The joy of commitments |

The joy of commitments

Ryan Sutter
Vail CO, Colorado

This is the fifth column I have written. I had wanted to write them. In fact I asked for the opportunity to do so. I hoped to express my feeling on life and more specifically my passion for the natural environment through the words of a biweekly column.

A letter to the editor inspired me to sit down and write my first column. Windmills blew in the subject of the second column. I got a little political with my third column on terrorism and Earth Day provided a natural environmental topic for my fourth.

I now sit pondering a topic for column number five. I must admit I have waited until the last the last minute. It is late Tuesday night, I am sitting in room 1001 of the Hyatt West Hollywood, here to shoot an episode of a new venture I am working on called The EcoZone Project. The shoot has kept me terribly busy. I need to have something written for tomorrow in order to have it in the paper for my regular Thursday appearance. I am starting to think it may not happen. I just ordered a club sandwich, a late dinner off the room service menu. I splurged and added a slice of chocolate cake and glass of milk leaving me sleepy and wanting nothing more than to find my way to the nearby bed, seemingly taunting me with its already turned down sheets and fluffed pillows. I already ate the mint. Sportscenter will be on in five minutes and would provide the perfect, mindless transition into what I know will be a deep and restful night’s slumber. I have gone so far as to have already brushed my teeth, washed my face and laid out my clothes for tomorrow’s final day of shooting. Just procrastinating really. A delay tactic and a break from the staring contest I have been having with the computer screen. It still hasn’t blinked. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

Why did I agree to do this column? What was I thinking when I had asked for the opportunity? I thought it would be fun. I wanted a chance to become more involved in the community. I love living in the valley. I wanted to speak about how important it is to our futures that we protect our natural and social environments. I started an environmental consulting business and hoped to promote its intentions. I had a lot of reasons for writing this column. None of them seems important now. The true reality of my busy life hinders my usual motivation. It leaves me tired, uninspired and frustrated. All I want to do is sleep.

Maybe I could just skip this column? Take a mulligan and come back strong for number six. No real harm would be done would it? It’s the mud season. No one is around to read the paper, let alone my column. It’s just one column. I’m just one person. What real good am I doing anyway?

In an effort to delay the inevitable I strolled toward the window. Peering out over Sunset Boulevard and on further over the city of Los Angeles, still the No. 1 most polluted city in the U.S., my thoughts drifted towards Vail. I thought about my wife there at home with the dogs, about the baby in her belly, our first, due this summer. I thought about them and then I thought about me. I love my family. I love my life, where I am, who I’m with, what I do. Mostly I thought about that little baby. The one I haven’t even seen or touched or held. I thought about the life it would have and my responsibility as a father. I thought about all those things, then I thought about commitment. The commitments I had made to my family, to our baby, the environment and to this column. What good were they if I could not honor them? How could I beg, plead or even ask politely for the effort needed to preserve and save our planet when I was not willing to at least honor my commitment to write a biweekly reminder? What kind of husband would I be without my word? What kind of father?

Thus, here you go. Column number five. Squeezed from the tired mind of the world’s future greatest dad.

Ryan Sutter of Avon writes a biweekly column for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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