We have a Triple-A minor league baseball team based here in Des Moines, the Iowa Cubs. They are the farm team for the Chicago Cubs. The ballpark is very nice and easy to get to. Parking, in spite of what some people will tell you, is easy, as it is everywhere in Des Moines. (I’ve lived in Chicago, Boston, and New York, so when Iowans complain about parking in Des Moines, I just laugh.) Tickets to games are not expensive, every seat in the house is good, and food options are varied and tasty. There’s even a booth where you can get some excellent beer from Iowa’s microbreweries.
In spite of all these positives, I rarely to go to games, mainly because I have convinced myself that I’m not the kind of person who attends minor league baseball games. But last night I saw how wrong that assumption is; ALL kinds of people attend minor league baseball games. I went with my wife and a friend of hers, and the three of us had a great time. I began the night with a breath-killing hotdog smothered in onions, sauerkraut, and mustard. A few innings later I had some corn on the cob and three small but loaded street tacos (with more onions). In the 8th inning, I washed it all down with Burnout Brown beer, made in the nearby suburb of Ankeny by Firetrucker Brewery. The Cubs eventually lost to the Round Rock Express in the 10th inning, after which there was a short but good fireworks show.
All of this is to say that I’m glad I pushed myself out of my small comfortable circle last night. It’s so easy to fall into a routine that feels safe and steady, and so easy to define myself in a way that limits me. The older I get, the more I tend to fall into these traps. Left to my own devices, I listen to the same music, read the same types of books, travel the same route to and from work, eat the same foods, do the same things, and associate with the same people. There are so many opportunities to break away from routine, and I am happier when I do. This morning I’m listening to a Spotify playlist featuring mostly bands that are unfamiliar to me. And my wife and I are already planning an evening out to see a Des Moines Menace soccer game. Even though I’m not the kind of person who attends fourth tier soccer games.