Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's The Little Things

I don’t know a lot, but I know that life is all about little things. When the big things in your life are great, otherwise trivial things can pull you down. For example: when you are happily in love with the one true person you are meant to be with, it can be maddening when the two of you have a differing viewpoint on something as minuscule as the infield fly rule. Once your larger happiness is taken for granted, it is easy to focus on tiny details in life that can annoy you as if they were huge.

Likewise, when the larger things in your life are annoying, it is the normally inconsequential things that can keep you afloat for one more day. To play on the opposite of the previous example: when you are a person with no prospects for love who is alone in the world, finishing in first place in your office NCAA pool can feel like winning an Oscar, the Superbowl and an AVN award all rolled into one. While your larger happiness is left wanting, it becomes easier to focus on the smaller details that help bring a spring back to your step.

There are all sorts of maxims that try to convince you to dwell on the good when things are bad, and fend off the bad when things are good, like “stop and smell the roses” or “always look on the bright side of life.” It’s as if life is like a car’s engine which you must keep from getting too hot in the summer or two cold in the winter lest you overheat or stall. Without this attempt to regulate yourself you could end up in a shack in the wilds of Canada raving to your pet seal about how the world’s gone crazy.

It is with this delicate balancing act in mind that I tell you about a small bright spot in my world that can, at times, feel pretty dark. A few weeks back I picked up a baseball video game that I play most nights while Inky and I watch TV. Since I’ve been an Orioles fan my whole life I play as the O’s and since I’ve been playing this brand of game for many years, I play on the highest skill level. So, even though my team is hovering around .500, and my pitchers all seem to be long ball prone, it is about as close as I can get to a genuine simulation.

My aforementioned bright spot came in the form of a hitting streak for the ages. From mid April till early June Nick Markakis put together a 44 game hit streak, often keeping it alive with late game hits. Each time I pressed the button at the right time to get another hit, the computer rewarded me by showing Markakis on base being congratulated by the first base coach with a font that would say: “Has a 33 game hit streak…” under his name. With each game, it made me smile a bit more, which may be the most pathetic thing I have ever said.

I don’t know if this makes me utterly sad, kind of depressing or just normal, but it’s what I’ve got in the good little things department these days. Because, although I have the best “big thing” in the world in my love for Inky; I still have quite a few other big things that have been letting me down. That’s where a video game feat, a high score on solitaire or a correct answer while watching Jeopardy can come in handy.

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