Sunday, August 17, 2014

Friday Morning Practice - a Narrative

It's Friday, practice day.  Since my work schedule precluded bowling in any leagues this past Spring and Summer, Friday mornings have been my main bowling outlet.  However, I still wanted to keep up my learning and training in the sport in order to keep improving my consistency.  So I have developed a routine that has been helping me with my one day a week practice, just in case my schedule changes enough that I can get into a league again.  If nothing else, I can potentially keep from embarrassing myself in the few tournaments I enter.
Friday mornings begin the same way, 6am wakeup and do all the necessary activities that go along with waking up and getting dressed.  I read for a while, write for a while, then 30 minutes of stretching and yoga to work on core strength and balance.  Since I started my breakfast just before stretching and yoga, by the time I finish my warmups, my breakfast of oatmeal and meat is ready, which isn't quite a slow carb breakfast, but it gives me long term energy instead of a short term flare and burnout.
Next it's a trip to the ball rack to decide which balls I'm taking today for practice.  This is where I first really start getting into the bowling mindset, walking to the rack and looking at my collection, remembering the good games and not so good games I've bowled with each of them.  For practice I pick three and my spare - a early breakpoint , a midlane breakpoint, and a late breakpoint ball.  All three have been cleaned immediately after use, and usually once every 30-50 games they also get a deep cleaning and a trip on the spinner to refresh the cover to where I like it.  After I make my decision and move those balls to my rolling bag, next I focus on my bag kit to make sure I'm not low on the essentials - thumb tape, cleaner, super glue, a clean towel, spare inserts.  Normally when I come back I replace things right then, but it's better to double check before leaving than to need and not have.
By now it's between 8am and 8:15, and the lanes open for business at 9.  Since it's August, and today's humidity is going to be around 70-75%, I know the lanes will play slicker, even on the remains of last night's open bowling.  Today's session will begin with two point targeting, then a couple of games of lowball, then the new element -- parallel gutter drills which will help me actually see the results of my swing plane, whether I'm grabbing, pulling, or off center in any way.  Thanks to my old pleather beanbag, I do my release drills at home, 20 minutes a night to really isolate each and every action from the wrist to the fingertips during release.  But slow motion practice with isolation is one thing, today's the day when that all get's sped up into real time.
If John's there today, he'll do the day's stripping and reoiling at about 9:30-9:45, which gives me enough time to get through two of my practice elements before the 10 minute break while he reoils my lane.  Afterwards, with fresh oil and limited hold, I can practice that final element without the free friction that comes from having beat up lanes.  But if it's Vince doing the oiling today, he won't do it until 10 - which still might work because that will give me time to not feel like I'm rushing my practice.
8:45, and I'm loading up the car with my bag.  The lanes are only three miles away, so there's no rush.  I've already prepped my thumb with both thumb tape and liquid bandage, and I'm feeling excited, but not anxious or stressed.  9:00 am and I'm unloading my bag from the trunk, and walk in to say hi to everyone.  Since Cindy's not actually on the phone, I get a quick hug and my lane assignments.  After I get everything unpacked, the balls on the return, shoes on, and my towel and rosin bag on the console, I go ahead and go to the snackbar to get a large water so I can stay hydrated during practice -- the Air Conditioner will have it's work cut out for it today, and since I sweat standing still above 70 degrees, I want to make sure my judgement isn't clouded by any lack of hydration.  After dropping the water off at my table, and a brief last bit of stretching, it's time.  The first ball I throw will be at quarter speed just to get myself in the swing of things (no pun intended), and there's no attempt to get 'lined up' at all.  Strikes for the first hour happen by chance, not by intent.  I'll throw the first game as a true warmup, two frames over each arrow, then starting game 2 will be the true practice.  I've already made my decisions about the three elements I'm working today, and after those have gotten their 15 minutes of focus, with a sitdown break in between to notate how the practice went so I can review and process away from the lanes, finally my last two games will be "for score", and for just enjoying the game.
After bowling's done, I go ahead and clean each ball right there at the lanes with my spray bottle and towel before packing up.  Usually I go back to the snack bar and have them refill my cup with tea, because by that point I need the water and the sugar to boost my energy levels.  Then I visit with my people who are there, because the Friday morning bowlers are a pretty consistent crew, and we get to know each other in between shots.  If Cindy's off the phone, which can be a feat in and of itself, I'll pay for my games while getting to hear how Andy's doing, and just maybe Ron will come in and I'll get a few minutes to discuss with him things I may have uncovered in practice and get his input.  Then back home to put the equipment away, making sure if any of the balls need a touch up with the spinner or a deep cleaning to go ahead and do that.  Finally I review my notes from the practice to see if there is anything else I need to elaborate on or dissect further, perhaps push out further into the next practice session.  Then it's lunch, two Alleve, and on with the day.

