HeartNote, September 30, 2019: Baseball, Recovery and Acceptance

"Football is to the Concussion as Baseball is to Internal Bleeding." -a paraphrasing of a quote by the late columnist, Jim Murray

I was in Wrigley Field in August this year.

And when I sat down in the stands, surrounded by all these people dressed in Royal Blue and White, with a red "C" on their caps, I was tempted to stand, face the gathered throng and say, "Hi, my name's Ed and I'm a Cub Fan. It's been three years since my expectations have been unreasonably high."

To wit, they would respond by saying, "Hi, Ed! Welcome!"

See, in AA, the behavioral bible for implementing emotional and spiritual change in your life, the opposite of "expectations" is "acceptance."

And to truly love and embrace the beautiful game of Baseball, Acceptance is your guide.

The two things that a baseball fan recognizes, whether you root for a winner or loser, is that you are there to see a game. Not a contest, not a battle, not a war. Just a game. Let it go. Enjoy the play, enjoy the process.

Secondly, it's great if your team wins. It's a happy moment. It's wonderful if your favorite player stays with your team for a little longer than a half hour, and it's even better if you get to watch a game in the stands in the magnificence of baseball parks like Wrigley in Chicago, Petco in San Diego or the beautiful park on the bay in San Francisco.

But the operative word in that last sentence is "park." Defined, "a large public green area in a town, used for recreation and relaxation." Relax. One day at a time. Just chill. Win or Lose, it's all good. Breathe. Accept. Enjoy.

This is the atmosphere in a baseball park. And this is the prevailing attitude of a healthy, engaged, appreciative fan. Acceptance, ease, just enjoying the moment.

The Cubs had a wonderful year, but they let their manager Joe Maddon end his contract. They won a World Series with him, the first one in 108 years. His only motto that I'm aware of was, 'Try Not To Suck." Perfect. He had the players dress wildly, and kept things easy in the clubhouse. He didn't take things too seriously. And didn't want the fans to, either.

I'll miss him at the helm. He is a great sponsor in baseball, somebody you can refer to when you're in doubt about how to enjoy a game, with heavy emphasis on the word "enjoy."

Yes, it's just a game, it's the best game we have. And when we "root, root, root for the home team, if they don't win it's a shame," not a tragedy, not the end of the world, not even a shame, really. We recover. We accept. And we take it, again, one day at a time.

There's another game tomorrow. After a some rest and recovery the sun shines, the rain comes, the sky is blue, the clouds gather, and the field is ready for play.

Loving baseball is the best way to learn how to step easily through life.

Accept. Breathe. Enjoy.

Tomorrow is another game...I mean, day.


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