Second Chances

My wife and I went to a party tonight – celebrating the wedding of some friends.  The newly married groom said something that struck home for me: that this year has been a year of second chances for him.  Not only does he have a new wife, a new love in his life, he also went through cancer treatments at Stanford during the same time that I was going through them.  As we were saying good night, I mentioned to him that he said it just right – having cancer and then becoming healthy again really is a second chance at life.

We had the good fortune of sitting with a group of current and former Intel executives, including one man who has been working there since 1991 and another who has been there since 1984.  It amazes me that people can work for one company for so long in this day and age, and especially here in Silicon Valley.  Our culture celebrates the entrepreneurs who leave companies to create new start-ups rather than those who stay with companies and guide them to become world technology powers.  It’s a little thing, but I also found it interesting that the majority of my small sample of Intel executives all carry iPhones (which, of course, don’t include Intel chips).  I like that they get to carry whatever they like best rather than being told what they can or cannot use for personal technology.

This party was occurring while the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals were playing a marathon game in the baseball playoffs.  A baseball game is 9 innings long, but this game took 18 innings to determine a winner.  Several people at the party were surreptitiously checking the score on their phones through the party, and one even was listening to the game. Immediately after the game ended, my daughter off at college texted me to say that she had watched the game with friends (all of whom were Washington fans, since the school is on the east coast) and how much she had enjoyed the excitement of it.

I was torn by that text.  I have spent 18 years trying to teach my older daughter to love baseball – with a marked lack of success.  I would take her to a major league game only to have her sit in the stands and read a book rather than watch the game.  But now, just weeks after leaving home and heading off to college, she tells me how exciting a baseball game was.  I could be upset that she has waited so long to learn to love the perfect game.  Or, I could celebrate that she has taken advantage of a second chance and learned on her own what I failed to teach her.

I celebrate her new appreciation of the game.

In love, in life, in appreciating a game:  I celebrate second chances.

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