Matt Knutson: It’s OK to have fun and embrace excitement

Published 8:21 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

Things I Tell My Wife by Matt Knutson

“That’s a lot of milkshakes,” I responded to my wife as she texted me about buying a Powerball ticket because the prize was 700 milkshakes. Of course she meant $700 million, but autocorrect had something different in mind. The thought of winning 700 milkshakes is mildly appealing. That’d likely be a lifetime supply, right?

One of the many things I love about my wife is that she embraces the excitement around her. If there’s a buzz, she’s normally tuned in. This compliments me well, as I don’t typically pay much attention. For instance, I had no clue that the Powerball had reached $700 million. I also wouldn’t normally be one to buy a ticket even if the jackpot had reached unfathomable heights, but sometimes it is OK to enjoy getting caught up in the moment.

Another recent example of this is the legendary eclipse we experienced earlier this week. I had at least been well aware of this occurrence before it happened, but I wasn’t particularly jazzed about it happening. It would certainly be a cool phenomena, I thought, but looking up at the moon crossing over the sun would just be another thing that happened and would eventually happen again. Maybe I should better appreciate the rarities in life, but I just couldn’t get excited about this one.

Part of my lack of enthusiasm came from my love of photography. I’m normally happiest when I have a camera in my hand, so one would suppose that I’d love it when the eclipse arrived. However, I know my own limitations. I’ve seen plenty of beautiful eclipse photos leading up to the event, and I knew I had neither the talent nor the equipment to make it worth my time. Better to enjoy some truly incredible photography than be frustrated with my feeble attempts. Plus, I wasn’t about to spend money on a one-time use pair of glasses in order to look directly at the eclipse. That money would be better spent on milkshakes.

I had thought Sera was of the same mindset with me on the eclipse until we came home for lunch that Monday. After a few moments of quietness, I realized my wife had pulled up directions online on how to use tinfoil and a cereal box to watch the eclipse. Leave it to Sera to finally commit to being an eclipser 15 minutes before it actually happens. Her frantic effort was a success, and she did get to see the moon slowly pass over the sun on a sheet of paper while staring into the cereal box. I couldn’t help but think that I could have just drawn a similar image on a sheet of paper and no one would have been excited, but I also caved and took a peak at the eclipse myself, so clearly I’m just as much of a bandwagoner as everyone else.

My biggest takeaways from our recent Powerball and eclipse events were that it’s OK to have fun and embrace cultural excitement. I think I too often sit back instead of participating because there’s always people who will look on and say how dumb or stupid something might be. But really, it’s OK to be excited. Sera gets excited all the time, and I love it. If you have to choose between being eager or a drag, I hope you don’t choose to be a drag. We all need someone to push us toward the fun sometimes, and I’m glad Sera is there to do it for me.

Now whether we win $700 million or not, we’ll be OK. If we did win, I’m sure I could make that subconscious dream of milkshakes come true. But if not, we can always start with one and go from there. Maybe our next excitement will be as simple as a surprise milkshake. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Matt Knutson is a communications specialist in Rochester.