Suck It Up, Buttercup

By: D.A. Slinkard
Life is all about not giving up. We will all have bad things happen to us along this crazy thing we call
life, but what is most important is how we respond to those crazy happenings. Recently, I was hospitalized for 12 days in the Huntsville Hospital (not to be confused with The Hilton) due to me having Crohn’s Disease. I can tell you from first-hand experience how easy it is to become a Negative Nancy (sorry to all Nancys out there) when life is not going how you planned. There’s one thing you can do, and that’s to suck it up, buttercup.

We need to realize how good we actually have it. While in the hospital, I received word that a fellow church member was also in the hospital on the floor above me. Sadly, she had fallen and broken both ankles, and, I believe, a hip and a wrist. It was at this point in time that I realized how fortunate I was that, even though I was fighting an infection in my body and a Crohn’s flare, at least I had the ability to be mobile. We need to understand that no matter what bad things are happening in our life, there is someone out there that would surely trade our sorrows for theirs.

Be thankful. Show gratitude. Being thankful and showing gratitude are going to affect your attitude. Taking the time to be thankful for what you have, not concerned with what you don’t have, is going to impact the amount of gratitude you have for what life offers us. We must be prepared for when seasons inevitably change in our life. Truth be told, we are all battling the storm of negativity. We are either going into, in the middle of, or coming out of a storm, and we must stay steadfast in our attitude even when our circumstances suggest otherwise.

I think back to my oldest daughter and her basketball team. During the regular season they lost 7 times in 10 games, finishing in fourth place out of five teams. Then came the time for the rec league tournament, and life has taught me that the regular season means nothing when there is a tournament involved! We had our first game against the last-place team to see who would go up against the tournament favorite. The girls could have been negative, especially having only won 30% of the time during the regular season, but they were not. They played so well and advanced on to face the number one team in the tournament, who finished the season with a perfect 10 wins and 0 losses.

The girls had a decision to make – do we just give up facing the undefeated team because they are supposed to win or do we come out and fight? Dealing with 9- to 12-year-old girls you never know what you are going to get, but what I found them displaying was a ton of heart, a ton of courage, even when their previous history showed they should just roll over and give up. It reiterated the point that it is not always the dog in the fight so much as the fight in the dog, and these girls had a ton of fight in their bodies. When the final whistle was blown, the girls were victorious and Goliath had been taken down.

The girls had qualified for the championship game through hard work and determination. Their success was not handed to them; they had to fight hard to qualify to play for the distinction of being the Athens Rec League Tournament Champions. The girls had one final test standing between them and finishing the season number one in the tournament. They had to go up against the number two team, who finished the regular season with 8 wins and 2 losses.

The final game was intense and was a battle for both teams. In the end though, we ended up losing by a mere 6 points, which still felt like a victory especially when watching the girls put the second-place medal around their necks. Sure, we might not have won the championship trophy, but it certainly felt good knowing where we came from and where we finished. This made me realize an aspect of how life works. We might not always finish out as number one, but we must remember to never give up, even when the odds are against us. And always be thankful for what we have.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

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