Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Eve Before the Eve of the New Year

I didn't realize until I looked at my blog how long it has been since I last wrote a post. I guess there has been a lot going on both at work and at home that this just hasn't crossed my mind that often I guess.

But these past few days I have had the pleasure of participating in some of my best friends' wedding, Katie Carson and Tommy Webster. Kat and Tommy are some of my dearest, dearest friends. I have learned so much about life and love from the both of them and through watching their love story unfold these past two years. Truly, one of the things that I can say about myself is that I love to learn, and these two have taught me incalculable lessons on how to value and love people. Their love for the Lord, their creativity, and again their love for community has changed my life. It has been such a joy to be a part of helping them get ready for their wedding day! I cannot wait for tomorrow when they are finally man and wife!!

As I get ready on this eve of the eve of the new year, and start mentally preparing myself for 2008, there are many things to reflect on. Mostly things having to do with what I want to accomplish next year. I don't like to make goals for myself. Goals actually mean something. And goals don't leave much room for spontaneity or the bends in the journey. Or for a procrastinator like myself, goals end up becoming guidelines and thus lose their intended power.

But I think that now I have a different view. I heard this quote once from Zig Ziglar: "Are you a wandering generality or a meaningful specific?" I have lived my life as a wandering generality, just taking life as it comes and not having an ending in sight that I want to accomplish. But I would like to start in 2008 to live my life as a meaningful specific, because I think I have realized that you can live life with goals but also leave room enough for life to run its course. So as 2007 comes to a close, I am going to think hard on what I want 2008 to look like and come up with some goals - goals that I am going to take seriously. And on New Year's I'll post some of those goals on here!

That is, after I have recovered from Kat and Tommy's wedding! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Heavy Heart...

Today is a black day for Major League Baseball. The Mitchell Report, a 400+ page document, came out detailing the use of steroids and named the names of allegedly 80 players that George Mitchell was able to confirm used steroids.

The fact that there are MLB players that have used steroids is not a surprise. Anybody who looks at Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, or Jason Giambi three years ago, cannot have a hint of doubt.

What hurts me as a fan though is learning that some of the best pitchers in the game, Roger Clemens and Andy Petitte, were also users.


Pitchers have a special place in my heart. To me, a well-pitched game is the most exciting thing in all of baseball. Forget the homerun. Homeruns are overrated. But a guy who can pitch a full nine innings is a hero - bar none. A guy who can load the bases but then battle all the way back to strike the next three hitters out is a hero. Pitching makes or breaks the game (caveat - you do need to have good hitters - but if you have great pitching, you don't need great hitters - just good hitters). There is nothing more exciting than a pitcher's duel. That is why, though Josh Beckett is now a hated Red Sox, I still love him - he is one of the most awesome pitchers in the game right now.

That is why this hits me so hard. Being a diehard Yankees fan, I have to live with the hatred of everyone for their dominance in baseball. Now I learn that players on my beloved team, and pitchers nonetheless, cheated!! I mean even Chuck Knoblauch was named!! Knoblauch! The disappointment and hurt runs deep.

I just hope that in the end, all the youth and college ballplayers that I come in touch with, will take this whole scandal as a warning and not try to cheat the game. I have seen quite a few of the college guys come through who were so big, that it just isn't natural. I hope that they realize that the path they are walking on is a perilous one before it is too late.

That hope is what makes the disappointment and hurt less painful.

Monday, December 10, 2007

That Perfect, Elusive, Shot...

This past weekend I went to the driving range and tried to hit a bucket of balls semi-successfully. I think that for the amount of experience I have (very, very little and no lessons), I can hit a golf ball pretty well. There is a lot I need to learn, but I haven't devoted the time needed to get my swing right or to seek out help from those who know more than I do. But nevertheless, there were shots that went straight and true and far and sounded so pretty, that I fall in love with the game all over again. And then the very next shot I either hook, slice, or top the ball and I wonder why in the world am I deluding myself?

I guess the beauty that is found in the world of golf is the ability it has to build character. You have to have humility; you have to be able to laugh at yourself; you have to be able to ride the emotional rollercoaster that each shot brings; you have to be able to ignore those around you, the people that may be watching you, and just focus on you and the ball - otherwise, you psych yourself out! And in the course of the journey of eighteen holes or a bucket of balls, you can hit each and every single one of those emotions. And then there are those shots that will live with you forever, and those are the shots that will always keep you swinging that club.