September 7 – Dressing for every game in the long season of life

September 7. “You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.” (Leroy Satchel Paige)

I love a good baseball metaphor to inspire thinking, and help tell about life. One of the many things I love about baseball is the length of the season. Some complain that 162 games is too large of a number, and I will admit that I don’t think the most important games in the season should be played in very late October or early November. But that isn’t to say that I want a shorter overall season. Part of the charm of the game for me is the fact that it can and is played every day. There is a routine built into the season. There are pitching rotations, days of rest, hitting streaks and so on that all speak to the idea that to get through a season involves endurance. And, isn’t that the story of life as well?

Life has many triumphs and tragedies along the way. I have days when I feel on top of the world, and days when I feel like I am lying in the desert of Death Valley. But those aren’t the majority of days. Most days are more routine. If I were to graph the days of my life with the vertical scale being the up and down days, the overwhelming majority would fall squarely in the middle.

It is easy to get excited about celebration days, or to fall into the depths of the days that are truly bad. But to get through life it means that I have to get up every day, dress for the day, and go live my life.

On Mother’s Day in 2013 I wrote about the idea of living each day as though it were my last. For me that is a very romantic, and quite impractical approach to life. It is suited well to song, or to the notion that one can have a “bucket list”, but it isn’t really something most of us can do. The conclusion I came to in that post was that I should live each day as though that day matters. And that has been my philosophy in the months since.

Satchmo had it right. As a pitcher, he didn’t get into every game that his team played. Depending on the schedule he might get in only every 4th game. But anyone who watches baseball knows that the pitchers who aren’t pitching on a particular day still put on the uniform, they still dress for the game, and attend as part of the team. They do this because every game still matters. In life, most days will not have parades or processions. But all of them still matter, and I have to dress for all of them.

This quote comes with interesting timing. I have written in the past about how much I like to squeeze every moment I can out of summer, and about how much I love baseball. As September gets into full gear, and as leaves begin to change, the baseball season and summer wind down. But even when the snows of November creep in, and this summer is left to memory, each day will still matter. I may not like what I see outside my window, but that doesn’t mean I get to hibernate (although I must say that 3 months of continuous sleep does sound good sometimes).

Today my reflection is on how well I am making sure that every day matters. There are no throw away days, and it is up to me to make sure I am dressed and ready for whatever life brings.


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