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Life is a Nine Inning Game

June 16, 2015

People reach out with their problems all the time.

Recently, a friend vetted her problems. They centered on her father. She said he constantly complained, was demanding, unreasonable, unappreciative, and more.

She wasn’t asking for my opinion, but wanted to express her frustration. After listening to her long list of grievances, I decided to weigh-in with my opinion.

I didn’t have all the answers, far from it, but I put a few things in perspective, hopefully, and gave her a reasonable context from which she might see a larger picture.

This is what I said:

Her situation is all too familiar. It reminded me of John Lennon’s view of things inside the Beatles during their breakup. The band was changing and Lennon felt the anxiety, for which he blamed Paul, George & Ringo. In the recording studio, Lennon couldn’t get the guitar sound he wanted, and that too he blamed on the other boys in the band.

At some point, what happen to Lennon comes to pass for everyone. While Lennon later understood what happened, and laughed about it, the truth is, in life, we are given two choices; we can blame ourselves, or blame someone else. Which do people usually choose, I asked my friend.

Without going into details of her crisis, I told her not to make matters worse. My suggestion was to listen nicely to her father when he complains and not argue nor try to convince him of his errant ways. Above all, do not take what he says personally as he no doubt is experiencing the kind of anxiety that leads to blaming others for whatever is ailing him.

For one thing, as people get up in age, they experience anxiety. Little by little, they begin to lose control of their daily lives, and start to see the world moving forward without them. It’s incumbent on children to realize how traumatic this can be and go the extra mile to comfort them.

I also reminded her of something my father told me. “Robb, it’s a nine inning game, and nothing counts except the final score." What he meant was, that in life, as in baseball, we don't announce a winner after 4 innings, or 5 innings, or 7 innings. It’s only when the game is finished that we know who wins and who loses. “Only the end result counts,” my Dad said.

This is true. Take a long view of problems and think about the consequences before doing something you may later regret. After all, there's much life yet to live, I told her.

Lastly, remember that life goes by in an instant, and in the end, none of it matters but the memories, and you want those memories to be good ones, and to be able to cherish them forever.