Confronting a classic dilemma

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Do you remember when you were faced with that daunting question on a regular basis: Paper or plastic?

Now, it’s just decided as you stand their cursing yourself for forgetting the dozens of cloth grocery bags at home.

But in this case, I’m referring to paper vs. plastic when it comes to functioning on a daily basis. Do you like the convenience of pulling up a schedule on your phone?

Or do you like to physically hold a piece of paper, scanning the sheet for the information you need?

As I sat in a meeting and prepared to schedule the next meeting, my friend whipped out her daily planner and a pen and added the upcoming meeting.

I wasn’t sure they still made paper daily planners, but there is something extremely satisfying to flip back through a planner and see how you spent your past week or past month.

Like many, my life is on my phone. It tells me where I need to be and will send me reminders 5, 10 and 15 minutes in case I have amnesia every five minutes.

It tells me that traffic is light so I don’t have to leave early for the six-block drive.

I’m not sure what I would do if traffic became “medium” or much less “heavy.”

Leave two minutes early I guess.

And I can search online for the upcoming soccer schedule…even when I’m stuck in a McCook traffic jam, which means I’m behind a tractor.

Trying to keep with our busy, ever changing schedules is no easy task and I’m not even talking about my large family.

Rather, the schedule at the YMCA is constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up with.

For many, checking on the YMCA’s website would be the easiest thing to do and the best way to keep up with all the changes, which seem to happen on a weekly - if not daily - basis.

But if that was true for everyone, we wouldn’t have a rack and table in the YMCA lobby full of schedule and registration forms.

Some people just like to have that piece of paper to remind them of an upcoming event or to glance at a schedule, even it is already out of date.

A good example of the changing schedules at the Y is the gym usage, which has a different group using it nearly every evening.

Adult volleyball is wrapping up with week, having occupied the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the past six weeks.

(Side note: Congratulations to the Red Bracket Tournament Champs, Nick’s Distribution, and the Black Bracket Tourney Champs, St. Pat’s. As the winner of the Black Bracket, I can honestly say that Black Bracket is a nice euphemism for “losers in the bottom half of the bracket.” Call it whatever you want, but my team now has a six-inch plastic trophy to show for our efforts.)

Back to the gym use.

Pickle ball players have been getting together for pick-up games on Friday nights throughout the winter and spring months. Recently, the picklers (as I’ll refer to them from now on and hope it will soon be a thing) moved to Mondays nights for a few weeks and will switch to Tuesday evenings next week because of the 4-on-4 volleyball league.

In this case, the best way to keep up with the pick-up pickle ball schedule is to look on the Y website or get cozy with those who play every day and can keep you in the loop.

Now, the pool schedule is a different matter. While it may seem like it changes on a daily basis, it really just gets updated when swim team practices are added or when swim lessons begin.

Otherwise, the pool schedule stays fairly consistent. This is why a paper copy on the front of fridge comes in handy. Without looking for my phone or my laptop, I can quickly find out when six lanes will be open for lap swimming, rather than just one.

Of course, this assumes that the pool schedule isn’t buried under school lunch menus, permission slips and soon-to-be outdated soccer schedules.

Whatever your preferred method - paper or plastic - you can find all the information you want about the YMCA on the website,, or stopping by the YMCA to grab a schedule or complete a registration where you get the added bonus you can’t get online: A “how you doing” from the front desk staff.

Congratulations to Dr. Rob Stamm for his finish at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

It is no easy accomplishment to qualify for Boston, much less put up a competitive time which he did.

People often ask me when my husband or I will run Boston.

Despite 20,000 entries, I wouldn’t even qualify in the 70-75 age division, much less my own age division.

Today is the final day for girls softball registration.

If you have been putting it off, which seems to afflict 92.3 percent of parents, now is the time to get your kindergarten through sixth-grader signed up.

Again, you have the choice: paper or plastic.

You can sign up at the YMCA service desk with a paper form or log onto your computer to register online.

Hopefully, that is the toughest decision of your day.

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