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© Tom Gilbert

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September, 2018

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Baseball Season Ending Drama

September 30, 2018

Oh how I love baseball! Those of you who have followed my postings over the years know this to be true. The game represents so many things that I find important in life, suoing above and beyond, doing your best, and also knowing how to handle both winning and losing.
ch as facing each moment, knowing when to to take a pitch (pause and reflect) or be laser-like focused and ready to hit (when you have to make a decision). There is offense and defense, teamwork and camaraderie, leadership and rules, g
It really is a game that encompasses it all. I even wrote about this in Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Baseball Fan.

Today is the final day of the regular season of Major League Baseball. Some teams are just playing it out and then heading home for the offseason. Others have clinched a spot in the playoffs and are gearing up for the games to determine who will play in the World Series. And there are still a couple of divisions in the National League (the Central and West) where things are up in the air and four teams who will be in the playoffs are battling to determine who wins their division and who will be in the wild card one game playoff. So it is pretty fun to be a fan and exciting to follow the exploits of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs.

As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan I've already enjoyed watching my team win well over 100 games and locking up their division. It has truly been a historic season, but anything less than winning the World Series will be a bit of a dissapointment after such a great season.

No matter how you feel about baseball remember that life is typically a long haul, similar to the stretch of a baseball season. There are ups and downs, high drama, injuries, rainouts, double-headers, intense battles, great plays and a lots of fun.

I've been reading a very enjoyable memoir by Jon Peters, a baseball star in his youth who set the record for most high school pitching victories in a row (51) in 1989. He loves baseball and was sure he
he would eventually have a career in professional ball, but life threw him a few changeups. He struggled through adversity and shares his story in When Life Grabs You by the Baseballs.

Family History Helpful Resources

September 24, 2018

September is almost finished. The summer has wrapped up, Fall is in the air, and when October rolls around it is a great time to take stock of your family because it is National Family History Month. What type of family history have you "harvested"?

If the answer is little to none then I encourage you to start planning to do something. It could be as small a project as a picture book or scrapbook, or more extensive like a manuscript about the patriarchs of your familly.

Personally, I favor doing memoirs. This form of personal history is flexible because you focus on a theme, like your love of cars or baseball, or maybe you want to write about a particular time in your life, a slice of your personal history. A friend of mine recently did this with his memoir, Head Bangin' Radio, about working in radio during the heady days of hard rock and heavy metal, especially at the renowned one time king of metal radio stations, Pure Rock 105.5 KNAC.

Head Bangin' Radio memoir by ThrashPieI worked at that station in the late 1980's and I remember well the diehard fans and the love of music that we all shared, along with some wild times and, let us say, adventurous exploits. The bands, like Metallica, Guns n' Roses, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne (just a few) were heroes to our listeners and the station was something of a hero to the bands because we played a lot of music that other stations in Southern California wouldn't consider giving any exposure.

Ted Pritchard, better known as Thrasher or ThrashPie, morning man and entertainer, worked hard to write his memoir. I read it over the weekend and it was fun, funny and brought back a lot of memories. One of the things that struck me was how it helped the author reminisce about his life in radio and some of the amazing things that happened along the way, including a real brush with near death (read the book to find out more).

I've posted plenty of resources for you about preserving your story and you can  check them out on this website. If you haven't explored them then please take a look. And start considering what an adventure your life has been. You  probably have a pretty good story to tell.

Accountability for Our Actions

September 18, 2018

I am going to admit something that is not very flattering. In my early adult years I pretty much did what I wanted to without much awareness of how it affected others. That mean that I was frequently blunt or even rude. And even when I did think I was being considerate - or "diplomatic" - I could easily ruffle feathers.

Today I am better. But there are still times when I discover after the fact that my actions or attitude was not as polite, kind or friendly as it could be. It's a character defect and I am aware of it and still not completely free of it.

The good news is that I know that I am sometimes abrupt. Often it is not a problem, but if my directness collides with someone's over-sensitivity then it usually doesn't go so well.
So the awareness of my poor interaction is the beginning of making the necessary change.

What should we do as people to grow beyond our shortcomings? This is the stuff of therapists and spiritual directors. Twelve step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous encourage people to take personal inventory and when you realize you are wrong then promptly make amends. This is called accountability for your actions.

It seems so simple and it is. But it's not so easy in practice. I really think our world, with our light speed social media interactions and rush hour all the time approach to life, needs more people taking stock of their actions and doing something about it.

I know that a life worth living needs to include quality interactions with others. Here's a call to all of us to daily review our actions and think about how we can do better. I'd love to see a society that steadily becomes more civil instead of running in the other direction.

Grand to Be A Grandparent

September 9, 2018

Happy Grandparents Day to all the grands! I must say, having been a grandfather for over 8 years now, that it is grand to be a grandparent.

The second Sunday in September is observed as Grandparents Day. It is nice to honor grandparents, but it is even better to have the experience. Raising children is the greatest challenge for most people, but it also can be the  most rewarding experience. Grandparenting gives you a chance to be involved in a different way. You know, take the kids sometimes, but usually you can give them back!

Grandkids on Grandparents DaySome people call taking a picture with your grandkids to be a grandie. Funny. Anway, I did that today (#TakeAGrandie). As you can see, I have a grandson and a granddaughter. I love than more than tongue can tell.

Grandparents these days are typically babyboomers. We've experienced some wild times and seen lots of changes in technology. Grands these days are feeling pretty spunky. But we do also have the depth of life experiences that sometimes
passes for wisdom. Grand Magazine, dedicated to grandparenting, has some excellent reasons for celebrating National Grandparents Day - see more here.

John McCain and the Measure of a Man

September 2, 2018

If we truly want to look at lives of worth, of legacy and service, of recognizing what it means to care for life, liberty and dignity, then we should certainly spend some time observing the life and times of John McCain.

McCain was laid to rest this weekend and his life has been celebrated this past week. The senator and Vietnam war hero (for a war where many American heroes were treated as anything but), engaged in a life of service. He was true to his beliefs, stuck with his values and statements as a conservative Republican, and yet, had the ability to work with those who were often at odd with his political party and values.

The point of this post is not sentimentalism. If anything, I hope that I take away from John McCain's life a sense of patriotism combined with true values. Life is not about being better than others, getting the biggest pile of wealth, pushing others away who you consider different or less than, or touting your "greatness".

When I tell people that I believe everyone has a story to tell I am saying it because we do need to share our stories, our struggles and our triumphs. You might think your story is too small or insignificant, but it is not. There are people in your family and circle of friends who want to know the real you.

At the same time, we can look at McCain's sentiments about his life through his books and communications to others, and realize that sharing stories should bring us together and help us find gratitude and appreciation for our lives, including our differences that often tend to divide us.

The measure of a man is in the thoughts, words and deeds of a life. It starts with what we think, gets shaped by what we say, and the proof is in our actions. Thank you, John McCain, for showing us that in your life.

| more interesting thoughts on McCain's life and legacy in this New Yorker article. |

Everybody has a story to tell!
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