Batting Averages

I'm going to say that's a solid double in the gap.Nobody’s perfect.

At least that’s how the theory goes.  And by “theory” I mean “reality” – everybody makes mistakes.  Maybe we don’t think something through enough and make a rash decision that wasn’t the right one.  Perhaps we spend too much time thinking about something and miss our opportunity.  We let our brains make decisions our hearts should be making; our hearts make decisions our guts should be making and our guts make decisions our brains should be making.

All in all – we’re pretty error-prone when you get down to it.

And that’s why batting averages are so important.  One of my former bosses and mentors used to preach that to us – do your best to get it right but not acting is as bad as getting it wrong so swing away when you feel like it’s a good pitch.  Sure, sometimes you’ll end up swinging over the top of a Tim Wakefield knuckleball that looked really good until the bottom dropped out, but more often than not you’ll make solid contact with the ball and put it in play.

Sure – I picked this topic partially because pitchers and catchers report next week (which means baseball season – and Spring – are right around the corner!) but also because averages have been on my mind a lot lately.

If you’ve been following The Paul Gillespie Experience (a.k.a. “Pauly”) for any period of time you know it’s been a crazy year for me across the board.  I had another great season of beach volleyball at Volleyball Beach with friends old and new, got my motorcycle endorsement, got a motorcycle, laid said motorcycle down (luckily only a little superficial ding on the gas tank and a gigantic bump on my leg), made a decision to leave the company I proudly worked at for 16 years, turned down an offer at a good company, didn’t get the job I was aiming for when I turned down the prior offer, left my job and am dealing* with a lot of other stuff I need to deal with.

(* and by “dealing” I mean “strategically avoiding“)

So here’s where I’m at currently, as sung by Alabama Shakes:

So, bless my heart and bless yours, too.
I don’t know where I’m gonna go
Don’t know what I’m gonna do.

Must be somebody up above sayin’
“Come on Brittany, you got to come on up!”

You got to hold on
You got to hold on

(“Hold On“, Alabama Shakes)

[That is an awesome song, by the way – a soulful tune I could listen to all day and almost as awesome to listen to as Illinois’ upset of #1 Indiana on a completely uncontested inbound pass layup with 0.9 seconds left last night is to watch]

Except my name’s not Brittany in case you were wondering.  But other than that it’s pretty accurate – regardless of what’s going on you’ll always get a smile and a positive comment from me; I have no idea where I’m going to go nor what I’m going to do; and above all I’ve just got to hold on.

That last part is pretty damn hard some days – when silence is all you hear, your fingers are aching from tweaking a half-dozen resumes and an equal number of cover letters and the numbers you’ve been trying to synthesize into a story just aren’t cooperating it can get rough.  I’ve got a dozen large projects on my list, an ever-growing to-do list (more sneak on than are crossed off every day) and an active mind that keeps coming up with things I should/want to/could do.

Thank God I have my family and friends – without them I’d probably have lost my mind already…assuming I haven’t actually already lost it (not a given).  I get to hear Sam’s newest song, watch Cody’s dominance on Dark Souls and see Josh’s latest Minecraft creation when I get home, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and whatever other random day it sounds good I get to hang out with my informal support group of friends and listen to music or prove how few obscure Abraham Lincoln facts I actually know (it’s almost embarrassing).  I get to chat with my dad occasionally and grab a beer or lunch with some of my friends/former team and co-workers every so often.

But considering until the first of this year I hadn’t not worked a 40+ hour week since I was 16 (those few vacations I took excepted) not spending time in an office being productive is really wearing on me (I’m a social/productive being by nature) and equally as wearing is avoiding any kind of introspection – that takes an awful lot of energy when you don’t have something else to focus on to distract you (yes, I realize that’s probably not healthy…oh well).  Luckily smiling comes naturally to me, so regardless of my current physical/mental/sociological/financial/educational/career/[fill-in-any-other-thing-you-want] state you’ll get one of those from me – I simply don’t know any other way to be (without being insincere, anyway).

Well THIS post took a turn.  Usually I can keep a similar thread throughout the entire post but this one kind of moved around.  Of course I’ve been writing it over the course of five hours while listening to everything from “Remind Me” by Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood to  “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins to “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and drinking untold amounts of coffee at Homer’s while taking short breaks from crunching and analyzing data for a couple of projects I’m working on so “scatter-brained” is probably a reasonable classification for a post to fall into.

But the bottom line is I’m learning about batting averages pretty heavily these days.  Some days I feel like Ty Cobb; other days more like Mario Mendoza.  But the key is just holding on; something I’m pretty adept at.

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What do you think?