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Putting life in proper perspective.
Jim Broede
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 5:46 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


Nothing is more difficult. Than having to rise above one's emotions. Specifically, my emotions. For instance. As a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. I emotionally want the Cubs to advance to the World Series. And win it all. This year. For the first time since 1908. But if the Cubs fall short of such a goal. I have to learn and practice acceptance. There are other things in life I'd rather have. Such as a continuing loving relationship with my Italian amore. Another thing, I'd not trade a year or two, or even a day of my precious life, for a World Series title. Another thing. I'd rather see my dear friend Julie stop drinking. Once and for all. Yes, better to see Julie win. And the Cubs lose. On the other hand, I'd gladly give up some amount of money. For the Cubs to go all the way. Anyway, there's ample evidence. That I love certain personal and intimate commitments and attachments. Far more than I love the Chicago Cubs. Yes. Yes. Yes. That's what I'm doing. Putting the truly meaningful stuff of life in proper perspective. --Jim
Jim Broede
Posted: Saturday, May 7, 2016 10:57 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I wonder. If my Chicago Cubs are becoming too successful. Such as peaking too early. Winning too many games.  That has never been a problem with the Cubs. They have specialized in losing. For over 100 years. They last won the World Series in 1908. The longest drought ever for a major league baseball team. Anyway, the Cubs are off to their fastest start ever. Winning 22 of their first 28 games. That makes for a 22-6 record. And they’ve won their games by a collective margin of 98 runs. They routinely win by big scores. They know how to pitch. How to hit. How to score. How to win. Incredible.  Of course, I could lament. Because the record isn’t 28-0. That would be the same. As a millionaire. Grieving. Because he ain’t a billionaire. I feel a little disappointed. When the Cubs lose a game. They’ve lost once in the last 10 games. A 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves. Ironically, the team with the worst record in baseball. Maybe it’s a sign that the Cubs are merciful.  Anyway, I’m trying to adjust to all this winning. Telling myself. Don’t become spoiled. Learn to accept a blessing. Graciously. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2016 10:13 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I have an  embarrassment. Of riches. Too much of a good thing. And I have a craving. For more and more and more. Maybe I’m reaching the point. Where good becomes bad.  It’s like eating too much. Imbibing becomes gluttony. Or drinking too much. And one becomes am alcoholic. No, I don’t have an eating or drinking disorder. Instead, it’s that I can’t stand to see my Chicago Cubs lose another ball game. I’m spoiled. I’m addicted. To winning. The Cubs have won seven straight games. Against the next best teams in the National League. The Pittsburgh Pirates. The Washington Nationals. The Cubs have become used to sweeping series. To playing superb baseball. With the mentality of taking no prisoners. The Cubs have won 24 of their first 30 games this season. Yes, that adds up to a record of 24-6. Once upon a time. It was more likely. That the Cubs got off to a 6-24 start. A few years back, they lost their first 14 games. Now the Cubs are the best team in baseball. Phenomenal. Incredible. Yes, there they are. Winning games. By astounding margins. And here I am. Fretting. Sitting on pins and needles. Terrified. That the Cubs might finally lose another game. That would be hard to take. I might grieve. Go into depression. And fume. Because the Cubs should have won the game. I’ll dwell on the what ifs. The missed opportunities. I’ve become similar to the millionaire. Who  always wants more riches. Never has enough. Wants to be a billionaire. Craves all of the world’s wealth. Yes, I have an insatiable appetite. For the Cubs. To go all the way. To the World Series. And beyond. I want absolutely everything. Out of life. I’ll settle for nothing less. And I want the same for the Chicago Cubs. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 9:09 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


My friend Rick says I’m crazy. Because I hardly ever watch a Chicago Cubs baseball game. From start to finish. Because I get too nervous. Pulling for the Cubs. Fearing  that they might  botch the game. Which could potentially send me into the doldrums. Especially if it’s a tough loss. A game the Cubs should have won. Yes, here’s my shamefaced confession. I’m an addict. A Cubaholic. Too often, I allow my addiction to control me. When I should be controlling my addiction. On my better days, I’m sort of a recovering Cubaholic. I don’t imbibe at all. Or I do it in a restrictive, somewhat controlling manner. By checking on the score, periodically. On the Internet. I might even give a peek at the play by play.  But generally, I don’t check on the score. Until I’m reasonably assured that the game is over. Maybe three hours after the start. If the Cubs happened to have won, I check for the details. For videos of the highlights. And I check the Chicago Tribune for the game story. And savor it. For the rest of the day. If the Cubs lose, I go about other business. And try to ignore it. Yes, Rick says I’m absurdly crazy. But I’m proud of myself. Knowing that I have my addiction under reasonable control. Most of the time. Wasn’t always that way. I used to be totally out of control. The worst kind of Cubaholic. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 10:21 PM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


 I knew it had to happen. Sooner or later. The Cubs lost two games in a row. For the first time this season. I know. I know. No reason to be upset. It’s a long, long baseball season. Yes, 162 games. And the Cubs have a 25-8 record. Still the best in the major leagues. And I’m happy about that.  And really, it shouldn’t matter to me. Even if the Cubs lose 10 straight.  A baseball game is a baseball game. That’s all it is. A game.  Anyway, the Cubs just came off an 8-game winning streak. That means they have still won 8 of their last 10 games. I have nothing to complain about. But still, I complain. Just for the sake of complaining. Life is full of wins and losses. Really, I’ve learned to take it all in stride. By savoring the wins. And by accepting the setbacks.  When I go to bed every night, I remind myself. That I’ve had a winning day. Can’t remember the last time I had a losing day. Maybe that’s why I sleep so well. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 5:19 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


