The turning of the year always seems to bring out introspection in people. Wednesday morning, Dec. 29, I found myself going back over some of the same old thoughts and propping myself up with the same old motivations with a, shall we say, a new resolve? RESOLVE, noun, with the same root as “resolution.” Ah yes, the same old same old, but I really mean it this time, Mom! We shall see.
I am, living as I do near the shores of the bay of Green Bay, a Packers fan. As the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV began, the Green and Gold led 21-17 but the Pittsburgh Steelers were moving upfield toward a potential go-ahead touchdown. In a moment famously captured by a camera person, defensive coach Kevin Greene grabbed hold of talented Clay Matthews, looked him in the eye and said, “It is time. It is TIME. IT IS TIME.”
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Matthews barreled into the ball carrier and knocked the ball loose. The Packers recovered the fumble, scored another touchdown a few plays later, and eventually won the game 31-26.
So: Am I going to react to the motivation like Clay Matthews, get the ball and win the Super Bowl? That sounds much more fun than running out the clock and hoping for the best. What’s it going to be? “Prevent defense” or a go-after-the-ball blitz?
I think I want the ball. I still get a little thrill when I think about sitting down and manipulating words until I have something grand or lovely or exciting or all of the above.
What’s making me hesitate is all those years of having that feeling and, instead, sputtering and letting it drop and chitty chitty bang bang oh man it stalled out again …
I’m into the fourth quarter and it’s a tie so far, or perhaps a slight lead. I’ve made a touchdown or two, maybe a field goal, but the end is not far away and the W is not quite nailed down.
IT IS TIME. Oh, yeah, I’ve written some books, even sold a few handfuls, I’ve blogged more than 500 straight days, picked up some followers, got a couple dozen email readers whom I rarely regale.
IT IS TIME. What is it I want to say? Entertain – Enlighten – Encourage. Meh. My mission statement/vision consists of three wandering generalities. Let’s be more specific.
I want to encourage people to use their brains and common sense and take initiatives. Encourage people to act with fearless freedom and not let busybodies and bullies run their lives.
I want to enlighten people about what came before – fun but semi-forgotten books and songs and TV and radio, and thoughts like Wallace D. Wattles’ “you are a creator, not a competitor.”
(“Not a competitor”? So what’s with the football analogy? Well, it’s an analogy not because it’s an exact fit but because the example is similar. We ARE competitors but not against each other. We’re playing a game, fighting to the death against Father Time, and winning is not defined as beating him but by playing the best game we can in the allotted four quarters, however long they last. And what is the best game? “Love the Lord your God and Love Your Neighbor.” And we are all neighbors. Right, Mr. Rogers?)
I want to entertain and give the world adventures, stories that do all of the above and a few thrills and chills and spills — but after every chill a warming, after every spill an ascent.
Those thoughts are a little more focused, and here I sit a half-hour after starting to write, a little hesitant, a little inspired, and not sure what to do next. “Just get started.” Who said that?
It is time.