Fly Balls and New Year’s Resolutions

When I was in 7th grade, my dad taught me how to track down a fly ball, especially a pop-up that looks way too short. You just get on your horse, hold out your glove down low as you keep running, dive if necessary. I learned you can get to a lot more balls than you think you can.

At tryouts for my middle school team, the coach meant to hit a ball to the outfield, but he popped it up and waved us off. But I was already on my way. I caught that ball down low on the run, and I’ll never forget his reaction, something like, “All right then.” And that sealed my place on the team and assured my legacy of glory in center field on my middle school softball team.

This year, when my dad was gravely ill, I learned that in the middle of all that fear and pain and sadness is a well-spring of compassion for others that helped me even with the pain I was feeling over my dad. There was so much more connectedness there for others than I ever would have imagined.

In November, I wrote a novel during National Novel Writing Month (a very cool “movement”–check it out if you’ve never heard of it), in the midst of visiting my parents and teaching. I didn’t really have anything left, which is why I had to write. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced the sentiment I’ve heard people who really write (that category of people known as real writers) say–I have to write.

New Year’s resolutions aren’t really about projecting yourself into the future. Instead, they are about self-actualization. You just might have so much more within than you think. It’s all already right there. That seems pretty comforting to know you have reserves you never imagined.

“What if loving what you’ve got is everything?’ –Ellis


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  1. Jenn says:

    Let us know when your novel is published, printed, and available. I want my copy signed.

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