I would like to start off today’s blog with a classic joke:
When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did – in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.
This borrowed joke lends itself to my dark tinged humor. It points out that you never know when your tether to this world may disengage (unless you have a suicide schedule or are being drug down to the depths by a Great White shark or are in a plane with the fuel gauge on Empty at 30,000 feet or a myriad of other certain death scenarios). Your ticket could be punched in 1 minute or 75 years from now. Truth.
With that on the table, I like to play softball.
Did I just jump the track on you? Let me explain.
I frequently play slow pitch softball which is a cousin to baseball and a step or two below fast pitch softball. Each has its own echelon of players ranging from the ridiculously great to the solid skill players and then the average and of course the hopelessly terrible. Depending upon the day, I think I fall into the average to hopelessly terrible categories. But skill level is really irrelevant for this piece. The game itself is my parallel for life.
Sometimes you are playing with your team in your comfort zone and your team is winning and everything is peaceful, maybe even joyous. You chip in a few hits, nothing spectacular but contributing. You aren’t hurting your team on defense either. Making a play or two, nothing highlight reel but coasting along to a team win. Good times. Then other times that same team is struggling. The pitcher is walking alot of the other team’s hitters. The fielders are dropping fly balls or making bad throws and your team just can’t string together hits to score enough runs. Guys (or gals) start trying to do things they normally don’t do (like learning to hit opposite field after being nothing but a dead pull hitter or trying to drop bombs aka hit home runs) and the unraveling process speeds up and you lose. Normally softball games are seven innings in length but if your team plays poorly enough you can get short-gamed (aka mercy ruled) when the other team puts up so many runs by a designated inning and you have very few in comparison. Thus invoking the mercy of ending the awful showing – with (So You Had A) Bad Day by Daniel Powter playing softly in the background.
Sometimes life invokes it’s own mercy rule. Maybe it occurs after a bad call was made and no one looked at the replay to say hey that’s not right but those are the breaks. So when life gives you a bad hop to the chest or you pull your glove up too soon on a grounder or your home run curves foul or you simply are left standing in the on deck circle as that last out is recorded when you know you had one more hit in you – take a breath and appreciate the scene. Chances are, what the landscape looks like today, will change by tomorrow even if it is only a slight change. Everyday you are here, those slight changes will evolve until the picture is completely different.
In life or on the softball field, you have your friends who you want to see do well and you cheer for them or pat them on the back for encouragement after an error or a bad at-bat. But on the flipside, there are those whom you dislike alot and you try to give a little extra effort or mental focus to beat. It’s pretty easy to overlay that template in life – wanting the positive for the perceived’ good guys’ and pulling for the dreaded Wolff’s Softball Haven bad infield hop to the throats of hated ‘bad guys’.
So put on your fielding glove or batting gloves and go play. The score doesn’t matter. Winning and losing doesn’t matter. Just be there in the moment and enjoy it because when the game is over, it’s over.
In case I do not see you any further tomorrows, I thank you for reading and maybe smiling or nodding at the sentiments.
Peace and love my friends.