Shortcuts to Long Games - May 9, 2024 | Kids Out and About Westchester <

Shortcuts to Long Games

May 9, 2024

Debra Ross

I hate exercise. But I love Future-Deb at 90 being able to move easily more than I hate exercise today, so I make myself do it. Nevertheless, Today-Deb welcomes any reason to avoid breaking a sweat on purpose.

Work used to be a great reason, but in October, our office upsized to a new location around the block from a YMCA. No more excuses! Future-Deb rejoiced, but of course Today-Deb found lots of them. Fast-forward 7 months, though, and you'll find me on the treadmill regularly at 7:30 am. What changed? Three simple words from a person I hope to be like in about 30 years.

"See you tomorrow!" Livia says cheerfully to each of us on our way out. "Absolutely!" everyone answers, because you have to. Livia was at the front desk of the Y long before you got there that morning, and she wants to see you come through that door tomorrow... she really does, and you want to show up for her. Plus, once your "absolutely" commits you out loud, you're locked in, both as a matter of honor to tomorrow-self and as a promise to 90s-self. Livia's three words do a lot more than lever me out of bed 45 minutes before I want to: They are the secret—a free shortcut—to making the Y a community, a space where people want to be, in company with other nice people who share their goals.

We want to teach our kids always to play the long game, but to look for shortcuts to happiness and productivity along the way. My job is to shine spotlights on extra-special shortcuts like Livia, which means you get to point your kids to people like her, your kids learn that it's a good way to be, and our collective future is brighter. That's Today-Deb's long game.