Do I see myself as wanting to be a Professional Bowler someday?  Not at all, I have only a handful of 600 series to my name, and none of those were threatening to be 700's.  But what I do expect from myself is the ability to be consistent across any/all lane conditions, from the fresh to the beat up, and as I practice well, and cover all aspects of the game that I can personally affect, then those 600's will start showing up, and potentially the 700's.  But more importantly I'll be able to match up on any condition - and therefore the enjoyment of my game will continue to grow, because no matter if the lane condition is a cakewalk or a minefield, I'll be able to handle it, because I'm prepared for anything.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Beautiful Woman Died Last Week.

A beautiful woman died last week.

This doesn't come as news to most.  Indeed, a beautiful woman dies every day somewhere - and to be honest, countless dozens leave us daily.  Some are old and have lived a long, plentiful life, others leave far too soon.  In the last two years, many beautiful women have left far sooner than they should have.  We remember their names:  Mischa, Myra, Mandy, Freda, Patricia.  Photographs, stories left behind of happier days bring their faces back, recalling fragments of shared conversations, walks and visits, dinners - times that seemed commonplace, but were truly magical in that moment.

My wife to this day will want to grab the phone and call Freda, just to tell her of some milestone in our kids lives, some funny event, or a wrong or hurt that happened.  She might even get to the phone before catching herself, realizing that it's been two years since cancer stole her best friend away from this world.  Every best friend that falls, every confidant that is eroded away by disease, every prayerful rock that is pulled up by domestic violence, they leave behind shadows, voids, wounds.

You can't blame them, it really wasn't their choice most of the time.  For those who get a diagnosis that says "you have days/weeks/months to live", that news usually helps them to really live for the first time, to find out what they're truly made of.  Once treatment begins, that diagnosis often changes from weeks or months to actually being months or years.  Some say it's because of advances in medicine, and there's truth to that, but I suspect it's more that the disease is slowed down by an infusion of life, of people finally living for what they want to do, instead of going thru the motions, mired down in the routine of life.  The fog of life is lifted and people finally see what is the most important to them.  Not the car, not the cleanliness of the house, or the job that we sell our lives to like prostitutes.  They discover the important things like time, relationships, sharing, and their legacy.  In fact, those with terminal illnesses in a twisted way are the lucky ones - they have the time to adjust, to change, to resolve differences, to say the things that were always left unsaid, to find that new path and pack as much into it as they can, for they know that their end is nigh.  Even if they beat the odds and recover from that which threatened their mortality, that mark and legacy changes them, for they know that time is a fleeting thing, and there's so much living to do in such a short time.

A beautiful woman died last week.

Her family had just moved to a new city because of her husband's job.  They had been in the city for two weeks, not all the moving boxes had been unpacked, the boys were getting ready to go back to school in a new environment, the house in the old city hadn't sold yet, there were tens of dozens of chores to do, errands to run.  Her husband was home that day, ironically his job was that or ER Doc, and he is trained to handle most any physical trauma.
But a blood clot dislodging itself in her system changed everything.  She had time to call her boys in to her, and comfort them - telling them of her love for them and her joy of being their mother, all while her husband was dialing 911.  Not days, not weeks, but barely hours later she was gone.  She still got time to honor her family with last words of love and hope, although too too briefly.  She didn't spend that time giving out to-do lists, not in any traditional sense anyway, and her concerns wasn't that the house wasn't as presentable as she would like it.

What of those beautiful ladies who do not get that time to share, to give last words of comfort, of absolution before leaving?  Accidents happen were a life is changed, gone, in mere seconds.  Drunk, sleepy, medicated drivers, angry people who can't take out their frustrations on those who caused it, but instead turn their rage against bystanders.  Natural disasters of wind, fire, water that change entire landscapes in moments -- and there's no time to react before those stories are ended.  Their shadows are of a different intensity, the edges of the void left by their passing are much sharper, more jagged.  The questions that surround those are not so rhetorical, but their focus is more concrete, so much that people left behind can only speak to the spirit, the memory of she that was.  Their closure is harsher - the slamming of a door instead of the dimming of a light.  But the blame left behind is more tangible - wither at the person who caused the accident, produced the violence, or even drove her to take her own life to get away from her existence.

