Thursday, September 1, 2022

The Art of Losing

I'm pretty good at losing.

Now, I don't want to sound too boastful. But as a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I have a lot of experience. Plus, for seven years, I covered the perpetually losing Los Angeles Clippers, who made the playoffs just one time during that span.

So I've put a lot of time and effort into losing, and maybe that's why I like golf so much. It is a game that will humble anyone, and I feel we all need that sometimes.

But thinking about so many friends who have gone through rocky times, I realize that losing might be connected to God and/or Buddhism or something deeper. It probably shouldn't even be called "losing."

Suffering is a part of life, and we all likely have suffered or will be suffering before we know it. And that's what life is. Suffering. Joy. Winning. Losing. Birth. Death. Rebirth. It's all connected.

I used to love the phrase: "That what does not grow is dead."

I still like it, but as I age, I see the phrase differently. I'm realizing that true victories involve some sort of loss. It's kinda like we grow into a stronger or more mature person, but we have to leave our old selves behind. Perhaps a loss always is connected with true growth.

How much change, or growth, do we really want?

I often laugh when I hear something like, "Oh my God! You're not going to believe this movie. It's incredible. It will change your life!"

Uh, wait, a second. Do I really want my life to change? I actually like it as is. Why do we assume our lives need changing?

Maybe I'm one of those type of people who likes to "get out in front of it." Hey, man, I'm getting older. We're all getting older. Might as well embrace it and enjoy the ride in a healthy way.

With my daughters just starting senior and sophomore years in high school, I somehow have gotten over the shocking news that they are cooler than me. I guess that fact was inevitable, and I wonder how long it had been a fact before I realized it.

Sure, the days and years feel as if they're speeding by, but as I watch my daughters, I understand this is how it's supposed to be. I'm here to love, support and not lament who their childhood concerns have been exchanged for teen ones. Every day gets better for them, and every day gets better for me.

Yes, a lot of years have passed, but they're not lost. They've been transformed into memories, and I must admit I've always lived my best life with the knowledge and self-knowledge I had at the time. But looking back, egads, that knowledge was quite limited at times.

And here's where slight wisdom sneaks in. I understand that my knowledge, and so-called wisdom, is limited. At least now I finally understand that what I will look back at these days, shaking my head at how off some of my perceptions were.

However, I must say that I'm onto something about the art of losing. If we're never losing, how could we be winning?


  1. Joe--you are a winner!

    1. Thank you! I know. ... But, y'know, Babe Ruth only got hits 30 percent of the time. :-)