The year was 2003 when everything changed for my beloved Cubs and for me. It was a bone-chilling, blustery February day that life as I knew it would never be the same. I can still hear the phone call from thirteen years ago, clinging to my memory like the ivy on the brick walls of Wrigley Field.
I was newly divorced and a financially broke, single mom of two young children when I was confronted with the news that my ex had a horrible snowmobile accident, leaving him a paraplegic. That was the same year my beloved Cub’s heart was broke as well when Bartman leaned forward to catch Marlin’s second baseman, Luis Castillo’s, foul ball. His attempt distracted Cubs left-fielder, Moises Alou. Marlins wound up scoring eight runs that inning. The Cubs lost. They were eliminated the next night. The curse lived on or was it really a curse? I don’t believe in “The Bartman curse,” and I don’t believe the curse of the Billy Goat either. I am hopeless optimistic like a loyal Cub fan at Wrigley; who waves the W flag when their precious Cubbies are losing 8-0 in the bottom of the ninth. I believe that even if you are dealt a bad pitch or someone plays interference, you always have a choice to dig deep, brush the dirt off, play a little scrappy, but get the job done.
That’s what I did, without a relief pitcher in sight. Thirteen years later, I see how things turned around for my kids and me; as well as the Chicago Cubs. My kids, Jake and Tarah, are both in college and the Cubs are in the playoffs, hopefully, heading to the World Series. How does one keep walking forward with hope when your world seems hopeless?
1) Get out of the dugout, (or your bed) every day. You may fall on your face but at least it is momentum in the right direction.
2) Never settle. Wake up every day and say “Nothing but greatness today.” Play like a champion.
3) If you are unsure of an answer – do nothing! Don’t try to pick up a “new player” or spouse. That is not your answer.
4) Be open to change. The best plans change without your permission. You need to be flexible to adjust. You need to know when it is time to steal 2nd.
5) Write down your thoughts every day. The good, the bad and the ugly. See your progress. What are your stats?
6) In this time of transition – be the best you. The Cubs may not have always have a winning team- but they are the best team at Wrigley.
7) Do everything without complaining and arguing. Nobody likes a poor sport!
8) Always believe you will win. Get The W flag out and start waving. Fake it until you feel it.
9) Trust the plan. No matter what it is. You may not agree with the GM or God but they are in charge.
10) Allow yourself to be sad but you need to get up and take another swing. You could hit a home run.
11) And lastly as a “suffering cubs fan” there is always next year! Hopefully this is the year!I know I said 10 ways... but the 11th is the bonus! Hoping me, you, and my beloved Cubbies get an extra inning ― if it means winning.
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