Bowen: Put that in your notebook, please

Published 6:53 pm Thursday, September 14, 2017

Put this is your notebook.


In our coaching days, we would always tell the players to do that whenever we made a point that I felt was notebook worthy. Toward the end of my career, my coaching partner Coach Foster broke the bad news one day.

“Coach,” he said with a grin, “I hate to tell you, but there’s no notebook.”

Well, there should’ve been, and today’s “notebook-worthy” lesson should be in chapter one. Here it is: Remind yourself of what you’ve forgotten.

Or, as I’ve heard it said, “Remind your mind.”

You know as well as I do that the minute you let up on something that very thing you let up on slips away from you. My basketball players did it, your husband or wife does it, and our children make of career of doing it. When you have a couple of free hours, call my third-grade-teaching daughter Ms. Osburn and let her elaborate on this phenomenon as it relates to her class. And I could even have the amazin’ blonde could tell you a story or two about her lovable husband forgetting… Nah, maybe not.

It makes you shake your head in wonder, though. The mind, indeed, is a flimsy thing.

Except for my 93-year-old father-in-law.

Mr. Bill Dickinson doesn’t forget anything. A couple of months ago, he “reminded” me to mail in our dues for the Old Paths Advocate, a religious journal we have taken for years. I kind of forgot to remember for awhile but remembered just in time to text the young gentleman from Marietta who is in charge of subscriptions to tell him I was sending the payment.

Then I forgot to remember to take care of the rest.

A couple of weeks later, I was over visiting my father-in-law at their assisted living home, and out of the blue he said,

“Steve, did you re-subscribe to the OPA?”

Now, all sons-in-law will tell you that the quick and easy answer to that question is “Yes sir, sure did.”

After all, you are not going to reveal to your 93-year-old daddy-in-law who has a mind like a steel trap that you forgot to remember to send in that money.

Then, again — as I froze in the fog momentarily — you do have to take into account absolute, true, pure-as-the-snow honesty. So, I did the only thing a faithful son-in-law could do, at that moment.

I said, “Yes sir, sure did.”

Now, for all of you “judgers” out there — Yes, Coca-Cola Mike, I’m talking about you, and your buddy Benny, and other runnin’ buddies of yours — I have to ask: What was I to do?

And, truthfully, hadn’t I “taken care of it”? How do you define “takin’ care of it”? I did send the text message. I got the ball rolling down the hill.

But my failure, you see — oh, that was hard to say! — was that I didn’t “remind my mind” to remember. Had I done that, I would not have had to freeze in the fog at that moment and make a split second decision regarding what it really means to take care of something.

The bottom line is, I could have avoided the whole traumatic moment had I done one thing: If I had just listened to my own good, sound advice and put it in my notebook! It’s that’s simple.

Now, please, before you forget:

Put that in your notebook.

Steven Ray Bowen is a former Granger who lives and writes in Red Oak, Texas.