhood Solution to a Grown-Up Problem

What do you do when you’re feeling down? How do you cope?

I prefer to do nothing. I prefer to plant myself on the couch, watch TV and cut off all communication with the outside world.

Strange as it seems, I don’t want to do anything to make the situation better, at least not initially. I want to give into the discomfort and wallow in my misery.

Which, of course, only makes me feel miserable that much longer.

Yesterday, as I was walking to my car after meeting my dad for lunch, I got a call with some disheartening news. It wasn’t the end of the world, and there’s still hope for brighter days ahead.

But it was a call I’d been dreading for weeks. And now that it had actually happened, I was an ugly combination of angry, nauseated and shell-shocked.

Naturally, my inclination was to keep my head above water until I could collapse in front of an episode of “Cheers” when I got home.

And that inclination only grew stronger when I got the following instant message from my wife:

“We should go to the batting cages.”

What? Where did that come from? The batting cages? When have we ever gone to the batting cages? What even made you think of that?

Believe me, it felt as random for me to read yesterday as it is for you to read here.

That was the last thing I wanted to do.

But after further explanation, it was clear her logic was sound:

What better way is there to get out your frustration than hitting things?

It made perfect sense.

And, as always, she was proven correct.

For an hour, we took turns hitting baseballs as hard as we could. I hadn’t done this since little league, since I was 12, so any contact was good contact. And there were more swing-and-a-misses than I’d care to admit.

I laughed, I groaned, I lamented my old(er) age and how sore I was going to be in the morning.

And even though I knew that issue was still waiting for me outside the cages, it didn’t dare touch me while I had an aluminum bat in my hand.

Though it was only for a moment, it was nice to feel like a kid again.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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