The nice thing about baseball. Is the long season. Yes, 162 games. The best teams. Not only get used to winning. But also to losing. Maybe as many as 60 or 70 games. Meanwhile, good football teams have a chance to go undefeated. They play once a week. Maybe 16 games in a season. Baseball is so very, very imperfect. And complex. Over the long haul. If the Chicago Cubs go to the World Series, they will still have lost their share of heartbreaking games. That’s the frustration of baseball. To contrast with the elation. Of winning the big game. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Friday, May 20, 2016 12:30 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I try to live passionately. But only on a part-time basis. Because one can’t be passionate all the time. That’s impossible. It would be too emotionally exhausting. Risking collapse. From fatigue.  Better to cool it. And to limit one’s self to being passionate. When the situation calls for it. When I earned my living. By being a writer. I became passionate. About some stuff. But I couldn’t maintain the passion day after day. Too often, we expect people around us to be passionate. In their pursuits. Like I do. With my favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.  I want the Cubs to play every game. At a very high passion level.  To play to win.  With a take-no-prisoners attitude.  Yes, to play with unbounded passion. But to be honest. That’s asking for  too much. Really. It should be good enough. To merely give a decent effort. Short of passionate. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Monday, May 23, 2016 10:48 PM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


My biggest weakness. I get disappointed. And upset. Over relatively trivial stuff. Such as the outcome of a baseball game. The Cubs lost tonight. To the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-3. After blowing a 3-1 lead. It should be no big deal. But it bothers me. Throws me off  my smooth-flowing course. Into a negative frame of mind. I’d feel so much better. If the Cubs had won. The Cubs still have won 15 more games than they’ve lost. They’re still in first place. But still, I sit down at the computer. Where I am now. Lamenting. In writing. When I should be rejoicing. And celebrating. Everything that has gone right today. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 10:44 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I am feeling better today. Because the Cubs won last night. Defeating the St. Louis Cardinals. Convincingly. Doesn’t bother me. That this leaves some Cardinals fans disconsolate. But it really should plague me. When my happiness comes at the expense of the unhappiness of others. Too bad. That we can’t have outcomes in life. That make everyone happy. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Friday, June 3, 2016 2:39 PM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


Baseball is my favorite team sport. Because I’m convinced. That the successful players. And especially the successful teams. Have to learn to jell. Mentally. One needs a positive attitude. Skill isn’t enough. In order to be a winner.  Players and teams must believe in themselves. The most skillful players and teams won’t make it to the top. Unless they are truly in love. With the game. The pitcher must believe that he can make the perfect pitch. In a crucial situation. Same goes for hitters. They must be believers. Especially when it comes to team goals. They must play to win. As a unit. Everyone picking up each other. That makes a difference. In the flow of the game. Many teams can’t sustain such a high level of play for a long time. Instead, they have spurts. Winning streaks. Losing streaks. But there’s a bottom-line. They’ve gotta believe. And I suspect. That the Chicago Cubs have become true believers. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2016 5:06 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


The Chicago Cubs have made winning look too easy. Yes, that is cause for worry. Because the winning was beginning to look effortless. And players may have shown up. To merely go through the motions. Of course, that poses a danger. Little wonder. That the Cubs are on their longest losing skein of the season. Four games.  Normally, that might cause panic. For a diehard Cubs fan such as me. But believe me, I’m not panicking. I’m actually welcoming the losing streak. As an antidote for over-confidence. For too much swagger. I want the Cubs to learn to be humble. In winning. And in losing, too. That’s the way to pursue the ultimate prize. The Cubs first World Series championship in 108 years.  I want the Cubs to win slowly. Methodically. Confidence is good. But overconfidence can become bad. That’s why I want losing. Gracefully. To be a part of the best season ever. Give me a season with a balance of ups and downs. The worst thing that could happen to the Cubs. Is to have a grand and glorious regular season. Only to get bumped off. In the playoffs. Because of overconfidence. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 11:26 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I understand. Why good baseball teams go into slumps. Because they get tired of playing baseball. For pretty much 162 days in a row. Yes, even doing the stuff one loves, can get tiresome after a while. And one begins to go about it routinely. Without the usual fervor.  That has happened to the Chicago Cubs. After getting off to one of their best starts ever. Oh, they are still in first place. By a sizeable margin. But they are losing more than winning.  Call it a mid-season crisis.  To be expected. Even from the best teams. One can’t live with intensity. Forever and ever. One needs to take breaks. And occasionally go through the motions. Rather than live with fervor. Without let up. That’s the way it is.  Like it or not. --Jim
Jim Broede
Posted: Friday, July 8, 2016 8:17 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


The game of baseball is driving me crazy. Because of the random chance factor. Weird things occur. That may never have happened in a baseball game before. Like last night. When the Chicago Cubs played the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta scored two runs on a home run in the top of  the first inning. The score remained that way into the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs. And nobody on base, Then two Cubs players were hit by pitches.  Followed by a double. That scored a run and put the tying and lead runs in scoring position. And lo and behold, the Cubs then got a single. Scoring both runners. The Cubs had a 3-2 lead. I was elated. After all, it looked like the Cubs might win. All they needed was for their closer to shutdown the Atlanta team in the top of the ninth. But he gave up a game-tying homerun. And the game went into extra innings Where the Cubs lost, 4-3, in the top of the eleventh. For the Cubs to have lost. In that exact way. In that exact sequence of events. Incredible. I presume it had never happened before. Just like that. Never before had a baseball game evolved in that same, exact way. And I didn’t want it to. Because I wanted desperately for the Cubs to win the game. By hook or by crook. So that I would feel good. Instead, I lamented. For much of the night. Yes, I was robbed. Of what could have been an evening of pleasure and elation. Because of the cruel twist of fate. In a baseball game. Crazy, isn’t it? That I allow this to happen. To my pathetically fragile baseball psyche. --Jim