Last week’s column

Pub­li­ca­tion: Free­dom — OCR - Pla­cen­tia News-Times; Date: Sept 29, 2017; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: 4

Keep­ing score when you com­pete against yourself

Even though I like to com­pete at horse shows, I don’t think of myself as a com­pet­i­tive per­son. I’m not com­pet­ing against oth­ers to win, I’m com­pet­ing with myself, to see if I can do bet­ter than the last time.

When you com­pete against your­self, it’s dif­fi­cult to be a sore loser, or a bad winner.

It’s the same when I am watch­ing any kind of sport­ing match. I have my favorite team or player, but I have no con­trol over whether they win or lose. All I can do is admire everyone’s ath­leti­cism, and wish my team good luck.

They’re not my cir­cus, nor my mon­keys. I’m just here to eat peanuts and watch the show.

This is on my mind because Dale and I went to the Angels game last night, along with sev­eral of our friends. It was my first Angels game all sea­son, although not my first ball game. In August, I got to see the Cubs play at Wrigley Stadium.

The game last night was a last-minute deci­sion, so I wasn’t expect­ing much. We didn’t even have tick­ets, hop­ing to be able to find 7 seats rea­son­ably close together. Lit­tle did I know how lucky we were going to get.

Not only did we find seats together, they were half-price because we all got the senior dis­count. One of the perks of grow­ing older is that things often cost less, if you’re not too proud to tell peo­ple how old you are.

Sadly, I’m get­ting a lot of dis­counts these days with­out being asked my age. Those 12-year-old cashiers make a lot of assumptions.

Our next bit of luck was that the seats were at the Club Level. I’ve got­ten spoiled in my twi­light years, and do not want to sit in the top­most tiers of the ball­park. I want to sit in the seats that are cush­ioned, and have a wait­ress take my order. Granted, our seats were down the right field foul line, about as far away as you can get, but we were next door to the restaurant.

The game got off to a slow start, at least for me. I like lots of hits, and lots of scor­ing. My hus­band is just as happy with a bat­tle of the pitch­ers to see which one can get the most strikeouts.

I do enjoy that moment before the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand and heads toward the plate. It’s a mere breath in time, yet it con­tains infi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties. Will it be in the strike zone? Will the bat­ter hit it? Is this a home run?

As I absorb the moment, I think of daily life and how many instances like this we all face rou­tinely. The stop­light is turn­ing green—will I drive through safely or be hit by another car? The mail­box is closed—does it con­tain bills or a check?

I sup­pose, like base­ball, if you add up those instances, you’ve either won or lost the game.

Last night, Cleve­land won. They played a good game and deserved the vic­tory. At the end of the day, I had a lovely night out with my hubby and our friends. Although I root for the Angels, I was okay with the results. At heart, I’m a Cubs fan.

Cubs fans learn to thrive on their losses.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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