Many, many beautiful women died last week.

Life is a terminal condition - we can only reasonably predict the beginning.  The middle is a mystery, a melange or experiences that shape us daily.  Who we are is we are right now -- and that's different that who we were a year ago, or who we'll be a year from now.  The end of our life, which we want to be a mystery so many years in the making, isn't guaranteed a fixed time or place - only that it will happen.  We feel some sense of sadness for those that are given a glimpse as to when that time and place will be.  In our humanity, we hopefully grieve, whether greatly or quietly, when we hear of lives being ended, whether they were central to our lives, or a news story, whether it happened domestically or abroad.  Religious purges, ethnic cleansing, territorial exterminations - whether we call it justified or unjustified, build support or show outrage because of it, fire, flood, earthquake, war, famine, pestilence, disease, terrorism, accidents, oppression -- all of these words and actions are given so that we can wrap our heads around a universal truth:

A beautiful human being died, their story has ended, and our lives can never be the same because of it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So is it better to be Safe or Aware? Kind or Empathetic?

Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Obedient.  This is a mantra that my wife uses when teaching both our kids and the kids in her classes in Sunday school.  It's a philosophy she's come up with in order to help our munchkins to make judgments when interacting with others, or (and is more often the case) to explain why they're in trouble when we talk to them after an incident.  In essence what she's trying to put forth in language that small children (3-8 years old) can grasp is:

Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Obedient.

Be Kind -- Play nice with others, don't be mean to them, treat others just like you'd want them to treat you.

Be Safe -- Play, work, interact in such a way that you burn off energy and enjoy things without putting yourself or others in harm's way.  Accidents happen, but do what you can to minimize the potential for injury.  Things like throwing rocks, running down hills, going into the street all have high potential for injury - so please don't do those things.

Be Obedient -- There are adults in your life that have experience above and beyond what you as a 3-8 year old have, and they see things that you might not.  If they care enough to correct, teach, direct, and/or warn you -- they're not doing it for the glory of correction -- they're doing it to better you and keep you safe and protected, and ultimately to further your growth.

Now, I know that this is what she means when she uses that particular phrase:  Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Obedient.  I can appreciate that those words are simple enough to be understood by small children, for the most part.  Whether they listen or not is a different story, but that's a different direction than the one that I'm currently on.  My thoughts though, are not that this particular mantra is wrong, but that it's not quite right.  Those particular words, although they sound good and most would not argue against them, when being ingrained early in a child, can lead thoughts away from more creative and potential growth endeavors in teenage years and adulthood - without the child really knowing why.

Unfortunately, there's not a similar thought bubble or catch phrase that works as well that encompasses my changes to that mantra, because a more mature understanding would be required, but here's my adjustment to her saying:

Be Empathetic, Be Aware, Be Respectful.

Be Empathetic:  Know your feelings, and understand that other people have feelings too, and know that your actions can impact their feelings in both a positive and negative way, and do your best to make their interactions with you be as positive as they can be - without sacrificing honesty and integrity.  One can be kind without going outside of their comfort zone to actually relate to how the other person is feeling, and it can have overtones of insincerity.  But it's very hard to be empathetic without coming out of a personal comfort zone, and it's far more sincere and relatable, and more powerful in building the trust and friendship between two people, whether on the playground in a sandbox, or over a coffee at the local hangout, or across a meeting table trying to negotiate business.

Be Aware:  Know your environment, whether physical, business, social, or intellectual.  Familiarize yourself with the potential risks that surround you, and acknowledge them for what they are, and figure out how to counter or minimize them as much as you can, but do not fear living because of them.  Experience, Experiment, Encounter, and Grow -- and all of these will further your Awareness, so it will be a constant cycle.  Safety sounds good to most normal people, but progress is not safe, risk is not safe, change is not safe, and honestly life is not safe.  If we have our kids key off of the word "be safe", it will eventually mean more than what we originally might be using it to mean.  But awareness is a concept that allows for growth, allows for change, allows for a dynamic life while adjusting for the amount of "risk" that the individual is comfortable with.

