I sat on a bar stool at The Tap Room yesterday talking with Elizabeth Usovicz while the Royals lost game five of the American League Championship series and twenty-five other Rotarians cheered for their boys in blue.
In Kansas City, “the boys in blue” means our home baseball team. It’s taken me thirty years — since the 1985 World Series — to think of the Royals as my team, but I do. In 1985, I wore my Cardinals red to court; but I’ve lived half my life here now and I consider myself a Kansas Citian.
The Royals lost last night, but I won. I measure my day’s outcome by the gifts that I took home with me. After my Terrible Tuesday, I had a damned-near-Wonderful-Wednesday, a cake not just iced but piped with buttercream rosettes.
Elizabeth told me that she has resolved to bring her best self to each day. I felt a rush of recognition. I recalled telling someone a year or so ago that I aspired to be the best version of my self that I could be. When Elizabeth shared her philosophy, I knew that I had found a sister leopard, with beautiful spots and the lanky lean muscles that come from running the distance with a thorn in your paw.
On my way out of the restaurant, I stopped to visit with Mbugua Njoroge, another of our Club members. How are you today, Corinne? he said, in his lilting South African voice. I leaned down to answer. My friend, I replied. I woke up today, so I figure that perhaps God’s not done with me here yet.
He graced me with a radiant smile.
I don’t truck with religion. I left Catholicism because it plagued my life in ways that don’t need to be discussed. I tried the Episcopal religion two or three times over the last thirty years, without finding a comfortable niche. I even went to the local Un-Church, Oasis, but quite frankly, as one woman told me, it’s just a church with another name. In reality my views do not jive with any organized religion. So I just keep muddling through life, with no place to go on Sunday mornings but my front porch.
I consider myself a fairly thoughtful person, and I’ve had twenty-two months to contemplate this “not-complaining” quest. At the essence of my mission lies my desire to be joyful. I know I can only be joyful if I strive to be my best self, to bring the best of what I can to every human encounter and every task. I’m not there yet, but I woke up again today, so apparently there’s still time.
And for the gift of a little more time, I am thankful.
Today is NATIONAL WEAR PURPLE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS Day.
I will be wearing a purple dress in honor of those who survive and thrive after experiencing domestic violence.
And in honor of those who did not survive.