Brilliant Moments in Time

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“A Look Back at Something Special”
Written by Rick Trottier – RJT Images/Light Works Studio
Casey Stengel is remembered for many excellent reasons, but one of the most enduring, beyond his long and successful experiences in Major League Baseball, was his penchant for wise, mirth-inducing sayings. Most of Casey’s utterances involved a healthy dose of “Stengel-ese”, the “Ol’ Perferssors” unique way of manipulating English into something that conveyed compelling notions in short bursts of his strange vernacular. One of my favorites is “There comes a time in every man’s life, and I’ve had plenty of them”. Every year I get older and the memories stack up into a pile that seems to stretch to the heavens, I appreciate that statement just a little more. And what makes that quote even more rich with meaning is that looking back at any time in a person’s life to see the balance of good, bad and events somewhere in the middle is usual with most people’s existence, and then being able to extract even deeper importance and value from that reflection is essential. There are MANY instances like that I could relate, but one in particular comes to the forefront of my mind.

In my younger years I had a tendency to fill every waking second of every single day with things to do, whether they were vocation or avocation-related. Partly that was because of my workaholic tendencies, and partly it was a need to deal with the surplus of energy my mind and body often had at its disposal. But as I got older, I began to let some of my activities slide off my shoulders as I focused more and more on those things that really needed or merited my attention. And while this list of three primary focuses of many years ago was not ALL that took up my day, they certainly were inclined to receive the lion’s share of my mental and physical energy. I was a teacher for upwards of twenty-five years and as anyone knows who has really done that job, it is all-consuming, especially if you give of yourself beyond the hours of the school day as I did. From very early in the morning until late in the afternoon (well beyond eight hours), plus weekends, I was working on something school-related, and that meant vacation time too. Even Summer Vacations had projects I needed to complete (in addition to some jobs I took from time to time). And while I am inordinately proud of what I achieved during my long career, the reality of teaching is that it is a well from which you keep drawing water from your own personal reservoirs of physical and spiritual energy until those aquifers run dry. That is why, at best, teaching is a middle of the road life experience, an almost perfect blend of good and bad.

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