Be Respectful:  Know who is interacting with you, and their relationship to you.  There are those in the world who deserve respect due to position, due to title, or due to connection.  There will be others that you will come to respect due to who they are as a person.  Both will have valuable input into your life, whether in a teacher-student role, mentorship role, or job/profession role.  For people in positions of power, such as teachers, police, employers, politicians -- know the difference between respecting the position versus respecting the person.   There are very knowledgeable people who should be respected due to their accomplishments and role in society, even if there is little that could be deemed respectable about their personal life.  Conversely, there are people who are great mentors and who develop great respect in life due to the way they carry themselves and their personal integrity, even though they may not be in a profession that normally engenders great respect.  In either case, everyone has something to teach, something to offer, and as such is deserving of respect.
Note:  What the difference is between respect and obedience, at least in my eyes, is that when someone is respected - they will naturally engender obedience.  To require obedience implies a turning off of responsibility for critical thinking -- don't think about what I'm telling you to do - just do it.  In a way, requiring obedience is actually easier because it doesn't require the one teaching/making demands/putting forth the plan/barking orders to justify or explain why they are making the request/demand/whatever.  It does streamline processes, because it works on an action-reaction model that works in areas where excess critical thinking isn't required or desired.  If every decision is actively questioned at every point in the process, especially from every element in a large organization, it can be a drawn out process to get anything accomplished.  However, if critical thinking is removed from every level of a hierarchy, and blind obedience is required - flawed and/or potentially harmful decisions might be enacted without the proper checks and balances in place to protect both the organization making the decisions as well as those who would be directly impacted by the decision.

So, the challenge is for me to figure out a way to get these rather grown up concepts simplified to where young children can process them.  Either that or stick with Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Obedient until they hit eight or nine, maybe ten -- then make the change to Be Empathetic, Be Aware, Be Respectful - because then they'd be more able to understand the difference, and their development would be not quite so "me" oriented.  Maybe I'm overthinking it completely, but I look at some of the people I've worked with over the years, and I'm pretty sure that this change could do no more harm than what's already been done - and might improve things in the long run.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lost another one

Last fall I switched positions in the company that I work for, and now work in a totally different city than I did for the previous 3 years.  However, at my old location, once in a while I'd pop over to the local bowling alley after work just to get some time in.  It was an old center with 12 wood lanes, next door to a skating rink.  Certainly nothing fancy, you just came in there to either bowl or visit with friends.

Fast forward to yesterday, and most of my old team came down here for training, and we got to visit during breaks.  One of them asked me if I used to bowl in those lanes, and I affirmed that I did.  I guess the puzzlement showed on my face, because he let me know that between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there was a failure w/the propane tanks used to heat the place, and both it and the skating rink burned completely to the ground, and nothing was saved.

I'd talked to the owners a time or two, and knew that they were just barely making ends meet with the place, and it was only open from 6pm till 10pm on Monday thru Thursday (which was the days I worked).  I had asked that if they ever considered selling the place, or packing it in to let me know because I would have loved to have had some of the history out of the place.  That was literally the only place to bowl within a 40 mile radius within a very rural location, so it really was a holdout from when bowling was huge.  Were you going to see any of the newest equipment in the house?  No.  What I brought was probably the most recent equipment in the place, and everything I brought was 6-7 years old.  But you got that sense of history, and the people who bowled there had been bowling together for 40+ years.

I immediately took to Google, and saw the footage that one of the local news station captured.  Propane fueled fires are impressive.  The owners didn't have insurance enough to cover the costs of rebuilding, so the lights that once were will remain only in the memories, and the newfound emptiness on league night for those that called it 'their place.'

History comes in so many different packages, and every bit of it that fades is a loss for the future.  There is a story behind what has stood the test of time, weathering the elements and the neglect of those who were charged to maintain.  This is true for nature, true for buildings, and true for people.  Honor those stories, honor those people, learn from them in order to make our future better.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Plan to Fund and Promote the US Open for 2015

So, as of this writing, the US Open for 2014 in bowling has been cancelled, and they're already making plans to cancel the 2015 due to lack of funds/sponsorships.  The projected costs are around 600K, which includes television time, venue, payroll, payouts, media coverage, and a host of other itemized costs.  Since current sponsorships are falling by the wayside, and the various organizations don't seem to be able to come up with a plan to correct this -- in the interest of putting a proposal out there to save a historic major tournament, I've come up with a potential solution.  In the interest of fairness, it's going to stomp on every one's toes equally who say "we can't do that", because if the need is truly there - a way can and will be found.

