Quitters and Other Stuff
(Warning: This is a long and
potentially boring post about ME.)
What do you think about quitters? Do you see them as weak, unprincipled losers? Or maybe you are of the “honor is the better part of discretion” crowd. “Give it the old college try.” “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.” “Persistence pays off.”
For every adage about quitting there are probably ten extolling the virtues of “fighting the good fight”. I have never been a quitter. Most people who know me might call me “scrappy”, “feisty” and even (gasp) “stubborn”. Sometimes, though, you just can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, and after a few years of trying to hammer a certain square peg into a round hole I have finally decided it’s time to stop “beating a dead horse”. While I expected myself to be totally despondent I feel surprisingly happy about the way things have turned out.
And then, too, lately I have been thinking about legacies…I must say I never thought about my own legacy very much until a few years ago, but as I creep toward my twilight years I have been thinking about it a lot. I’ve always associated legacies with great people who have done truly awesome things that will be read about generations from now. But can’t legacies also be our family – our children and grandchildren and so on down the line? Well, of course, eventually so much time will pass that we will be referred to as just “our great great grandparents” by our heirs, but still I think you catch my drift. I have done nothing great nor have I had children so what is my legacy? Is living a happy life and touching as many people in a positive way that I can enough?
Last month when I went home for Justin’s wedding I also attended my niece’s high school graduation. Like most graduations it was held in the high school gym on a sweltering Midwestern day. I hadn’t set foot in that gym in over *cough* years, and of course it hadn’t really changed that much. I spent a lot of time in that gym. When I was in high school I played on the girls basketball team (I was a tomboy growing up and loved sports). We were one of the first girls’ teams at a time when Title IX was new and girls were just beginning to get their own athletic programs. (I will save you the trouble of looking it up because you know you want to – I graduated high school in 1978). During my sophomore year our team came within one game of making it to the state tournament. We were a small school in a town of 6,000 so it would have been a huge accomplishment for us to compete against larger cities, but we came up just a bit short.
If you’ve met me then you may be laughing at the fact I played on the basketball team because I am a bit short as well. However, it was that scrappiness, feistiness and even stubbornness that secured my spot. I wasn’t a very good shooter and I wasn’t going to get many rebounds (though I believe I did get 1 once), but I was a bit of a pest (“the more things change, the more they stay the same”), and I parlayed that into becoming the defensive specialist who was sent in from the bench.
Imagine my surprise and absolute delight last May at seeing a large photo of our team hanging above one of the big double doors leading into the gym. Heck, I was almost life-size! (Remember, I said I was short.) So, anyway, there was a legacy, of sorts, because it’s documented and even though it’s nothing great…hey, it’s mine. For a brief time I was a “big fish in a small pond” – but that’s an adage for discussion another day.
I blacked out names to protect the innocent. I am number 3. And, yes, we really were the Mules – you can save the wisecracks because I’ve heard them all before. 🙂