So, why are people so willing to back a winning team?  Because it's a guarantee.  Why do people love underdog stories?  Because it strikes so close to home - David vs. Goliath scenarios.  If we combine those philosophies on multiple levels, then it may provide a spark to restart the bowling industry, and move it toward a better, brighter future.  Sponsors are much easier to find for situations where their money isn't needed, which is a bit ironic.  But what that means is that sponsors are more likely to get behind an industry that already can pay for itself, than putting their monies toward a bailout/jump start.

So, keeping that in mind, and without further ado - how to Fund and Promote, and ultimately hold the US Open for 2015.  Note - we need to adopt this quickly so that we don't lose any more time - going to need all of it we can have.

First:  Every Bowling Center that has a USBC sanctioned league, or any competitive league will get a notice that the US Open will start with them.  Three months before the US Open date, each Center that participates will have a 24 game tournament sweeper - 8 games in the morning, 8 in the evening, and 8 the next morning - on any US Open oil pattern used in the last five years, and the eventual winner of that tournament will be that Center's entry into the US Open field.  For the 6 months prior to the 24 game sweeper, there will be an US Open oil pattern practice lane/pair available to anyone who wants to practice on it.  The entry fee into the local sweeper is $100 to participate.  However, the bowler who succeeds will have that center sponsor his/her entry fee into the Regional US Open feeder tournament, and if they survive that - their entry into the National US Open Tournament.  All the bowler has to pay for is food and lodging.  Any equipment that is USBC sanctioned and legal can be used, and the center and pro shop will have their names on the jersey that the bowler will wear in competition.
So - using round numbers:  500 Centers buy into this, and they get (on average) 20 brave souls willing to shoe up.  Each center earns 2000 for that tournament, and if their winner goes to the National Tournament - they pay out $750 in registration fees for the Regional and National Tournaments.  Approximate gain of $1250 per center, plus having promotional signage on their bowler's jersey.  Additional benefit -- other bowlers will be interested to see how deep into the tourneys "their guy" goes, so more people will be paying attention to the tournament, whether for bragging or jeering rights.  If the Regionals are done on Extra Frame - then there might be more subscribers for that service.  Final benefit - many bowlers have never bowled consistently on a pattern that wasn't a typical house shot, so it would be a bit of an eye opener and educational opportunity for those who want to really see what the pro's do.

Second:  6 weeks before the US Open date, the Regional Competitions begin.  The regional competitions will still be open to anyone, but the entry fee of $250 dollars will be paid for by the bowler if they're not a Center-Sponsored entry.  If the number of non-sponsored bowlers equal or outnumber the number of sponsored bowlers, that would mean between 167 and 200 entries into the Regional Tournaments.  Sweeper format again, only this time any US Open oil pattern can be used, and it would be 32 games to determine placement.  The top 50 from each region would go to the National Tournament.  Same rules apply - any equipment that is USBC sanctioned and legal can be used, and the Center and Pro shop logos are available on the bowler's jersey.
So - again using round numbers:  180 (averaging) bowlers come in and bowl the Regional Tournament.  The US Open fund is paid $45k in entry fees per region ($270k across all 6 regions), and the bowlers are only responsible for transportation and lodging.

Third:  50 bowlers survive Regionals to head to the National Stage.  They arrive at Reno fully aware that this is their final stop.  Now they have to bowl 64 games in 8 game blocks to determine the top 8 bowlers for the TV show.  Hearkening back to the way the television shows went, the first match would be between seeds 6, 7, and 8.  The winner would then face seeds 4 and 5 in a match.  Then it would be that winner facing seeds 2 and 3 in the next match, and the final match would be whomever survives meeting the number 1 seed.   Again - same rules apply - any equipment that is USBC sanctioned and legal can be used up to and including the television show, and the logos for the Sponsoring Center and/or Pro shop can be worn on the jersey.  Also those Sponsoring Center and/or Pro shops can be mentioned in any pre/post match interviews.

So - 300 bowlers go to the National Tournament, entry fees are $500 per person, so the US Open fund is increased by another $150k.  Total number of US Open participants - 20K bowlers, which makes the field a bit more truly a National event.  Total US Open fund at this point:  $420K, which isn't enough to fully pay for everything, but when the Organizers go to sponsors saying "we would like a buy in from you, to pay for only prize funds.  We're already fully funded for television time and production costs."  That will actually go farther with sponsors than needing to find companies to cover television and production costs - because if they know that if they don't put up monies - then the event doesn't happen, which allows them to dictate terms.  However, if the US Open Tournament can say "We'd like you to be a part, and we'll gladly add you to our sponsors list" that conveys a significantly different message, and a more attractive message.

It's a thought, it's a start for a discussion.  There's a distinct possibility that those in the higher echelons in the BPAA / USBC / PBA won't like this proposal, but that might mean that I'm on the right track.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

So you think bowling should be "saved" . . . . ok . . . why?

This is not trying to be inflammatory, or imply that I don't care about how bowling is being perceived.

What part of bowling needs to be saved?  The PBA?  The BPAA?  USBC?  Local bowling centers?  AMF/Brunswick centers?  Ball makers?  The flagship events - US Open, ToC, World 10-pin Championships?  Or perhaps a more nebulous concept - the 'integrity of bowling' itself?  If we decide to save bowling, do we save everything listed before, or are there parts that need to be chipped away or revamped to save bowling?

If every organizational body went completely under, and we were only left with local centers and ball manufacturers, and centers rose to heights or fell into flames based on how they served their clients - would that save bowling?

If there was a single body above the BPAA, USBC, and PBA, and they were responsible for national and international marketing in order to make bowling be on the same levels as the PGA, NFL, NBA, MBL, and any other Sports organization -- would that save bowling?

Furthermore -- if bowling as an institution needs to be saved - every person who feels that way needs to do a gut check and honestly ask themselves "why"?  Why does bowling need to be saved, how does it need to be saved, and what is your "buy in" level in saving bowling?  Is it:
1. A personal reason --
"I love bowling with my league, and it's slowly going away"
"It's the one sport I'm good at"
"Bowling is a good family activity"
"Bowling is my exercise - and it's cheaper than just about any other sport except running:"
"I'm top dog in my center, and I don't want to give that up"

2. A professional reason
"I work for the PBA/USBC, and would like to keep my job"
"I own a bowling center, and don't want to go bankrupt"
"I'm an aspiring PBA tour player, and want there to be a tour to compete on"
"I make accessories or equipment for bowling, and believe in my product"

Note - all of the above are purely selfish reasons - not a judgement, but being factual.  None of them look any further past "my want/my need".  Which is fine, we are all me-centric by default.  The challenge is to then decide what part of "this motivates me" can translate into "this can motivate my friends, neighbors".  What will it take for you, the bowling public - not the administrations, not the organizations, not the manufacturers -- to force change to happen.  The only vote you have that matters, (USBC member/BPAA member/PBA member/whatever) is the one you make on a daily or weekly basis with your hard earned cash - Bowling or something else.  Granted, there are other entities that influence that decision - the bowling center management, the pro shop, the league personalities, kids, bills, etc....  But for those that believe that bowling must be saved, the grassroots is where change needs to happen.

Ultimately, if you want bowling saved, it will not - and cannot be saved from the top down.  Those structures are already in place, and have proven to not be the answer required.  For whatever reason - whether protecting the status quo, short term gains for long term losses, a corporate philosophy instead of an entrepreneur's philosophy -- the bowling "boat" has not righted itself using the current administrations in every agency.

So, with the historical precedent of 30-40 years where bowling was the unofficial official pastime of the blue collar / white collar workers.  With what was once "good enough" being no longer "good enough".  With owning a bowling center no longer being a cash guaranteed business, and the effort to change with the times not being shown across the board . . . the question is still:  "Why save bowling"?

Once you answer that question - the how becomes so much simpler.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Change is good, change is inevitable, change is strange

As I sit cross-training for my job, I muse on the implications of change in my life.

Within the last couple of years, there have been several deaths in my circle of friends....
Within the last couple of years, there have been the dissolution of some publications that I used to read
Within the last couple of years, the cost of living has gone up and up, and yet my take home funds have gone down and down.
Within the last couple of years, there have been some medical issues that have arisen in my family for literally all members of my immediate family.
Within the last couple of years, some businesses that I supported when I could have gone into bankruptcy.
Within the last couple of years, the technology I felt was underutilized has now become commonplace.
Within the last couple of years, the friends that I had around have faded into their own lives, where we only read about each other on FB.

And yet . . .

Within the last couple of years, I've learned more about myself and now understood scenarios that played out in my life that I didn't understand at the time.
Within the last couple of years, I've discovered other pursuits that could not be enjoyed when life moved faster for me.
Within the last couple of years, I've rediscovered my enjoyment of reading, and the appreciation for the written and spoken word.
Within the last couple of years, I've discovered a core of responsibility that I didn't think I had, where I can grind through situations that before I would have just quit on.

Rough weather makes strong timber.